Blogging in the classroom: How to get started — from by Matt Banner


Here’s what we’ll discuss today:

  • Ways to bring blogging into your classroom and daily lesson plans
  • The litany of benefits blogging brings to education
  • Deciding the purpose and goals of your blog
  • Setting up your classroom’s blog
  • Easy ways to promote and grow your classroom blog

Blogging about a subject turns novices into experts.
There’s no other choice. When you write thousands upon thousands of words about something, doing research all the while, you become an expert in that subject. It’s unavoidable, and possibly the best way to learn in my opinion. Instead of having the information fed to them, students are taking it and putting it down on paper in their own words.

They live the information instead of simply seeing it. This is huge in terms of learning something for the long-term. Hands-on experience will always leave more of a lasting impression than something that is simply boiled down to a few questions on a test.

Michelle Lampinen, a high school English teacher in New Jersey wrote a great article on this here.



Also see:
How blogging is being used in the classroom today: Research results — from by Mike Wallagher


The 2015 survey has yet to be reported on, but 2014 research findings have something to say about the state of blogging in the classroom today.

Benefits of Blogging in the Classroom
Blogging in the classroom can have numerous benefits depending on how you use your blog. Just some include that:

  • Instructors can create a blog about class happenings so parents can stay up-to-date and students can access announcements from anywhere
  • Teachers can use their blogs to store lessons online or provide supplemental learning materials to students
  • Instructors can use blogs to organize assignments, such as posting them online for absent students or listing due dates so all students have access to the course materials from anywhere
  • Teachers can post previous students’ work as examples or publish current students’ work so they can show parents and family who live far away
  • Educators can open the comment sections on blog posts to get feedback from parents and the community as well as to create discussion between students
  • Student blogs teach children about writing techniques, online publishing, and proper Internet etiquette, which most students will use in future careers

How Blogs Are Being Used
“Blogging in the classroom” may bring up this idea that there’s one way to present blogging to your students, but there are a myriad of ways educators can use blogs. Just some options include:

  • Personal blogs for teachers
  • Student blogs
  • ePortfolios
  • Platforms for assignments, homework, and announcements
  • Classroom blogs for collaboration and discussion



From DSC:
Whether your school, university, or college has a web hosting service or whether you need to go out and find a web hosting service yourself — or use a free service/solution — blogging is a great way to create streams of content and to “think out loud.” It offers benefits for students, teachers, professors, staff, and administrators.





Campus Technology 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards



In this first-ever higher education “gear of the year” guide, Campus Technology has turned to hundreds of education professionals to tell us which products in 29 categories are truly the best. We cover the gamut of technology from 3D printers to wireless access points. In almost every category you’ll find the Platinum, Gold and Silver picks to help you short-list your shopping, fuel your decision-making or perhaps start a friendly debate on campus.

  1. Learning Management and E-learning
  2. E-Portfolios
  3. Other Instructional Tools
  4. Student Information Systems and Data Management
  5. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
  6. Constituent Relationship Management (CRM)
  7. Student Success/Retention
  8. Student Response Systems and Classroom Clickers
  9. Lecture Capture
  10. Document Cameras
  11. Projectors
  12. Interactive Whiteboards
  13. Videoconferencing and Web Conferencing
  14. Virtual Classroom and Meeting
  15. Classroom Audio Distribution/Sound Enhancement
  16. Captioning
  17. Office/Productivity Suites
  18. Classroom Presentation
  19. Multimedia Authoring Suites and Creative Software
  20. E-Learning Authoring
  21. Media Tablets
  22. Chromebook
  23. Windows Tablet
  24. Convertible and 2-in-1 Notebooks
  25. Notebooks
  26. Virtual Desktops and Thin Clients
  27. Wireless Access Points and Hotspots
  28. 3D Printers
  29. Emergency Notifications




2014 Student and Faculty Technology Research Studies — from / ECAR

This hub contains the 2014 student and faculty studies from the EDUCAUSE Technology Research in the Academic Community research series. In 2014, ECAR partnered with 151 college/university sites yielding responses from 17,451 faculty respondents across 13 countries. ECAR also collaborated with 213 institutions to collect responses from more than 75,306 undergraduate students about their technology experiences.

Key Findings

  • Faculty recognize that online learning opportunities can promote access to higher education but are more reserved in their expectations for online courses to improve outcomes.
  • Faculty interest in early-alert systems and intervention notifications is strong.
  • The majority of faculty are using basic features and functions of LMSs but recognize that these systems have much more potential to enhance teaching and learning.
  • Faculty think they could be more effective instructors if they were better skilled at integrating various kinds of technology into their courses.
  • Faculty recognize that mobile devices have the potential to enhance learning.


Excerpts from infographic:








7th graders publish their own textbook — from by Tony Vincent



Also see:

  • Readz launches to provide publishers DIY solution to optimize content for tablets — from by Humayun Khan
  • 7 outstanding free books for your iPad — from
    Below is a list of some excellent books for your iPad. I have curated this list over  the last couple of months and I kept adding to it every time I stumble upon a resource somewhere online.I don’t know if you like reading books on your iPad or not but let me tell you this: having at least a couple of titles installed on your iPad would really be of great help particularly in those moments when you are stuck somewhere and have nothing to do but waiting. Reading is a habit ( luckily a good one ) that we can ACQUIRE  by force of habituation at least in the eyes of Skinnerian theory.The more you read , the fluent you get at reading and the more used your mind becomes to the act of reading.  Check out these books I selected for you. All of them are free and require iBooks. Enjoy.


Addendum on 1/22/13:




Example slides from today’s presentation:

















From DSC:
I also support one of the questions which, paraphrasing, asked, “Do you pulse check students’ expectations?


Tagged with:  

2 items re: e-portfolios

CCCC Position Statement


Principles and practices in electronic portfolios

Excerpt / Introductory Premises

Composition professionals in post-secondary institutions—composition faculty, writing program administrators, and technology staff—share concern and responsibility for helping students learn to write at a college level, using the most effective communication technologies. Disciplinary practice and research suggest that portfolio assessment has become an important part of the learning-to-write process.

In turn, electronic portfolios (e-portfolios) have become a viable institutional tool to facilitate student learning and its assessment. E-portfolios can be “web-sensible”—a thoughtfully arranged collection of multimedia-rich, interlinked, hypertextual documents that students compose, own, maintain, and archive on the Internet or in other formats (e.g., CD-ROMs, DVDs). Web applications designed to support e-portfolio composition can offer additional opportunities for providing structure, guidance, and feedback to students, and can provide students with opportunities to connect selectively with multiple audiences.

E-portfolios communicate various kinds of information for the purposes of assessment. For example, e-portfolios can:

  • Identify connections among academic and extra-curricular learning for admission to higher education and vocational opportunities
  • Demonstrate applications of knowledge and critical literacies for course or programmatic assessment
  • Provide evidence of meeting standards for professional certification
  • Display qualifications for employment
  • Showcase job-related accomplishments beyond schooling, for evaluation or promotion
  • Represent lifelong learning for participation in public service

However, these purposes do not capture important kinds of student learning in composition courses that should carry over to writing tasks in other courses and contexts, e.g., students understanding their own writing process or learning style, or students setting their own goals for future learning.

As e-portfolios assume a greater role in institutional assessment, First-Year Composition (FYC) will most likely serve as the course that introduces them to students. Therefore, FYC faculty may have a particular, invested interest in identifying the principles and practices of e-portfolio development that prioritize student learning. Such principles and best practices, based on the theoretical knowledge that classroom evidence substantiates, enable composition faculty to provide students with experiences that help them expand and specialize their writing skills for a variety of cross-disciplinary programs and professional contexts beyond FYC.


12 important trends in the ePortfolio industry for education and for learning — from by Trent Batson
A current scan of the ePortfolio marketplace


In the last three months, I talked with a large majority of global ePortfolio industry leaders. I was surprised at how much the industry had changed and how large the scale of implementation is compared to a year ago.

Tagged with:  

Resources from Learning Objects


While on their website, be sure to see information concerning Campus Pack from Learning Objects:


5 ideas for responding to what kids want the nation to know about educationfrom The Innovative Educator by Lisa Nielsen


In the session the focus was clear. Educators and the former principal (YAY for administrators) who attended wanted to know how we can hear the children and show them they matter, we love them, and we want to honor their unique passions, talents, interests, and abilities.  We discussed a lot of great ideas.  Here are five ways we discussed addressing what students want from education:

  1. Rather than bubbletests, measure student progress with personal success plans.
  2. Rather than report cards and transcripts allow students to showcase their learning with an authentic ePortfolio.
  3. Rather than work that only has the teacher as the audience, empower students to do real work that matters to them and has a real audience.
  4. Rather than telling students how to meet learning goals, empower them to drive their own learning as participant Deven Black explained he does (visit this link to see how).
  5. Have conversations with students about what their talents are.  You can use the videos in this article that feature students sharing stories about their talents.

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