Monday, July 9, 2007

Blogging in the classroom

I did a project last year on threaded discussion groups. I read an article about it in The Journal of Adolescent Literacy. It sounded like it would be very motivating for students, but I had no idea how to actually implement it. At the end of this last school year my students were participating in lit. circles. I thought it would have been great if they could have discussed the books they were reading with their friends in other classes. Next year I'd like to set up a blog for all of my students to participate in, I don't know how to set up the list of participants though. I think it was in the settings menu, I'll have to play with it some more.
I agree with the IKids article. Our students are so use to having all kinds of technology at their disposal, they have a hard time funcitoning without it. I went to several workshops for special ed. this past year and they all recommended letting LD and ADD students use alpha smarts or a computer to do their writing. I saw a big difference in the content of my students' writing when I finally started giving them the option of using the alpha smarts. I think blooging would be even better because they would have a bigger audience for their repsonses and they would be more motivated to make sure their writing made sense.


Liz Kolb said...

Hi Mary
I'm pleased you are thinking of using blogs in your own teaching and willing to engage in our exploration of these new tools. I like your idea of creating the literacy circles in a digital format. What a wonderful point you made about technology and students with special needs. When I was teaching social studies I also noticed a rise in engagement and quality from my special needs students when they were using the alpha smarts. Sometimes I believe technology can really motivate (if not enhance) unmotivated students. One example that comes to my mind is when I received a grant for new wireless laptops in my building, I let the students in the remedial classes "test" them out first (rather than giving them to the advanced students). It was amazing how excited and engaged they were. In addition they took really good care of the equipment.

Susan said...

Your ideas sound really exciting! Your experiences and thoughts, along with the information presented in the Kajder & Bull article, are making me think about different approaches to writing for my students!