Friday, July 23, 2010


I think blogs can be very useful in the classroom, when used effectively. As I teach first grade, I am struggling to think of ways to use it with my students, as many are still struggling readers. Although, I have been considering having a classroom blog, where the students rotate making simple posts regarding what we're working on in class. This way, I could help my students further develop their typing and technology skills. I could also make this blog available on the classroom website for my students' parents to view and comment on. This way, the students could take pride in the blog and receive positive reinforcement for their work, from their families. Mostly, I see blogs being utilized in language arts. Ideally, I would have each student create their own blog to use and comment on their peers blogs. I think blogs would be an excellent way to showcase students' writing, as well as receive feedback from myself, their families, and their peers. I also like the idea of using a blog for students' writing because it allows students to go back and edit, revise, and publish. I do realize, however, this may be a bit too advanced for first graders. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

While I really like the concept of blogs, I also feel their uses can be very limited, especially in the classroom. To me, a blog still seems like an online journal and I have a hard time "thinking outside of the box" in terms of how else to utilize a blog. This is something I want to do more research and exploring on, to find multiple ways to utilize this Web 2.0 tool in my classroom, across all subject matter.

Wikis and Wikipedia

When I searched Wikipedia for my school, it lead me to a page for all of East Lansing Public Schools. The page included information about each one of the schools in ELPS, so I added information for Donley Elementary School. I added the name of our principal (Marcy Kinzer), and a link to the school's webpage. Below is a screen shot of what the Wikipedia page now looks like.

In terms of my Wiki, since I have used Wikispaces quite a few time through my course work for MSU, I decided to try out a different program, PB Works. It was fairly easy to use, a bit more confusing than Wikispaces, but not bad. I added a slideshow of pictures from my student teaching experience. It was the first time I had used, and I have to say, it was a fun program to use. I also made a sidebar with links to other sites I have created throughout this course. I am still not exactly sure what I would want to use a Wiki for. Perhaps to collaborate with the other first grade teachers I work with this year. You can access my Wiki by clicking here.