Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Blogging Edumacationally

The new school year is fast approaching like a speeding subway train or a late 20th century space impact movie.

And now that I am thoroughly addicted to blogging, I would like to utilize blogging as an educational medium. I'm just not sure how. I could blog short summaries of the topics covered in each class. Or give homework assignments. Aside from that, though, I can't really think of anything else to use it for.

Anyone reading this have any ideas?

Btw, thanks to everyone who helped me out when my employment status was in limbo. Everything worked out fine in the end.


Blogger Neil Harris said...

I'd suggest blogging about topics mentioned in class. I don't know if you teach in a public school or day school/yeshiva setting. That might be an issue in terms of contact outside of school hours and "internet use issues". You don't want to come off too weird to students. lol

BTW, thanks for the link...מאָדערנישער איבערדאָקס very sweet!

8/31/2006 12:19 AM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

I teach in a Conservative yeshiva high school. Internet contact seems pretty common in my school, a number of teachers have instant messaging accounts so they can be available for students' questions. Of course, you can't really be available ALL the time...

no problem!

8/31/2006 12:25 AM  
Blogger Kyaroko said...

I'm sure that your loyal readers could help you with lesson plans. When I was teaching English in Japan, our discussion boards sounded something like "does anybody have any good lesson ideas for prepositions?". If nothing else, I learned that my ideas were much better than everybody elses'.

Also we want to hear about all the times your students smart off to you in class.

8/31/2006 12:36 AM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

heh, naaa if you want to hear about snarky teenager comments you have to hear them in person ;-) . unless they're really really funny. or i want to use them as an anecdote to tie a post to.

Anyway, i'm not looking for lesson plans, but ways to use this technology. Like for instance, blackboards can be used to record notes, or key words, or draw diagrams, or have students go up and solve problems. How can blogs be used for learning purposes?

8/31/2006 12:46 AM  
Blogger Knitter of shiny things said...

You might not be able to do something pre-planned, but eventually if you keep reading, some interesting discussion will come up somewhere in the Judeoblogosphere that relates to what you're doing, (even if somewhat tangentally) and you could direct your students there, and they can see what everyone else had to say, and possibly join in the discussion if you think they're intelligent enough.

Or have a class blog, and have a different student be responsible for posting every [arbitrarily determined interval in time.] Extra points if they can have cool html links emebedded in the text.

Though if your class is already discussion based, I'm not sure what the blog can add, besides the fact that everything they say is recorded on screen. And maybe people who are quiter in class could have more to say.

The advantage with the first approach is that you can call reading other people's blogs "preparing for class." ;-)

(And if I think of a better idea, I'll let you know.)

8/31/2006 10:22 AM  
Blogger Noyam said...


1. Have them read DovBear and find the spelling mistakes.

2. Have them read your blog, and use it to post assignments/discussion topics/parsha class.

3. Have each start their own blog, and impose a per-week minimum of posts as homework. Put the links on your blog.

4. Or, Make one day/segment blog day, and assign a blog for them to read a few days in advance and discuss the issues raised.

8/31/2006 10:43 AM  
Blogger Outoftown said...

For any homework reading they are expected to do, I would put up a short summary, and ask them to add their comments, questions, etc. It will give you an idea of whether they are doing the reading and what they are getting out of it.

Plus, for students, it is easier to discuss a homework reading assignment when the book can be open next to you, and you have time to think.

8/31/2006 3:03 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

Blogs are good for discussion... perhaps the short summary idea will help those students who aren't as accustomed to speaking up in class, or maybe didn't think of what they wanted to say in class. Plus, it'll be funny to see the class fisking each other. :)

8/31/2006 9:04 PM  
Blogger Lipman said...

Well, I'm not sure what blogging really adds. Maybe it's exciting to be able to interact directly with the author through comments and the like. Otherwise, you could just as well print out my blog articles and distribute them in class, with short explanations about the links if applicable.

9/01/2006 2:41 AM  
Blogger Jack's Shack said...

Addicted to blogging- there is help. Unfortunately I can't tell you what it might be.

9/03/2006 1:19 AM  
Blogger Knitter of shiny things said...

That's easy it's called "not having an internet connection." Or 3 day Yom Tov. Though I admit neither of these are permanent solutions, they at least get you away from it for a while...

9/03/2006 9:37 AM  
Blogger Neil Harris said...

Using a blog for a summary of class discussion would be cool. Also, depending on what subject(s) you teach, an outside-school forum might be good for tangent discussions where you're students can express more ideas when they feel like it.

9/03/2006 3:38 PM  
Blogger Simon Holloway said...

How about rewarding the students who perform well (or who improve drastically) with administrator rights? You could always monitor what they write, and take them away if necessary, but it could provide a nice incentive for students to make an effort in class, as well as open up the range of things that the blog would feature.

Just an idea...

9/04/2006 5:05 AM  
Blogger Tamara said...

Steg , there are tons of uses of blogs in the classroom. You might want to google the name "Bernie Dodge" and see some of the stuff. He is a phenomenal EdTech professor and quite involved in this medium.

9/06/2006 8:05 PM  

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