Educational Blogging

I’m not sure that my opinion of educational blogging has changed all that much after having read this post.  I still think it is an outstanding tool to add to a repertoire that will aid immensely in all areas of personal responses.  An excellent example of this would be a year-end professional reflection.  If concerns related to privacy issues could be mitigated, this could present an opportunity to open up greater lines of communication amongst all levels of the educational system.  I work in a school with a large staff.  As our profession is in a constant state of flux and we don’t know what may happen from one hour to the next, it is unrealistic to expect an administer to have the time to read over 75+ lengthy reflections, come up with some sort of relevant guidance, and then block off an entire week to sit down with each teacher for a face to face that usually turns into a chat about how things are going or how the football team/drama production/etc. is shaping up for next year.

Obviously people become irritated when they feel their time is wasted or that they are being made to jump through hoops.  By using a blog or some other sort of electronic medium, administrators will possess the means to respond to each of the reflections without the time constraints of a face to face meeting.  There will undoubtedly be many staff members who would still prefer a face to face meeting to discuss certain issues or concerns they may have, and that is fine, but for those who don’t need the personal contact, this will both save time and negate feelings of not being heard.

In terms of classroom use, I think this presents numerous opportunities to allow students to connect with teachers, peers and even other students they may or may not already know.  The most obvious example that comes to mind would be using blogging as a journaling tool.  In my English classes, students are constantly asked to record their thoughts pertaining to certain issues, texts, etc. and it is a constant battle to respond to these in a timely manner.  Blogging would be an outstanding means of bolstering this communication and also minimizing the pile of papers sitting on a desk! 

I teach predominantly Core French classes and I have been trying to set up an online penpal type of situation with a high school in Québec.  Originally I had thought that emails would be the method of communication, but I now believe that blogging may be more of a valuable experience.  Rather than forcing students to write to one person who they may or may not share common interests with, blogging would allow students to create their own networks and reach out to those who they may share something in common with.  We’ll see how it goes!

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