Classroom blogs provide a great way to get students involved across the school or just in a classroom. They let other classes see what they are doing and can provide ideas and inspiration to the readers. Educator blogs allow for the teachers to get more personal and more involved in their blog
1. Kevin’s Meandering Mind
The first teacher blog that I looked at was very interesting. The author is very humorous which makes reading his entries easy. He includes a mix of gifs, videos, pictures and more. From what I am inferring about his posts, Kevin is an English teacher. Recently in his classes, he has his students make podcasts about the National Day of Writing. The students created peace posters, and then created the podcasts, which Kevin then turned into soundcloud bits and posted on the blog. Great idea! The posters are part of a Lion’s Club project that the students are creating in art class. This means that 2 different subjects are working together, very cool!
It is obvious that Kevin is very involved in the writing and literacy world because he is frequently posting about conferences and professional development workshops. In a recent workshop, Kevin talks about what Literacy means and looks like. He does a great job with the information, and is able to effectively link literacy to technology. Blogging is a great to way to do that, and it seems like a lot of teachers are realizing that. He also briefly mentions that struggles that long time teachers are having with inquiry based projects. If a teacher has been around for several years, they will more thatn likely be comfortable with what they have been doing all along, thus making it more difficult to accept a brand new method.
2. Primary Tech
The next teacher blog is from a woman in Australia who is a teacher and makes an effort to incorporate technology into her classroom whenever possible. She goes very in-depth into how she uses her blog and how she uses blogging in her classroom. She mentioned in her latest post that the journey took about 6 years before it truly became a functioning part of her class. She links blogging to literacy, a thought that I had not considered before. Each week, her students have time to read certain posts on their class blog and post on their own individual blog. A lot of the teachers posts are reflective and talk about things that have worked and have not worked, which was very refreshing to read.
A really great part of her blog is the Tech Tools for Teachers tab. The post includes a link to a website with a ton of great resources for teachers to use. Another useful tab is the Internet Safety one. There are links to posters that educators can use about internet safety, there are also links to safety tips for students, parents, and teachers. One of the best features about these blogs are when teachers share their resources, like what this teacher does. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel, and by providing links to tech tools for other teachers to use, this teacher is preventing people from having to do that.
3. Upside Down Education
Amanda Dykes, the author of the blog, presents some really unique views on education through her blog. In her latest post, A Pain in My Assessment, she describes some of the struggles that she is having with a mandatory grading scale that her district has put into place. Besides that she is having to deal with extreme apathy from her students, which is making everything worse. What she is writing comes from the heart and is very easy and refreshing to read. Personally, I feel like it is refreshing to read about challenges that other people are having, instead on always reading about this go perfectly.
As I have mentioned before, I think in a discussion board post but also maybe on here, I think that blogging could be used in a P.E. setting during a weight training class. Towards the end of the class, students could be given the option to pick their own workouts, and talk about them in the blog. They could be required to talk about the muscles used, why they chose the order that they did, how they felt after the workout, and even what their diet is for that day. At the end of the course, part of the final could be a reflective blog post talking about the class and if they saw improvements to themselves in any way. It could be as simple as saying they can now do 10 bicep curls with a 15 pound weight, or maybe they gained a little muscle and can now bench press their body weight 10 times.
Creating an educator blog for myself would also be an option. It seems like a great place to talk about challenges, ways they were fixed, and a good place to post reflections on lessons as well as new ideas. The great thing about teaching is that everyone who is teaching has a common goal, to better their students. Because of that, there is a camaraderie among teachers in which they share lesson plans and ideas about things they are doing in their classrooms that are working. As a hopeful new teacher to be someday, I have a lot of new ideas that I want to carry into the gymnasium.