14 March 2006

Blogging the Classroom

I've been trying---more or less in vain this year---to get a class blog going for my APers. The major frustration and roadblock has been that the district filter doesn't allow blogs to pass through. That makes it pretty hard to get student involvement.

The Chicago Tribune recently published a piece on the growth of blogs in the classroom. It highlights some of the positive results students and teachers are experiencing...and shows off some of the potential for using this as a classroom tool.

The article doesn't focus much on some of the potential dangers in using blogs with students, such as the possibility of on-line predators. I don't know that there will ever be a foolproof sort of system, which is what my district is after. I wish we could provide students and parents with guarantees that their kids will never be in any harm's way, but Life just doesn't work like that. We just have to do the best we can to protect students and then educate them about protecting themselves.

I wish that I had had different results this year. Maybe I just need to focus on the bigger picture instead. By starting this in my district, I've opened the door to possibility for others. The future may hold lots of blogs for students and teachers. I am looking forward to that.


Wulf said...

I would like to try to incorporate blogs into the science classroom in place of lab notebooks, or at least as a suppliment. They currently serve a purpose essentially similar to that of a paper journal - how much of a stretch is it to get students to document their work, their predictions, their reflections, maybe photos of their lab setup, etc?

Alas, we also have the filter issue. And I would need to find a way to keep them from editing their old entries. But this is my goal, especially for AP.

Christine said...

I don't know if this would work, but what if you chose a site that had the ability to password protect entries? Livejournal.com can do that, but it wouldn't stop kids from doing things they shouldn't at home.

A friend of mine is in the process of putting up a webpage for me. I've asked her to see if she could put up a blog for my classroom. One that would allow the kids to post, but give me a certain amount of control. She's trying to figure it out. It pays to know the right people! :)