Welcome to Module 1!
Week 1 is your Introduction to this project, and therefore we’re exploring blogs. You are currently reading a blog, and this blog will serve as the online home of our professional development project.
Here are your tasks for the next two weeks. Details follow.
1) Register for a WordPress account
2) Learn about blogging
3) Choose two of the following three tools to explore
4) Comment on this post regarding one of those tools
Step 1: Registering for a WordPress account
Register. This account will allow you to comment on these blog posts. You may also want to use your WordPress blog later on, either as an individual blog or as a place to share with your students.
Step 2: What is blogging?
Watch this video, Blogs in Plain English
Using blogs in the classroom
Check out the following blogs for examples of how some teachers are using this tool in the classroom.
- Ms. Cassidy’s Classroom Blog (1st grade)
- Huzzah! (6th grade)
- Be sure to see students’ blogs in the right-hand column
- Once Upon a Teaching Blog (3rd grade)
- Mr. C’s Class Blog (6th grade)
- Miss McMillan’s Blog (7th grade)
- Science Fix (middle school science)
Step 3: Choose two of the following three tools to explore
Register for one additional account (since you already registered for WordPress).
Here are some ideas for exploring the blogs you choose. You do not need to do all of these things, but do try to spend at least 30 minutes exploring each blogging platform.
- Write a sample blog post on the WordPress blog that you set up when you created your account. You might write about something you heard about in the news that you think your students would like to discuss, a thought about the book you’re reading in class, or a reflection on a recent project that your students worked on
- Play around with the theme of your blog
- Look at the blog’s settings
- If available, look at the classroom management tools of the blog
- Change your profile picture
- Edit the “about” page of your blog
WordPress. You are using a WordPress blog right now. WordPress is not strictly for educational purposes. It is free, but you can upgrade your services. It offers numerous themes. It does not offer classroom management tools, and therefore may be best for single-user blogs. For more info on WordPress, click here (video).
Kidblog. Built specifically for classroom use. Allows you to create classes and users. More control over what students can and cannot do. Cannot be customized very much. Lots of privacy settings; easy to “lock down.” May be best for younger students. For more info, click here.
Edublogs. Extremely similar to Kidblog, but with more options and features. May be more complicated to use, but may be more appealing to older students. For more info, click here (be sure to watch the video).
Step 4: Please comment on this post with your thoughts about ONE of the tools you explored. Make sure you’re logged into WordPress before you comment.
Some sample questions:
- Do you think you would use this tool in the classroom? Why or why not?
- What do you like best about this tool?
- What do you like least?
- What support do you think you would need in using it?
- Do you have any ideas about how you might use this tool with your students? Or on your own?