Blogs provide a great way to extend the classroom beyond your 45 minute class period. They can be used in a variety of ways to spark discussion and student research. Chris Ludwig, a high school science teacher in Colorado, wrote this blog post to show how he used blogs this year to fundamentally change the way he assigned homework.
One of the major changes that I made this year was to switch to using individual student blogs as the centerpiece of student assessment (the other major change was to implement standards-based grading). I started using student blogs for a number of reasons including:
- I was tired of grading worksheets with the same copied answers on them.
- I realized that these worksheets weren’t always helpful in learning content, and in fact, much of the time they got in the way of learning.
- Student in my classes have access to a MacBook cart whenever they are in my classroom and we have fantastically dependable wireless internet connectivity for these laptops (yay tech support!).
- Blogging platforms like Blogger and WordPress are free.
- I’m increasingly wary of multiple choice anything as real assessment and wanted students to write more.
- I wanted students to have a permanent, online record of their achievement throughout the year, not some pile of papers shoved in a binder (or trash can).
- I wanted students to have an audience for their work that would include each other, their families, the community, and the world.
So how did we use the blogs? They became the go-to location to post assignments for me to read and grade. For a week or two, though, I operated a lot like I did last year, posting assignments on Edmodo and using its great assignment features to have students turn things in online, as well as posting them to their blogs. I realized that this was a duplication of effort and soon instead of sending out “assignments” in Edmodo, I just sent files and links as “notes.” This meant that these resources no longer came with a due date and that I was not using Edmodo to see who turned in which assignments.
Read the full post here.