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 http://www.schoolblogs.com/, 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.