Blogs as discussed in 'Blogs and Aggregators', prior to this posting, allow learners to create; "a self-published website containing articles or posts of any kind of content, including text, pictures, video/audio, and links...[which] allows comments from readers" (RawVoice, 2007). Before this course, I wouldn't have thought to use Blogs in the classroom as a learning tool. After having experienced at first hand how Blogs can be used to support and enhance learning, through reflecting upon new learnings, skills, knowledge and abilities, I will definitely be using Blogs in learners' learning experiences. I would have loved to implement a Blog within my year two prac classroom at the moment, but due to time restrictions and insufficient access to computers, I haven't been able to.
I would, however, like to outline an idea I had for the teaching of Blogs through the Learning Engagement Theory Framework (1999). The Blog would be on the topic of weather. Relate: The learners would work as a team to report upon the weather in point form. They would then be able to move to their Blogs individually and create a 'Weather Watchers' report. Create: The learners would be doing their Blogs for a creative purposeful activity which they get to define. This is related to Problem-Based Learning (Barrows & Tamblyn, 1980). Learners would be guided to create a task that could include learning about the air, weather symbols, wind, temperature, clouds, rain etc. Finally Donate: Learners would have the opportunity for their work to be seen and discussed by a weather reporter from the news. The weather reporter would come into the classroom and give feedback on learner's great work!
The Blogs would be reflective activities surrounding the weather. Learners would have the opportunity to write in their Blogs at the end of each lesson. Safety is a key issue when creating Blogs. Before even beginning, I would explain the importance of safety. For my year 2 class, I would even set up all of the Blogs myself to ensure that there was no information about the child on the website. Or, I would create the Blogs in the Learning Place where it is a secure environment. I would make sure that I had access to all learners' Blogs with an RSS aggregator so that I could monitor the learners, as well as post comments and give learners feedback.
Barrows, H. & Tamblyn, R. (1980). Problem based learning: An approach to medical education. NY: Springer.
Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 12, 2009, from http://home.sprynet.com/%7Egkearsley/engage.htm
RawVoice. (2007). PodcastFAQ. Retrieved August 9, 2009, from http://www.podcastfaq.com/glossary/blogging-and-podcasting-terms/