Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Blogging: Connecting in the 21st Century

"I do not want to get ideas and resources from others," said no teacher ever.  Pinterest has become the 'go to' for many for resources and ideas to use in the classroom.  But if one really pays attention, these ideas, most often than not, come from teacher or educational blogs.

Blogs are online conversations, posts, based on a particular topic.  Usually, the blogs showcased through Pinterest, are created by classroom teachers sharing ideas and resources in an informal, coversational style,  much like this blog post now.  Other blog posts, are presented as more of a topic centered, information and strategy-sharing opportunity by organizations, developed to provide pedagogical strategies for teachers.  Edutopia is one such example.  Regardless of the reasons, following blogs offers a teacher the opportunity to stay up to date on latest and newest strategies and resources being used by others, globally.  @Cybraryman, Jerry Blumengarten, offers a comprehensive lists of blogs dedicated to promoting education and educational practices.

Blogs can also be used to showcase events happening in schools.  Newsletters, information from administrators and principals, as well as best practices and student portfolios are all common uses for blogs. (Principal's Page and TEAMingUp4Tech).  e-Portfolios are becoming the best option for students to track their learning.  Districts, promoting 21st century practices, are having students begin to create their online portfolios in kindergarten.  These portfolios are updated throughout their educational experience.  What an opportunity to have a digital record of student learning and growth through the years.

Now let's switch gears, and talk about authentic writing opportunities for our students.  Whether in kindergarten or high school, teachers are looking for ways to make writing authentic for their students.  What better way to have students write to a real audience?  Blogging offers students an opportunity to write, for specific purposes, to teachers, classmates, and others globally.  Quadblogging allows students and classrooms to connect with other classrooms to share ideas and learning through blogging.  Isn't connecting one of the 4Cs of 21st Century skills and learning?

Still not sure?  Here is a list of resources to help you get started:
What are some ways you could use blogs?  Your students?

Ready to get started?  Here are a few resources to help you create your first blog!  Happy Blogging!

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