Saturday, August 19, 2006

Ongoing Conversations about Blogging

There's been a lot of conversation in the blogosphere lately about trying to find the best practices for blogging from Will Richardson, David Warlick, Miguel Guhlin and many others. Surely, there are teachers who are using blogging in innovative ways within their instruction and helping students make gains in achievement.  On the opposite side, perhaps those teachers just don't exist right now.

As an instructional specialist, I've been following this conversation about best practices intently and thinking about how I might present this relatively new tool to teachers.  I'm new to blogging but not new to technology, curriculum and instruction. But, I've been considering the impact of my personal use of blogging as well as the role models for what I think is good blogging that will provide me with the background knowledge needed to summarize the use of this tool with other teachers.

For seasoned bloggers talking about best practices, they will be approaching this conversation with lots of background knowledge, personal experience, and probably classroom experience.  But, if some of us relatively new to blogging or not currently blogging were to engage in this conversation about best practices in blogging, we wouldn't possess the same background knowledge necessary to understand the implications of the discussion and, as brain research tells us, we might not be able to find prior knowledge stored in our brains somewhere to connect with this new information. Even so, that conversation could spark some new ideas for your classrooms through connections to what you know about good teaching practices.

I was thinking that, if I were having this conversation with, or providing training to teachers who didn't know about blogging,then there are some questions that come to mind for me:
1. As someone who is actively involved in blogging, explain what blogging is all about for you personally.
2. Instructionally, what is the importance of blogging?
3. What types of information should students be producing via blogs?
4. What subject areas and what instructional strategies can be applied to the use of blogs to make this a thinking tool rather than just another "thing" we can do with a computer?

Everyday, there are probably new technology tools being invented that allow us to participate more easily in the read-write web improving both our instruction, our students achievement and our professional development. Even those these tools are pretty cool, in the scheme of things, for me, it comes back to those four questions above but more importantly, what can this tool mean to student achievement?

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1 comment:

Miguel said...

Thanks for sharing these questions, Diane. I've added them to the list of questions for the Audiocast next week. They look like great questions to ask up front rather than at the end like they are placed on the wiki, http://mguhlin.wikispaces.com/porch

Welcome to blogging! There's always room for one more!

Thank you,
Miguel Guhlin
http://www.mguhlin.net/blog