Today's topic is blogging.
What is blogging? Well according to dictionary.com a blog is - a Web site containing the writer's or group of writers' ownexperiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often havingimages and links to other Web sites.
One thing I have learned in the short time that I've had my blog (about 2 years) is that there is a hesitance among teachers to post things on the Internet that can be seen by others. A blog can be set up with many different privacy settings.
- You can make your blog Public or Private.
- You can allow comments, you can allow comments only for followers of the blog, or you can eliminate comments, altogether.
- You can allow your blog to be found by search engines, or you can block it from search engines.
So there is no need to fear about your blog information "falling into the wrong hands" or having someone make rude or inappropriate comments on it. Your Privacy settings are up to you, and you can adjust them however you like.
So, why blog? What's the use or benefit in an educational setting? I'll give some of my thoughts, but first, I thought I'd include this video from YouTube.
So why did I create my blog? What do I use it for?
I used to tell my students and parents that my blog was like an "online billboard" and I just posted stuff on there about upcoming events and things of that nature. "Chapter 5 Test on Friday" "Late Start next Thursday"
2. Community Building
I also use the blog to wish good luck to other people and groups in the school community. "Good Luck to the Girls Volleyball team as they host Duebrook tonight", that kind of thing. Also, Congratulations to various groups, teams, clubs, etc...
3. Recognizing Students
Everyone seems to like seeing their name, in a positive light, on the Internet. If you have a student or two who are really doing some great things, you can call attention to it on your blog. Depending on the material, you could also link to their work right off of the blog. This is one thing I did not do enough of as a classroom teacher. I should have done this more.
4. Special Dates
This is probably more geared toward elementary students and teachers, but recognizing a student's birthday on your blog is quick, and easy, and makes them feel special. I did this on my blog last year for my boys Marcus and Miles, and then I e-mailed the link to their classroom teachers, their teachers were kind enough to show the boys in school. You can do this for many things, and yes I include my own children on my blog, it is after all "MY" blog.
Are you using a new product that you love? Or dislike? Blog about it! Have you read a good book lately? Tell people about it. Find out about a new website for students? Put it on your blog. Anything and everything you want to share with the world is fair game.
If anyone is interested in blogging, starting a blog, etc, etc and would like some help in setting one up, just send me an e-mail and we'll set up a time to go over some things. It's really quick and easy, and you'll be up and going in no time.