Application 4: Online Learning in K-12 Schools Podcast

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ideas for using blogs in the classroom 11/11/09

One idea I have for using blogs in the classroom is for website evaluation. My lesson would involve giving the students a website address that they would visit. Using a predetermined rubric, they would assess different aspects of the website such as educational value, visual appeal, accuracy, and so on. Then the students would post their findings on a blog. The next step in the lesson would require the students to choose two of the websites their classmates evaluated and post their own comments about those websites.

According to Will Richardson, "the use of Weblogs can enhance the development of expertise in a particular subject." The ability to assess websites for their usefulness and value is an important skill that students need to acquire due to the increasing demand for research on the Internet. I believe by participating in this lesson students will be "creating a database of learning that she can continue to build on."

Richardson, W. (2006). Blogs, wiks, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.


  1. Jody,

    This seems like a great idea. I think that you can also adapt it to let kids explore their own discoveries and assess the validity of the information that they find.

    How might you adapt this activity to meet the needs of different learners? I am wary about what might happen if a student that struggles with their writing skills has to showcase their thoughts online for all to see. Kathy Martin suggested that the students attempt to rise to the challenge when they are writing on blogs (Laureate, 2007), but what do we do about differentiation and privacy?

    Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2007). Understanding the Impact of Technology on Education, Work, and Society [Motion picture]. Teacher as professional. Baltimore.

  2. Jody,

    How about those students who are unsure of themselves? I know that when I was in school, my self confidence wasn't as it is today. Going back in time, I would be hesitant to post an answer for the whole class to see before I was sure it was correct Would you consider possibly moderating assignments of this nature to check answers and then post to share results with the class? I think some students would feel more comfortable if they knew there answers were reviewed for accuracy before being broadcast for all to see...Just my thoughts!

  3. Thanks Nancy and Marcella for the feedback. In regards to your question Nancy, I think one solution for struggling writers would be to start our blogs as private so only the students and myself can see each others writing. I am not sure that 100% of my students will ever be comfortable with their writing, so once I feel like most of the students are ready, we will post our work publicly.
    In response to your question Marcella, I think that is a great idea to moderate work before puvlishing it. It would definitely give my students more confidence knowing that their work would not be shown unless it was their best. Thanks again for your responses.

  4. Jody,
    I find that one of the most difficult tasks for a teacher using blogs is going to be the evaluation process. What standards will your students be working on and how are you going to go about evaluating their proficiency on the standard?