Saturday, February 23, 2008

Journal # 3

Five Don’ts of Classroom Blogging by Julie Sturgeon
This article discusses some potential pitfalls of creating student blogs in the classroom. It lists five common problems with having a classroom work on blogs but maintains that the benefits are worth the problems. Brock Dubbels, a high school engineering teacher believes that even though there are potential roadblocks to blogging, the rewards in better writing skills for the students are worth the trouble. Included in these troubles are not setting up guidelines and objectives, which allows students to write anything they please in their blogs. The article also stresses the problems with confusing blogging with social networking, such as the tools MySpace and Facebook; problems associated using free blogging sites, and forcing a sequential style in blogs that may allow students most important accomplishments to get lost in their writings. The article concludes with an emphasis on the importance of teachers using blogs on their own, and the benefits this can produce for themselves as well as their students.


1. How do you encourage students who have little computer knowledge to use the blog?
The most important thing to remember when having students use any sort of technological tools in the classroom is that many of them may not have access to it outside of the classroom. As a teacher, you must allow students time to work on blogs in class. It may also be helpful to have limits on what students can put on their blogs (movies, music etc.) or do instructional lessons to help students who have little computer knowledge catch up to the other students. The students themselves could even teach these lessons.
2. How do you monitor blog sites if you don’t grade students for the quality of their work as the article recommends?
By making sure that the students are following through with their assignments, you should be able to grasp a little bit of the content of their work, but you don’t have to grade them on that per se. Also by having students sign a contract of conduct at the beginning of the assignment, clear expectations are established as to what is appropriate to post on their blogs.