About Me

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

To Blog, or Not to Blog?

In my opinion, technology can be used to effectively improve communication and learning in the classroom. As learned throughout my studies at the Graduate School of Education, communication is an integral part of the learning process. In order for students to learn, they need to be able to receive the information their teacher is transmitting to them. However, when in a classroom, it is sometimes difficult for students to keep up with what their teacher is saying or telling them. Other times, students become bored with the same, mundane routines day in and day out. While student teaching, I learned that one of my greatest strengths was my knowledge background in technology. I was able to incorporate variety in the classroom, and the students really gained a lot from those experiences. Now that I am taking the course Intro to Teaching with Digital Tools, I am learning more and more about how to use technology efficiently in the classroom.

Blogs are a great collaborative and reflective tool to use in the classroom. Students can use blogs as a place to reflect on what they have learned and even demonstrate their level of understanding pertaining to a particular topic. Blogs can better serve teachers when it comes to the management and organization aspect of the classroom. Teachers can post information for students and gain feedback from students in an organized and efficient way. Not only are these online tools easy to manage for both students and teachers, but they are also accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. Moreover, blogs can provide students with the opportunity to develop the 21st century skills needed to become successful in the world. Not only are students collaborating and communicating with other individuals outside of the classroom domain, but they are also utilizing their creativity and critical thinking skills when developing their own blogs, and exerting their independence.

In particular, teachers can use blogs to build on their students’ writing and analytical skills. For example, suppose a teacher decides to conduct a social studies lesson on Christopher Columbus prior to celebrating Columbus Day. Following the lesson, students can go online over the weekend break to share their thoughts on the holiday. Using the blog, students can engage in a debate about whether or not they believe Columbus Day should remain a holiday. Students can read what their classmates have to say, and then respond based on their opinions from the lesson they learned in class. Not only is blogging a great way to get students engaged in this type of homework assignment, but it also improves writing skills, and illustrates a student’s comprehension and analytical skills.

Essentially, blogs provide a number of educational opportunities for students. Because of current technologies like blogging, the definition of literacy has significantly evolved. Students are no longer restricted to traditional in-class reading and writing routines that leave them feeling disengaged and unmotivated. As stated by Prensky (2001), students in today’s society “have little patience for lectures, step-by-step logic, and ‘tell-test’ instruction” (p. 3). Today’s generation of students are growing up in a completely digital world where they are constantly interacting with the Internet outside of school. Blogging allows students to share their opinions and ideas outside of the class while still reinforcing skills learned within school. Personally, I believe that blogging is an effective way to augment learning because it gives students a chance to demonstrate so many skills while engaging in the learning process.


  1. Hi Tee!

    I love the title of your blog! You make excellent arguments for the use of blogs in the classroom. I love the Shakespeare cartoon--I wonder what he would have done with blogs! That is a great video too--I always like to hear students voice their ideas about education and technology. Sometimes I feel like their thoughts and ideas are too often left out of the conversation about how schools can improve on educational practices. These types of videos are very powerful when shared with teachers in a Professional Learning Community and can do a lot to make teachers become more reflective about how they can improve their own teaching practices. Sometimes I feel that teachers get defensive when new ideas are presented. New ideas are not a form of criticism--all teachers need to realize that classroom teaching can not be static. We need to evolve too. Can't wait to read more of your blog...


  2. Hi Tee!

    I really liked looking around your blog. It looks like you had a lot of fun creating it. You mentioned one of your strengths going into student teaching was your knowledge background of technology. I am curious on how you became familiar with different technologies. Was it because you explored a lot of different things on your own? Did you have someone in particular who also had a strong background in technology who introduced you to different tools? Did you learn in school?

    I like your idea about Columbus Day and having students debate about the need to celebrate Columbus Day after they engage in a lesson about Columbus Day in school. It is a way for students to continue the lesson outside of the classroom. Your blog got me thinking about using blogging as a pre-assessment tool as well. Students could share what they know about Columbus Day and their thoughts on the holiday before the lesson and then compare their thoughts after the lesson. I feel as though the list of benefits in blogging continues to grow as more ideas start to float around. You mentioned students in today's society have little patience for lecturing and quite frankly I am the same way. If teachers become willing to evolve with society, education as a whole is on the brink of some wonderful changes.


  3. Hey Tee,

    I found it interesting that you mentioned the Christopher Columbus thing. Students often forget what those days off are even for. In fact, most students do not even know the reasons for the day. I remember in high school loving Memorial Day Weeekend, because it meant going down the shore and having off on Monday. However, it would be beneficial for students to "stay connected" by simply posting something over the weekend of what they have seen on TV or heard about the actual basis for the holiday. This would give the students the opportunity to relate the time off to their own life, yet also link it up to school and education. The posts can be as simple as taking a picture of the local parade, or showing that they made flags with their families, etc. I like the idea that you pose a lot!

  4. Hey Tee,

    I absolutely love your blog! It's so cute and adorable and witty and, well, you! I really like the pictures you incorporated and how you talked about the incorporation of technology. Like you, my technology background was important in my student teaching placement. My second place had its own SmartBoard and my teacher didn't use it at all and didn't really know how to use it. The first time I used it the students said "Mr. D has a SmartBoard? Was it there the whole time?" The kids had a lot of fun with it and I really was able to explore and use the SmartBoard in a lot of my lessons.

    I can't wait to see what else you end up posting on here! Keep up the great blogging :)

  5. Hi, Tee!

    I have to agree with everyone so far- your blog is great! I really love the style, too, and how you’ve incorporated your photos and video. I came across that video on YouTube as well and I really love what the students had to say. Like Christina, I have to say that I also get really antsy when I’m in class sometimes because I would like to be able to use technology a lot more in my education. That is why this class has been ideal, though! I was just wondering what ways you used technology when you were in your middle school math placement? If you have any good lesson plans or ideas I’d really love to hear them! If you want you can check out my blog at Santacross.tumblr.com and maybe share the wealth because I’d really appreciate it! I’m going to be teaching 7th grade math soon and I think you’re someone that can really inspire me and make me think about some cool activities! Have a good one!