Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Inspiration for today's post:
Content Delivery in the 'Blogosphere.' Dr Richard E. Ferdig and Kaye D. Trammell, University of Florida, T.H.E Journal Online, 2004.

I thought it was time for a blog check-up to compare my actions with those recommended by Kaye Trammel and our very own Dr. Ferdig. I know our group has referenced the article previously, but the information is pertinent for all of us. In the article, Ferdig and Trammel offer some tips to help a blogger integrate the blog into their classroom.

1. "Consider blogging yourself" (p.2).

Hooray for Instructional Computing! We are all currently experimenting with the blog, which allows us to know the technology before passing it on to students, who are, ironically, likely to pick it up faster than any one of us.

2. "Spend time visiting other classroom blogs" (p.3).

This is undoubtedly one of the best ways to gather ideas for your own blog. There are hundreds of possibilities for blogs, as my own research has shown. Although I have looked at various classroom blogs, there is still work to be done. In order to get a comprehensive outlook, it is crucial that I continue to explore classroom blogs. Trammel and Ferdig recommend, a site that I have yet to consider.

3. "Model blogging for your students" (p.3)

Ferdig and Trammel offer the following suggestion when beginning a classroom blog adventure:
"Spend several sessions introducing the concept of blogging, how it is done, why it is done, showing good and bad blogs, etc. Then, provide a set of strict rules for blogging such as frequency, length of posts, number of hyperlinks and staying on topic" (2004, p.3)

I'm the type of person to just jump right into things, so I am appreciative of this suggestion. When the time comes to introduce the blog, it is important that I remember not to throw the kids into the deep-end without their floaties. Similar to classroom management, a good example of routine often helps students stay on target.

4. "Make the blogs more public" (p.3).

Ferdig and Trammel suggest that a connection with the community on the outside of the blog might lead to an increased level of thoughtfulness by students when posting. Instead of pounding the keys to finish and be done with it, students take more time to explore their minds, their writing, and their creativity all because someone is watching.

5. "Explain the 'reach' of blogs to students" (p.3).

You can't use the blog to tell off a friend and then go back the next day to edit your message because you've made up. The damage may have already been done. In the classroom, it is important to show students that their writing, as edit-friendly as the blog may be, is permanent and damage may be irreversible. This is another tip to break out in the early introduction of my classroom blog.

All in all, I'm on my way. The purpose for this post was to check myself before I wreck myself, if you know what I mean. If you're going to put so much time and effort into something, you should make sure you're going about it the right way. I feel confident in my progress thus far, but I realize there's a lot left to be done and the true test comes in August when my class blog will finally begin to shake and bake.


Ann V. said...


I was curious as to the answer about adding your own blog to an RSS feed so I checked back on that post and see you've been visited by another "outsider"! At least I think he is, perhaps not to you.

I was wondering about the suggestion that you mandate a number of times to post, suggest a length of the post, a number of hyperlinks, etc. I know there's been discussion in other classes about whether it's a good idea to give students this amount of "structure" or if "true" communication will more likely occur with a looser leash. I know you teach elementary students and am sure that at this level more structure is necessary.

I also just got done posting on Richard's blog (for the 2nd time...and it better work this time!) about needing support and structure. I'm a structure gal and know that I prefer it. However, I also know that there are valid arguments out there for not being so "rigid" in the requirements.

I found this blog which discusses the topic (although at the college level and from a couple years ago) and thought it offered some interesting discussion-

I'm curious to know what others think.


Crystal Crozier said...

Laine, what a very intellectual professor we have! :-)

I found your points 4 and 5 very valid, especially to the elementary school realm.

4. "Make the blogs more public" (p.3).

My kids love to get on the internet. They love when there picture makes in on the school's home page or my web site. I think they would also love to have their work out there so that everyone could see (I bet they'd like a wiki too. LOL.) I can only imagine that if we told them there work was going to be seen by thousands of people, they would take more time.

Besides elementary school students, this point also relates to this class, your blog in particuliar. Your blog is becoming known in cyber space. This has created wonderful learning opportunities that a password protected blog would not.

5. "Explain the 'reach' of blogs to students" (p.3).

This is also very important for our age of students. They can get mad at each other at the drop of a hat, only to be best friends again tomorrow, so if they have trashed someone in a blog, the damage might make it harder to reconcile.

On another note, I did find this resource for you:
060831081120/index.htm. It says it is a webquest, but I don't see where it is actually that; however, it does seem like a good way to introduce your students to blogging, and I am all about not having to reinvent the wheel.