I have been pondering the idea of how to incorporate blogging in my classroom successfully. This really means blogging that includes my students as I already blog on a daily basis for my courses. My current blogging practice is to outline the agenda for the day, which does not encourage conversations. I want more student interaction on the blog. Another concern is that students and parents do not access the blog. Instead, they will email questions that the blog could have answered if they had read it. I want students and parents to seek the blog first. The following blogging plan should tackle both concerns.
- Set Up a Blog for Each Course I Teach
I want to have student-student and teacher-student conversations on the blog. There will be a unique blog for each subject I teach, so I will need to set-up three blogs for next year; a geometry blog, an AP Stats blog and an AP Calc BC blog. I want each student to contribute to a single subject class blog. Currently the school district has Connect as the district’s website platform, so I can expand upon Connect. Each student will need to be an added member that can initiate posts to their subject blog. Knowing the Connect system, I will need to require students to request membership to the course blog by September 14. By using Connect, it will be a secure blog that only students and myself can use.
- Give Students Blogging Due Dates
As this is the first year when student blogging is included, I think I will start with just two original student blog posts per month. This will give me time to look them over and see how the student interactions are going. In addition, I want to interact as well, and I already work a super long day with all my other detailed responsibilities. In general, the first blog of the month should be posted by the 14th, and the second post by the 28th.
- First Post – Introduce Yourself
This post will be unique from the others. It is important for students to get to know each other and trust one another and be trustworthy in class. We complete many group tasks that require 100% group member participation. I think by having an introductory post, students may get to know one another a bit better. This may help to be an icebreaker. I would like students to post this by September 21. Then by September 28, I would like students to post three comments to three different people and respond to each comment they receive. Student instructions will include commenting on a post that does not yet have three comments.
- All Future Posts – Math Based Questions and Answers
After introductions, then the subject matter begins. Future posts need to be about the topics we are learning in class. Each student will either create an original post by each blogging due date by posing a question about a problem presenting in class or within the homework. Or students can present a new question for others in the class to solve. Alternatively, a student can post a comment that answers another student’s question. I have wanted to set up a venue for questions and answers for some time. Frequently, students are at home working and questions arise. I want students to have a secure location on-line where they can get their questions answered accurately and safely. Currently, students use a Facebook page, not everyone is invited, therefore I cannot monitor the questions and more importantly the answers. I am hoping a class blog will be the answer and meet the needs of the target audience.
Here is a calendar outline of the blogging plan for September. Click on the calendar to open a larger, easier to read version.
The next and final required post for EdTech 537 will be my Classroom Blogging Activity.