Sunday, October 17, 2010

I am Blogging Now Because My Teacher Told Me To...

What did you think of the blogging experience? Answer any or all of these questions (or give us some other insightful comments that related back to our readings, etc). Did you have a hard or easy time finding a blog you were interested in following? Have you ever blogged before? Do you see yourself continuing to use blogs as a professional resource? Will you continue to follow this blog?  Would you consider using blogging as an instructional tool to get your students reflecting and writing?  How is blogging for personal interests different from blogging for professional reasons? Be sure to include a link back to the blog you followed, including the post you commented on.

11 comments:

Mike D. said...

I have a co-worker who started a blog this summer on media and parenting. She does an excellent job of updating it regularly and finding diverse, but relevant topics. I will continue to follow this blog because it is well written and covers topics which are related to my own interests. Additionally, it has wonderful links to other resources. Here is a link to her blog, and the posting I commented on: http://mediatechparenting.net/2010/10/19/what-makes-a-good-website/

I have blogged some before. For example, I had a travel blog when I visited Japan. It was a good way to keep my family at home appraised of my travels. I also blog with my students through my school's course management system. It is a great way to collaborate across the entire grade.

Blogging for personal use is easier for me because I don't have to worry as much about the content or the grammar : ) When I comment on a professional blog, I definitely revise more.

Laura said...

I found it extremely difficult to find a blog that I felt was worth following. There were a few I found that I felt I could really connect with, but they didn't post often enough within a 2-week period to work with this assignment. I also found blogs that posted multiple times a week, yet I didn't really feel any ties to their posts. I eventually settled for something in the middle - a blogger who posted often and I could relate to some of his comments, enough to work for this assignment.

This is the first time that I've followed a blog for educational purposes, and the first time that I've posted a comment. The commenting part was a bit scary at first, because I wasn't sure how the author would react to my comment - was my response worthy of their page? I do not think I will continue to follow this blog, because I only felt that I could comment on a post every so often, and didn't really "get" a lot of the posts by the blogger. Overall, I just didn't find this blog interesting enough to continue to follow.

I don't know that I am ready to use a blog for instruction yet, because I don't think I am comfortable enough to be able to teach the students how to use the technology. I do think that it would be a great way to get students to comment and reflect on a topic, and also a good way to integrate technology into instruction. I also think that a blog would be a helpful way to keep parents informed about what is going on in the classroom (my school currently sends weekly email "blasts" to families). Management and appropriate postings is probably my biggest concern about student blogging. With everything else going on in my world of teaching, I don't know that I'd be able to spend enough time managing the blog and making sure that students are responding appropriately to one another. For now, I don't think I'll be using blogs in the classroom, but it is something I will definitely come back to.

This is the blog that I followed:
http://ithoughtathink.blogspot.com/

Here is the post I commented on:http://ithoughtathink.blogspot.com/2010/10/throw-away-snark.html

The author still hasn't posted my comment. I'll post the link to my comment once it's up on his page!

Laura

Erin said...

I am still VERY new to this whole blogging thing. As stated previously, and to answer one of your questions, I have only blogged for fun, and just for personal purposes in the past. And in saying this I mean that I once has a xzanga website that I would post on maybe once a week in high school to let all my friends know what was going on in my life. CHEEZY!
I have to say that because of the vast amount of blogs out there that pertain to my profession, hobbies, talents, everything, it was hard to choose just one to follow. Thus I took the easy way out and stole one off of Beth's original suggestion page. I do foresee myself in the future reading others' blogs, but I don't think I will ever create my own or comment upon others again. I do keep a web page for my classroom, but it is not used for blogging purposes. Mainly just tracking assignments, grades, and class activities. If I still taught high school, or even middle, then I would consider creating a blog for the class. But I do feel that at the elementary age they are still a bit young, and there is more of a need to have them get used to writing with paper and pencil and develop the physical feel of and for writing. That is my opinion. I know there are arguments in both directions. I would consider setting up an assignment where they read, and followed different blogs, and maybe even responded, but I don't feel that it would be a regular occurrence.(Not to get into the debate of where do you even find the time...)
The blog that I followed was "Cool Cat Teacher" you can find the specific posting that I replied to, and my comment here: http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/2010/10/how-should-classrooms-evolve.html

Jaimie said...

I love blogging. I have been reading (and occasionally writing my own posts) for the last several years. I have a very wide range of interests and I have yet to be unable to find an interesting blog on the subject. It is not always easy to find quality blogs, but they are out there. One resource I have used to find blogs on specific subjects is: http://blogsearch.google.com/.

I will absolutely continue to use blogs as a professional resource in the future. I have learned so much from reading blogs. I have added the blog I followed to my Google Reader and will continue to follow it. The author has posted many great resources for special education professionals.

Blogs can be great instructional tools to get students motivated to write and reflect. I think that it would be a good idea for the teacher to line up people outside of their classroom to comment on student work. Getting other people involved in the blog will encourage students to take more pride in their work because they are not just writing for the teacher to grade. I have not yet worked with a population that blogging would be an appropriate instructional tool. I may consider classroom blogging for the future.

Blogging for personal and professional reasons are very different. When I blog, I write about whatever random things interest me. If I were to blog as a professional, I would need to focus on: writing style, topic continuity and grammar (I guess I should be more concerned about that anyways!)

The blog I followed is: http://www.mangomon.com/blog/

My comment is here:
http://www.mangomon.com/blog/bid/32181/

joren4 said...

A classmate led me to a great assistive technology blog.
http://assistivetek.blogspot.com/


Prior to finding this blog I too was extremely frustrated finding a worthwhile blog for this assignment. Either the blogger(s) didn't post often enough, their information seemed less than reliable or it really wasn't professional. The blog I followed, Assistive Technology, was well worth my time. Many of the articles applied directly to me and my current classroom and I enjoyed reading posts by multiple people and perspectives.


There are several posts on note taking technologies including PaperShow and LiveScribe. Both interesting, fairly simple, technologies I haven't read about before.


I replied to a blog about iPAD- my new found love- find my post at

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=7601317&postID=7815194965599553296





I have never followed a blog in the past and I'm not sure I will seek out new blogs in the future. I will, from time to time, check back with this blog as I enjoyed the topics and new information in the field.


While searching for blogs I did run across a few classroom blogs and a lot of information about implementing blogs in the classroom. Although I cannot see using it with my current class I do find it intriguing for use with older students. I wish my teachers had used more technology when I was in high school and we all know kids that age love to speak their mind! What a great way to peak their interest and get them involved in their own education.

Laura said...

The blogger posted my comment here..
http://ithoughtathink.blogspot.com/2010/10/throw-away-snark.html

Juli said...

I chose to follow a blog about technology called Dangerously Irrelevant. The author is the co-founder of the technology video, Did you know? series. I spent many hours reading through pages and pages of blogs. I especially could relate to ones that were unfortunately done the first week of September. I would have loved to comment on the content. One of my favorites was one about what teachers want from administrators. The respondent vocalized so many things that I have slowly come to realize in education. There is a movement right now for teachers to analyze the data that is collected on each student and then make appropriate learning plans (differentiation). The guest blogger's point with this was that teachers need more planning time. Yes!! I started to make a post to that, but was disappointed to realize that the posts were older. I have really enjoyed following this blog and when time permits, I will continue to do so.

Here is the blog:
http://dangerouslyirrelevant.org/

Here is my post:

http://dangerouslyirrelevant.org/2010/10/what-are-our-excuses-again-for-not-putting-computers-in-the-hands-of-our-children.html/comment-page-1#comment-35543

Beth Poss said...

Blogging is definitely not for everyone, but it is an experience worth trying, so I am glad that everyone is finding at least 1 or 2 blogs that they have benefited from in some way. As with any tool, how you use it drives its usefulness. Currently, I personally, only blog (as a blogger) when I teach this course--mostly b/c I just don't have the time to post regularly, and don't want to frustrate readers looking for more consistent postings. I do follow a number of blogs (not all the time, but when a title catches my eye on my RSS feed) and respond when I think I have something to add to the conversation. Looking forward to hearing from the rest of the group on this topic.

MarnelynM said...

I had an easy time finding a blog based on your recommendations. I follow the Gifted Exchange blog because it is written by a parent who is well-informed about current educational issues. She also provides insight on matters related to gifted education. I continue to follow this blog because it is updated in a timely manner. In addition, her recent posts include transcripts of interviews she had with high school Davidson Fellows. It was wonderful to read about young students being passionate about research. I am interested in this blog because in school, we often lose sight of the "gifted students" since most of the focus is improving the scores of lower-performing students. We ignore the high-flyers unknowingly. I think this blog will inform me of possible strategies to use with gifted students.
"Gifted Exchange" can be found on
http://giftedexchange.blogspot.com/

I made a comment on one of her posts here: https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=16736523&postID=4013785020107374929

On a more personal level, I have blogged before. I created a blog in the past as a creative outlet for my thoughts and writing. I did not publicize this blog and shared it only with my closest family and friends. In the end, I was not able to manage and update the blog. In addition, comments were not being left, so I stopped writing the blog. I think blogging for personal interest is very different from professional ones because with personal blogs, you can be more selective with your audience. Professional blogs are meant to be read and shared even if you do not know the audience. As a result, in professional blogs, the writer has to be extra careful with what kind of information should be included in the blog. Professional blogs tend to also be more formal in language and voice, unlike personal blogs which tend to be conversational in tone.

Since I teach elementary students, I do not see myself writing and using a blog as an instructional tool. If I had older students, I probably would use the blog to have students critique writing or share their thoughts about topics discussed in class.

Michelle White said...

Posting a response to a blog felt much like posting a response to the discussion board in an online class. It was enjoyable to feel that I was contributing to an intellectual conversation, but the enjoyment was somewhat diminished by the reality that the “conversation” is often not a dialogue or true exchange of ideas; it is often merely a record of individuals thoughts that may or may not be read or understood or used to influence anyone’s ideas on a given subject. I have never blogged before, and I do not make a habit of following blogs. Thus, I found it very challenging to commit to logging in everyday to a blog and read to see if there was an interesting post I could respond to. It turns out that I am not the only person with this challenge, as most of the blogs I tried to use had infrequent posts and were not suitable to complete this assignment. I do not know if I will use blogging as a professional resource; however, I was very encouraged and intrigued by the content of the fischbowl blog, and I will continue to follow this blog. As a student and educator, I appreciate having access to the varied ideas and opinions of a large and diverse group of people. I do think blogging is a great instructional tool for reflective writing. I could consider using it as an educator, depending on the purpose of the assignment and how much time it would require students to access an acceptable blog. Like most things, I think the difference between blogging for personal versus professional reasons lies in the structure and tone of the response. Professional blogs contain more carefully crafted, essay like pieces. The structure and tone are much more formal, I think.
My blog response can be found at http://thefischbowl.blogspot.com/

Maryana K said...

Web Filtering Experience

Jonathan Turley’s Blog
http://jonathanturley.org/

My posts
1, February 27, 2011 at 1:37 pm
http://jonathanturley.org/2011/02/26/is-free-speech-really-free/#comments

1, March 2, 2011 at 9:32 pm
http://jonathanturley.org/2011/03/02/supreme-court-rules-in-favor-of-westboro-church/#comments

1, March 6, 2011 at 9:13 pm
http://jonathanturley.org/2011/03/06/criminalizing-prank-calls/#comments


This was my first time blogging, and I enjoyed sharing my opinions with other bloggers. Blogging is a simple online discussion. I had a bit of a difficult time finding a blog that I would be interested in and that is educational. Many blogs that I found interesting were limited on their comments and were infrequently updated. I settled on Professor Turley’s blog, who is a renowned scholar of constitutional law, because his blog is constantly updated with current event articles on various legal and political issues.

I found the articles posted on his blog extremely helpful in connecting U.S. History and Government curriculum to current events. Showing a direct correlation of the constitution and how its interpretation can affect my students’ daily lives promotes interest and great discussions in the classroom. The many and frequent comments posted on Professor Turley’s blog provide additional information and opinions on each article’s subject. If I choose to use a certain article as part of my lesson plan, I am well prepared for what opinions my students may express and how I can play the devil’s advocate because I have already read a diverse range of comments and discussions on the topic.

I definitely see myself continuing to use blogs as a professional resource and following Professor Turley’s blog. I would like to create a blog based on some of the articles posted on Professor Turley’s blog for my students where they can post their opinions on relevant articles and connect them to classwork. If all my students had laptops, this would be feasible as a warm-up where each student could express his/her opinion while also reading and responding to the comments of others. This would be time efficient, each student would have his or her opinion heard and the learning process could be recorded. Alternatively, since all my students do not have laptops in the classroom, this form of blogging (based on an article) can be used as a great homework assignment.

Teachers can use educational blogs just like any other professional can to further develop their skills through reading articles and participating in discussions via professional blogs. In contrast, people blog for personal interest as a hobby and for pleasure on various topics that are unrelated to their professional lives. The language and tone people use in professional blogs are very different from those used in a personal log, where the language is usually more casual, and the comments are less useful and sometimes incendiary. In either case the blogger has to be careful what he or she posts and under what name it is posted. Blogs are a public forum and professional blogging should not be mixed with personal interests if those personal interests are intended to be kept private.