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Getting Started | Blogging | Microblogging | Wikispaces Classroom
This session will focus on ways to use online writing resources to increase engagement in writing. The session will help participants uncover free online blogging, microblogging, and wiki resources. Participants will gain how-to as well as why-to information with regard to using digital resources for writing.

Getting Started

Opening Reading
1 - online discussion
2 - online discussion
3 - online discussion

Blogging

K-W-L
10 Ways to Motivate Students to Blog

What?

Blog is a shortened word for weblog and can be described as an online diary or journal. When describing blogging to teachers and students, I explain blog posts to be the opinions and/or reflections of the writer. Generally, blog posts reference other posts or online resources by linking back. Readers of a blog post are invited to respond by commenting.

Why to?

Blogging permits the author to share his/her point of view with a wide audience. Blogging is writing! When an author writes, the author is forced to think more carefully about the content of the postings. This reflection is often missing in educational activities in the rush to get through material. Explore Blogging & 20 Reasons Students Should Blog
  • Reflect, Write, Tell
  • KWL
  • Exit Slip
  • Journal
  • Learning Logs
  • Reflection Questions
  • The Important Thing
  • ePortfolio

How to?

Locate an online service and set up a blog. See below for some options. An advanced user may prefer to contact a host site to host a blog to have more control over setup and ads.

Examples

Blog_image.pngDigital Blogging Resources

  • Kidblog


    Kidblog.org is designed for elementary and middle school teachers who want to provide each student with their own, unique blog. Kidblog's simple, yet powerful tools allow students to publish posts and participate in discussions within a secure classroom blogging community. Teachers maintain complete control over student blogs.
  • Weebly
    Easily create a classroom website & blog, manage your students' accounts, accept homework assignments online, and keep parents up to date.
  • Wordpress


    WordPress is a state-of-the-art semantic personal publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability. Wordpress offers free blogs and allows for multiple contributors to a single blog. The wordpress blog about classroom blogs.
  • Edublogs


    Edublogs is a blogging service based on Wordpress, that offers free blogs, allows for multiple contributors and even creation of student blogs under a teacher blog. Edublogs offers many themes and is very customizable. Edublogs recently began inserting in-line advertisements in blogs that are not Edublogs Supporters ($25). School Districts can purchase an Edublogs Campus account to allow for greater control and customization.

Assessment



Microblogging


What?

The posting of very short entries or updates on a blog or social networking site, often via a cell phone. Adding a #hashtag (a word or a phrase prefixed with the # symbol). Hashtags provide a means of grouping microblogging messages, since one can search for the hashtag and get the set of messages that contain it.

Why to?

Microblogging can be used to offer a backchannel forum during live classes, to capture concise summaries or responses, or to build online community around a topic. Learning teams and project-based activities could benefit from the collaborative opportunities offered by microblogging resources. Study groups can offer multiple points of view on a topic, conduct research from different library locations, or send a virtual shout-out to colleagues about a discovery or the results of an experiment. Microblogging fosters communication for students that seems more natural and enjoyable and could inspire them in new ways!

How to?

Research microblogging options and brainstorm a writing use. See below for some options. Be sure to investigate the resource within your district to verify access through the school filtering program.

Digital Microblogging Resources



Wikispaces Classroom


What?

Wikis are webpages that can be viewed and modified by anyone with a Web browser and Internet access. Wikispaces Classroom is a social writing platform for education. It is easy to create a classroom workspace where you and your students can communicate and work on writing projects alone or in teams. Embedded assessment tools give you the power to measure student contribution and engagement in real-time.

Why to?

Wikis support asynchronous communication and group collaboration online. The simplicity of use gives students direct access to their content, which is crucial in group editing or other collaborative activities.

How to?

Research more about Wikispaces Classroom and set up a class to get started. Add a few pretend students and try it out with an idea for use in the classroom. Introduce the use of Wikispaces Classroom early in the school year, so students can help you make sense of what works best in the classroom.

Digital Wiki Resources



Digital Writing Resources

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