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Web 2.0 and School Administrators
Sunday, 10 October 2004
Classroom Blogs
Topic: Classroom Blogging
Whew! Where did that week go?

Actually, part of it was spent with a group of administrators in California. During the meeting I showed them this blog and mentioned some of the links that are available through different postings. A couple of people were immediately interested in the idea of teachers being able to use a blog rather than a Web site. I directed them to sites linked in this blog, but would really like to be able to point them to other examples as well.

Is anyone out there aware of additional good examples of teachers using blogs for home/school communication. I would really appreciate the information and so would the folks I met with. They're planning to check out the blog this week, so it would be great to have more leads for them.

Posted by sjbrooks_young at 10:14 PM PDT
Monday, 4 October 2004
E-mail required to post here?
Topic: Blogging Basics
There's a comment posted to another message in this blog that says that folks might be reticent about posting comments because they're asked to provide their e-mail address. Although the field is there, to the best of my knowledge (I've done it, but I'm the administrator, so things might be different for me), you do not have to fill in that field and can still post a comment.

I'd appreciate it if someone would try doing this and let me know whether or not you are able to post.

Posted by sjbrooks_young at 8:29 PM PDT
Friday, 1 October 2004
Blogging Policies
Topic: Classroom Blogging
Administrators whose teachers want to use blogs with students may want to look at Bernie Dodge's Ideas about Blogging Policies. There are links to several articles and discussion questions for teachers. I suspect that schools will end up with formal policies, but this seems to be a good starting point.

Posted by sjbrooks_young at 12:20 PM PDT
Wednesday, 29 September 2004
Blogging Principals
Topic: Personal Blogs
I was talking with someone about using a blog with a group of principals for a workshop. I asked her if she knew of examples of blogging principals- you guessed it! She named those folks who have been mentioned here already- Tim, in particular. It would be great to find some additional examples.

Posted by sjbrooks_young at 7:10 AM PDT
Saturday, 25 September 2004
Topic: Blogging Basics
I have the capability of receiving an e-mail when someone posts a comment to this blog, but I want to explore the possibility of using RSS (Real Simple Syndication) with other blogs and Web sites that offer this feature.

I read about several free RSS readers and downloaded SharpReader. It was highly recommended in several articles. I also needed a free download from the MS Web site to make it work, but the directions were easy to follow. Now I can subscribe to sites that offer an RSS feed and can check for updates by opening the RSS reader window, rather than having to go to each individual site. I'm going to be cautious at first- just set up feeds for a few sites such as Will Richardson's blog, until I see how this works.

I think I see some potential here though- imagine blogging your school newsletter and suggesting that parents use an RSS reader to stay updated. I like the push technology here!

Posted by sjbrooks_young at 12:22 PM PDT
Friday, 24 September 2004
Blogs in Professional Development
Topic: District Communication
I'm wondering what would happen if I set up a blog for use before, during, and after a professional development session. It would be possible to invite participants to log on and introduce themselves prior to the workshop and perhaps complete an online survey.

During the workshop people could blog questions and comments, or give feedback on activities they're completing. Then after the workshop, the conversation could continue through questions, additional resources, etc.

What do you think?

Posted by sjbrooks_young at 4:49 PM PDT
Wednesday, 22 September 2004
Bloggers to Blame
Topic: Getting Started
I heard a news report yesterday. It had to do with CBS and the 60 Minutes broadcast about Mr. Bush and his National Guard service. During the broadcast it was stated that CBS had rushed to air the show because of bloggers! Something about news reporters being scooped too often by personal blogs and arguing that blogs are changing how stories are researched and verified prior to airing. There was also talk about how bloggers don't have to verify their postings because someone else will get online and make corrections for them! Suppose this would translate into how teachers and students deal with blogs?

Posted by sjbrooks_young at 8:44 AM PDT
Monday, 20 September 2004
Defining the Blog Audience
Topic: Classroom Blogging
In line with what I wrote Saturday, I'm thinking that when teachers and students define the audience for their blog, it accomplishes a couple of important things. First, it's possible to chose an audience that's on-site, off-site, or both. In a classroom setting some accountability can then be incorporated for students so that they don't simply posting on their own blog, but also read and respond to the blog(s) they have been invited to participate in. Second, privacy and security is a concern for many administrators. By limiting audiences, some or all of these concerns can be addressed.

I heard Alan November speak at a conference in CA a year or so ago. At that time, he was interested in Web sites where people post their writing and get reactions from other readers. Not so much on grammar or spelling, but on the content of the piece. He also talked about teachers at different sites teaming up to swap and grade student essays. I think blogs could be used to accomplish both tasks. Especially in the case of the writing sites. The few I looked at included material that would never fly in a district. I realize that kids are exposed to this stuff on a regular basis, but I don't think that educators can recommend or use them in class.

Posted by sjbrooks_young at 3:37 PM PDT
Saturday, 18 September 2004
The Nature of Blogs
Topic: Classroom Blogging
It's been interesting for me to follow my Web site reports since I started this blog. It's getting anywhere from 50 to 400 views per day, and yet comments from readers are very limited.

And so, while there's clearly an audience beyond my little cabin office, I have very little information about who it is or why they're looking. I wonder if this is typical. The studies I read earlier talk about the percentage of people who've created blogs, the percentage of people who've read blogs written by others,and even the frequency of posts by the original blogger, but I haven't seen anything about how often readers respond.

I'm thinking that if what's happening here is typical, then perhaps it's important to reconsider the argument that it's good for students to write for a larger audience. It may be gratifying for them to have many readers, but if no one responds, where's the value?

Posted by sjbrooks_young at 9:26 AM PDT
Friday, 17 September 2004
Teacher Blogs
Topic: Classroom Blogging
I had a note today from a principal who wants his teachers to move from telephone Homework Hotlines to an online means for posting assignments and messages to parents. A few weeks ago, I might have suggested a simple Web page, but now I'm thinking a blog would be a better alternative. I know that Tim's teachers are blogging notes home weekly and that Pamela Coates' teachers at Butlerville are using blogs instead of Web sites. It would be helpful to have some other examples, especially at the middle and high school levels.

Posted by sjbrooks_young at 3:57 PM PDT

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