Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Why Blog?

After a recent on-line conference with Dean Shareski, I subcribed to his and a few other presenters blogs. One of the interesting articles I read was about integrating technology into the classroom for the wrong purposes. Using technology for the sake of using technology is a discredit to the education system.

I agree fully with this idea and I am guilty of it. This year I became a member of the Living Sky School Division In-Tech's and since then have dove head first into the uses of technology in both my pesonal life and professional life. I started with waht turned out to be a big mistake. I had my classes blog, basically for the sake of blogging. And as it is stated time and time again by those wiser than me, this does not work.

Shortly after this blunder, I attented the K-12 On-line conference and was caught by Konrad Glogowski's view of blogging in the classroom and more specifically how to assess and evaluate the blogs, making this a littel more relevant to my curricula. After looking at Konrads' blog, I was inspired.

I have now developed a blogging project that is based on the portfolio model. My ELA 10A class chooses a topic under the umbrella "The Unknown" and do on-line and off-line research on that topic. The receive 1/2 hour per week and are required to blog about the research. In those blogs, I have my students complete certain grammatical and writing objectives as an application assessment. Again this forces the relevant issue. At the end of the project they write a persuasive essay proving their topic to be real or a hoax and present a formal presentation using many of the Web 2.o tools I have taught them in the first ten minutes of each blogging class.

I once had a collegue say, "Blogging is professional suicide." I could not disagree more. In this adventure I am seeing more interest, self learning and shared learning than in any of my classroom teaching. I am looking forward to the presentations and seeing how their writing skills grow through their blogs.

Next step, global project. I would like to take this globaly and get into podcasting and video podcasting.

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