Blogging

Most recently this blog was recognized for its content related to teaching and education by the organization Online Degrees http://www.onlinedegrees.org/top-100-classroom-blogs/ . I begin blogging 4 years ago as an attempt to engage students in the fast-paced world of technology. Primarily, I used blogging to pose questions for students in my history classes. Usually these questions were content related and required a short response. Soon I found that students would rather sit in front of a computer and type responses than write out similar responses on paper. I also found that I could eliminate cheating by requiring these responses on my blog as they were time-stamped and students could not congregate in large groups before school to copy each others work. Coincidentally enough students took more time responding and the quality of their answers seemed to improve.

My blogging evolved to adding online quizzes, class videos and student-produced podcasts. Each of my classes had a specific blog to address the content being taught in the class, although this required a considerable time investment as I teach seven classes. Typically I use this blog to post thematic information about education and my classes. I also utilize it to post recorded Smartboard lessons so that students can access topics that may have not been understood in class.

This venture has been influenced by the many educators who take the time to create blogs for their students and who also allow for students to maintain their own blogs. It is a step out of the box for many, but ultimately so many of our students are wired for technology use that it only makes sense tap into their comfort zone to engage them. So for those of you who are on the fence, jump off and join us.