Friday, February 17, 2006

Great Day for Classroom Blogging

I had one of the better experiences I've had as a teacher this past Tuesday at the eTech Ohio State Technology Conference in Columbus. Five of my students did an amazing job displaying the work they have been doing with blogs in the classroom. They were bombarded with questions from educators and few of those educators left the display without complimenting the kids' knowledge of the technology.

In the afternoon, I presented what I would call a very successful session to about 60 educators called Blogging Across the Curriculum (see the slideshow). It was a mixed crowd--some folks looking to get started some veterans looking for ideas. I was pleased to find out that there were quite a few administrators and tech leaders who were there to find out how to get their teachers blogging.

Unfortunately, the undercurrent of fear that has been written about throughout the blogosphere lately kept coming up. I fielded numerous questions about cyberbullying, inappropriate posts from students, and privacy issues. I responded by saying that that I haven't had to worry about these problems yet, but I am more than willing to take the risk because I feel that blogs are an extraordinary tool for increasing student achievement motivation in the classroom. I wish I had said more about how our students are already aware of what is right and what is wrong in a school setting and they should know better. Furthermore, having a strict blogging policy in place would put it in writing for those who don't.

I'm not so happy about missing Alan November's presentation that morning. He was on when I came in the door and I didn't get to hear a word of what he had to say. With the way the day turned out, I think I'll survive.

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Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your slide show -- wish I had been there. Sounds like it was a great presentation. ;-)

World Geography Teacher said...

I have also started using blogs in my 9th grade social studies classes. My kids have had to create a blog page that is school appropiate. I am using it to teach about what is the right information for their personal blog pages and to get them to think about what they are learning in their classes and how it is relevant to them and how it makes them feel.

Cara said...

I am a pre-service elementary teacher at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, and I am so interested in what your doing with technology in schools. I wrote about your blog in mine for a technology class we are taking right now. Feel free to check it out!