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To blog or nor to blog?

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Started by ainsley massarotto 24 May 2011 5:38pm () Replies (5)

I've been having a discussion with some friends (both teachers and non-teachers) about whether blogging is considered homework. Some argued that it is just mucking around on the computer, there is no need to write correctly and it may be helping to form bad habits. Others argued that least their kids are writing and reading, no matter the quality. I'm just not sure



  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 26 May 2011 2:54pm ()

    Hi Ainsley, good question. I hear two challenges to unpack here.

    1.    Can children learn from homework tasks
    2.    ‘through’ the use of blogs?

    Maybe unpacking the purpose or intentions of homework is one idea. For example, are the homework tasks consolidating the concepts, key competencies or key ideas of the day/week? Is homework being used as a way to reinforce new learning from school at home? Is homework being set - to guide new learning at home and shared at school? If so, how can this be done through blogging?

    Blogging itself is the vehicle or tool and a good one for making authentic connections between home and school (aligns with one of the ICT PD national goals). So if blogging is the platform or tool to communicate to a wider audience, then ideally it’s not the goal itself, but part of a bigger learning intention.

    Blogging processes such as typing text, adding comments, images and video can easily be learned and processes for appropriate use can be taught. Just like rules apply for letter writing, phone etiquette, email exchanges and informal dialogue, similar rules can be applied for blogging. I’m not saying what these are specifically, these can be decided in-line with the purpose for using the blogs in the first place.

    For example: One class may have a blog that is designed to, “Collect and collate our thoughts and invite feedback to build on our ideas for story writing. We are in the early stages of pulling ideas together to craft new work. This is in draft form, so expect to see spelling and other superficial errors. It is a work in progress, we intend to publish in the form of…” while another class may have stipulated their blog was more for publishing or celebrating their best work - like a mini e-portfolio where parents and caregivers are invited to make comments about their week at school.

    So, once the purpose of homework is clear and the ‘rules’ or protocols for the blog defined – the potential for learning between home and school is huge.

    Emma Watts from the Whakatu cluster has started a great discussion thread on Community comments on Blogs @ /mod/threaded_forums/topicposts.php?topic=42526&group_guid=27128

    Jill Hammonds has set up a wiki explaining how to set up and write blogs and responding to feedback. http://blogalong.wikispaces.com/

    Some examples of schools blogging can be found @ http://www.netvibes.com/homegroups#Classroom_Samples

    Some helpful resources on blogging as well as NetSafe guidelines can be found @ /pg/resources/tessa.gray/read/54913/blogging-in-the-classroom

    Hope this helps and doesn't confuse too much

    Tess Smile

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 07 Jun 2011 8:24pm ()

    Hi Maria, that sounds so cool. I love how teachers and educators can ask the questions and have our say - in a safe space to do this. What's exciting about this environment, is being able to share thoughts/experiences, as well as gain an insight or two from others. If one person is thinking something, it's more than likely - many others are too.

    It's also rewarding to hear how teachers are peer-mentoring others in similar situations. 

    I'd love to hear about the 'next steps' too Smile

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