Saturday, October 23, 2010

Class Blogging as a Computing Activity

Image © 2010 M.Agbowo
Blogging is a Web 2.0 tool, meaning users can contribute to online discourse without knowing how to manually code (WYSIWYG-What You See Is What You Get). I had students create their own and write in wikis daily as a computing activity for the following reasons:
  • technology exercise: to wrestle with setting up the blog as a means of reading and following directions, and the experience of setting up an online account
  • writing exercise: students can always more time for language production and idea generation, so blogs allow a space for free writing
  • communication exercise: blogs allow students to read and comment on other student's thoughts, and collaborate on ideas, all remotely, which is a 21st century skill
All in all, except for a few students who just missed the idea, I am satisfied that students understood a bit of technology and a lot of writing and idea generation.

We started off with Edublogs, which seemed so simple. Well, we really started off with trying to sign up for Google's Blogger and some of the other common blogs, but students were not allowed due to their correct years of birth. And some students did not have e-mail accounts so there was no possibility. Edublogs was to accommodate students without e-mail accounts, but there were networking issues where we could not always access the site.

Though Edublogs did not work out for us at this time, the site is very robust in student and class blogging, with lots of ideas and resources for the innovative teacher, and a blogging contest for students. In fact, I ran across a 9-step how-to guide for class blogging.

Some students started blogs through Webs, TypePad (not sure about age restriction), WordPress (Edublogs is the education version of WordPress; not sure about age restriction), and students with existing e-mail accounts were able to create Blogger blogs.

After some research I ran across KidBlog, which seems promising, because everyone is linked through a class page, where I or each student can create student accounts and a list of blogs is generated for the class. More to come on this :)

    1 comment:

    1. Primer for older students