Blogs in Education
Chances are you, or someone close to you, has a personal or professional blog. A blog is a website that acts as an online journal, a place to post information, and a way to keep in touch with others. A blog can be used as an important tool for networking and sharing tips or news with other teachers, dispersing information to your students, and keeping parents abreast of what is happening in your classroom.
Write about your interests as they pertain to teaching or the field of education, and tell other professionals about your blog. As time goes on, you will develop a number of regular readers. These readers will comment on your writings, either agreeing or disagreeing with you. This is an effective and fun way to share your ideas, gather tips from others’ experiences, and mingle with fellow educators from all over the world.
Your blog can also be used as a classroom management tool. Post assignments for your students, reducing the chances that they didn't know that a project was due. Include links to educational websites that will enhance your students’ knowledge and understanding of concepts and topics discussed in class. Post extra credit assignments on the blog as an incentive to students who check it regularly.
Keeping a classroom blog will also help parents to be informed of what’s going on in the classroom. This, in turn, will lead to more parents taking active roles in their children’s education. Write up a synopsis of what the class has been studying each month, or at the end of each term. Be sure to get parental permission before posting photos of students on your site. Photographs of in-class projects, science experiments, and the students working in groups will help parents to feel as though they are well-informed of their child’s daily routine.
Encourage your students to keep blogs a well. This can be a classroom or an individual project. Blogging will help your students to express themselves and to practice valuable computer, keyboarding, writing, spelling, and grammatical skills. Teach them how to upload photos from a digital camera if possible.
There are many user-friendly websites that will allow even an internet novice to start blogging with ease. One of these, TeacherLingo.com, is especially geared toward teachers. WordPress Blogger are not directed towards teachers specifically, but are popular and easy-to-use.
There are blogs that are about blogging, for those who want to get started but need some help in learning internet etiquette and in coming up with some ideas on what to write about. An excellent one is BlogWritingCourse. Another good resource on how to write a blog is BlackBeltBlogger.
One of the benefits of blogging is that it brings you in contact with other bloggers. Here are some listings of educators’ blogs:
Blogging will open your circle of acquaintances and will add another dimension to your teaching and involvement with your contemporaries, students, and parents.