I recently heard some comments from teachers about not wanting to blog because they didn’t want to have to do it all year. “It’s such a long commitment.” Today, we break that barrier as well.

Many people (small businesses especially) use the free blog as their web presence. It’s their home page. Maintaining a home page does require some commitment. But creative teachers often use tools for new purposes or bend the rules for old tools. For the blog, we can make it fit our needs for product creation, assessment ability,  and authentic communication between teacher and student. But how many of us have a project or unit that goes on all year? Very few.

The short-term project blog can be a great asset. A teacher can set up the blog for the classroom as a project-based blog. Use it for the two week unit on butterflies and then give it a rest. Later, during our weather unit, use it to track and discuss weather systems. Towards the end of the year, start a discussion on how they intend to use what they have learned over the year. Perhaps the last project you start with them could carryover through the summer.

The big idea is that you don’t resist using a wall chart tablet because you don’t want to ‘have to’ fill out all the pages. You use what you want and then pull it out when you need it again later. The blog can be your record of a unit and the student input can help with assessing their mastery of the material. Using inserted media, the teacher can put the unit’s KWL online and end with review material gather throughout the unit. What a great tool for the over-absent student. When the unit is over, post a “Gone Fish’n” sign until you have another unit that would work well with this learning tool.

Think about the purpose of the blog in the classroom. It’s a tool that facilitates communication, helps students practice technology skills needed for graduation, and provides an archive of work done in the classroom. Using the classroom blog for a while several times a year at least could benefit both teacher and student.

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