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What is Blogging?

This 3 minute video by Common Craft simply explains the phenomena of blogging:

Educational Value of Blogging

Making connections and taking ownership by more actively engaging in one's learning are key 21st century educational goals. Blogging is now a mainstay in our society, and blogging can play a very important role in creating a dynamic and rich learning environment. Darren Kruptowa, a mathematics teacher from Canada who also blogs about the shift in education and the results he's seeing in his classroom, recently provided the following Voicethread documentary on the value of blogging in the classroom:

In our PLP Consortium we have a "virtual room" dedicated to conversations about blogging. One post in particular may be helpful to our teachers as they consider Ideas for Using Blogs in the Classroom.

Blogging Tools

There are a number of different blogging tools, but we have now installed our own WordPress blog server here at Lovett. If you are interested in setting up a blog for a classroom or for individual students, please contact Laura Deisley (ext 1348) or ldeisley@lovett.org. Students will be given usernames that use the first, middle, last initial convention followed by "lovett" and their class year. For example, lwdlovett12 would be mine if I were graduating in the year 2012! Teachers and classroom usernames and passwords can be set up to your discretion.

Your Word Press Blog

For blog set up instructions, please see Lovett School Blogs.

Lovett Middle School Blogging Platform

The vision for blogging in the MS goes beyond a particular discipline, and it infuses more reading, writing, and critical thinking across the curriculum. Currently we are piloting a blogging practice in the some of the 8th grade English classes. We have set up a "mother blog" (LeeAnn Emerson's teacher blog) that links with the 75 individual student blogs across Emerson's four classrooms. Students have made a few initial posts in responses to prompts from Emerson, and we will launch a more intensive blogging practice into her winter/spring curriculum. Please find below links to Emerson's blog and sample student blog posts in response to her prompts:

8th Grade Classroom Blog Links:
Mrs. Emerson's Primary Blog (Eng)
Mrs. Emerson's Period 2
Mrs. Emerson's Period 4
Mrs. Emerson's Period 5
Mrs. Emerson's Period 7

7th Grade Classroom Blog Links:
Mrs. Sterne's Primary Blog (Eng) (with 4 class period links to 75 student blogs)
Mrs. Williams' Primary Blog (Eng) (with 4 class period links to 75 blogs)
Mrs. Darmo's Math Classroom Blog (with 4 class period links--students as authors/scribes on classroom blog)

Class Handouts:

Writing in a Social Context
Blog Setup
Blog Post Categories
Blog Organization
English 8 Blogging Rubric
Del.icio.us: What It Is, How to Add Tags
How To Add Hyperlinks
Blogging the Experience: Blog Set Up and Introduction for 7th Grade

Lovett Upper School Classroom Blogs

Mr. Newman's 9th Grade English Classroom
The OnLion (the web den of Lovett's student newspaper)
Mr. Peebles' People of the Book

Examples of Blogs Outside of Lovett

Lower School Level
2nd Grade Classroom (Michigan)

Middle School Level
Trinity 6th Grade Teachers and Students
GAC 6th Grade Language Arts Classroom (Julia Osteen)
Paul Allison's Elgg Wiki Collection
5th Grade World Traveler Classroom Blog
Laura Stockman: 25 Days to Make a Difference

Upper School Level
Darren Kuropatwa's students(wiki with scribe hall of fame--math classroom,US and AP)
Students 2.0 (voluntary blogging by select students around the world)

Articles/Resources on Blogging in Education

Extensive Research Wiki on Blogs for a 6th Grade Classroom (Willy Kjellstrom-Trinity School)
The Importance of "Waiting" (Comment from Bud Hunt on Teacher's Blog)


What about assessment? Check out these blog posts (thanks to SNB)

Networked Learning and Assessment: Konrad Glogowki does a fabulous job of outlining his excellent approach in a grade 8 classroom in this podcast for the K12Online Conference. Absolutely worth a listen! (Click on the Audio Track only or watch the presentation video.)

Comments from Darren Kruptowa (classroom teacher and edublogger) in the PLP Ning Forum Discussion 2/8/08:

For what it's worth, I'd suggest not getting too granular about assessing your students blog work; it's more of a process thing. Keep it real simple, if you do it you get a mark, if you don't you don't. Also, don't feel like you have to "assess", in the sense of generating a numeric grade, every contribution your students make to the blog.

I recently read an interesting research article by Dylan Williams (of Black and Williams fame; Inside the Black Box) called Keeping Learning on Track: Formative assessment and the regulation .... Williams showed that, in math, students assessed using comments pointing to the steps required for improvement can result in improved standards test results of up to 30%. Students assessed using traditional grades, or traditional grade with comments, see no such improvement, and perhaps, a decline in their learning.

Over in Scotland they've put together a wonderful collection of assessment resources where they make the distinction between three kinds of assessment:

Assessment of Learning (Assigning grades; traditional assessment.)

Assessment for Learning (Formative assessment, but there's much more to this idea than just that.)

Assessment as Learning (Students engaged in a reflective process to guide their learning along the paths they need to travel to improve the quality of the work they produce. This is the toughest one to do but has the greatest value (bang for the buck) in terms of student's learning.)

You can find the Scotland site and some of my thinking and reading about all this archived on my blog in a post called Learning Conversations: Assessment As Learning.