As technology in the 21st century advances, it becomes more and more integrated and runs through nearly all aspects of daily life. Nowhere is this more true than in the classroom. Classrooms are continually being updated; from chalkboards to whiteboards and from bulky overhead projectors that required endless amounts of converted pages to display to small projectors conveniently mounted and connected to computers, classrooms have experienced considerable steps forward as far as teaching efficiency is concerned.
Multiple aspects of teaching and learning in a classroom setting are becoming digitalized, and the trend and popularity of classroom blogs and pages is just one example. Putting all material related to a class and students in one convenient spot that is accessible at all hours (online) is an extremely practical way of ensuring that students have access to learning materials, course syllabi, announcements regarding school or class deadlines or important dates, outside or extra material useful to students, other media, etc. This can be an important point for educators, as it is an opportunity for parents also to be able to view all materials relating to their child’s classroom.
With a classroom blog students also have the opportunity to contribute and participate in a myriad of ways. Sharing ideas, external links and resources, and other relevant topics and ideas will encourage students to be more participatory and engaged in their own learning. The technological aspect of it makes it easier than ever for students to feel more involved in their classroom. Not only this, but blogging and encouraging students to be involved in a classroom blog further develops literary skills.
Said online learning specialist Stephen Downs:“Blogging is about, first, reading. But more important, it is about reading what is of interest to you: your culture, your community, your ideas. And it is about engaging with the content and with the authors of what you have read—reflecting, criticizing, questioning, reacting.”
Blogging allows students an opportunity to care about their curriculum, to become involved in their own learning, and to actively participate where otherwise they might have been able to. Creating a classroom blog is a relatively easy process and can be the means of engaging and changing students. The following is a small list of platforms that are used for classroom blogs, though the list is by no means comprehensive.
Downs, Stephen. "Educational Blogging." Educause September/October 2004 (2004). PDF File.
Hedge, Stephanie. "Teaching with Blogs." Inside Higher Ed. 15 Jan. 2013. Web.
"The Ultimate Guide to The Use of Blogs in Teaching." Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. Web.
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Lynn Smargis is a speaker, writer and blogger of classroom technology and how to integrate technology into the classroom. Find out more about Lynn in the About Me page.