Get Them Blogging!

03 Aug

For the final assignment for this course, I wrote a plan for getting my students blogging. It is far from an original thought in this day and age, but for my site it is new and different.

As we move forward, I want the students to be prepared for the influx of access to technology, not just the Internet. Keeping this in mind, as well as the school’s goal of WICORizing the curriculum (embedding writing, inquiry, collaboration, organizing, and reading), I think blogging is an ideal way to to achieve these goals. 

Classroom Blogging Activity

Specific Course: Students enrolled in Computer Applications 7 will pilot student blogging by utilizing the teacher’s Edublogs Pro account.

Blog Usage: The teacher and students will be able to view each other’s blogs; however, the student blogs will only be accessible to the outside world with the password.

Timeline: This activity covers the initial setup of student blogs and postings and will cover a eight class periods.

 Day 1 & 2: Introduction to blogging

Day 3 & 4: Guided practice in setting up blog and publishing initial post

Day 5: Compose and publish post based on class blog prompt

Day 6 & 7: Comment and respond to classmates posts

Day 8: Reflect on the process, what worked, what didn’t work, challenges and how they were overcome. Shout-outs for classmates

Posts  & Comments: The class blog will contain a prompt or assignment from which students will compose posts on their individual blogs and comment as appropriate to either the class blog or fellow classmate blogs, if not both. The prompt will incorporate core course content to create a bridge between the computer application elective and academic courses.

Example of Post Prompts:

  • Where I come from
  • How PBIS has affected me
  • My academic goals for the year
  • How I prepared for my conference with my parents
  • My Binder, my academic life
  • My top math sites and why
  • How having a laptop is going to change my study habits
  • Digital curriculum and my learning style

Assessment: During this lesson students will be assessed by multiple measures including a checklist, observation, and rubric. A checklist will be used to track that students are able to independently log in to their account to create pages and posts, and manage comments. A rubric based on the University of Wisconsin’s Stout Blogging Rubric will be used to score posts, comments, and responses.

Other information: The vast majority of the students have limited access to the Internet outside of school, depending on Wi-Fi services at the local grocery store or hotspots when they travel an hour or more to town. With the new one-to-one initiative roll out coming soon, students at some point will have a device to take home, not right away but at some point in the school year.

Introduction to Blogging in the Classroom Lesson Plan

Date August 3 Class Computer Apps 7 C Edwards
Arizona Technology Standards  Strand 1: Creativity and Innovation

  • Concept 4: Original Works
    • PO 2: Use digital tools to synthesize information, produce original works, and express ideas.

Strand 2: Communication and Collaboration

  • Concept 1: Effective Communications and Digital Interactions
    • PO 1: Collaborate and communicate with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital tools to share findings and/or publish.
    • PO 2: Explain and demonstrate features, conventions, voice, and etiquette of interactive digital environments to communicate with an appropriate audience.
  • Concept 2: Digital Solutions
    • PO 1: Communicate and collaborate for the purpose of producing original works or solving problems.

Strand 6: Technology Operations and Concepts

  • Concept 1: Understanding
    • PO 2: Define and apply knowledge of various technical process terms.
    • PO 3: Choose technology applications appropriate for the audience and task.
    • PO 4: Recognize and demonstrate ergonomically safe and sound use of equipment.
  • Concept 2: Application
    • PO 6: Identify criteria for evaluating technical and design qualities of a web site and then create web‐based content from the identified criteria.
Objective  Students will demonstrate the ability to utilize a blog as educational tool by:

  1. Independently accessing their Edublog account
  2. Opening the dashboard and set up their blog pages and appearance
  3. Compose and publish posts
  4. Comment on teacher and other students blog posts
  5. Utilizing keyboarding skills
Essential Questions What is a blog?Who has a blog?How can I enhance my learning by using a blog?Do you think a blog or the post’s appearance matters?
Anticipatory Set Do any of you like to write? We all use Cornell Notes at this school; you also have learning logs, and have to write summaries and reflections of your learning. How many of you would like to do that digitally?  Have you ever looked at a website thought  “wow, whoever did this really did a good job.” or found that one site that was just horrible? Did you every think you would have your own unique website…Well now you will!
Direct Instruction
  • Modeling
Describe what a blog is and show a collection of blogs from the Edublog Class DirectoryDemonstrate:

  • How to navigate to Edublogs and bookmark the site
  • How to login and logout of the site
  • How to navigate the site
    • Posts – create and edit
    • Upload media
    • Pages – create and edit
    • Comments
    • Appearance
    • Preview
    • How to create a page
    • How to create and publish a post
  • Guided Practice
The students will work with a shoulder partner coaching each other through the steps of as the teacher guides them through:

  • Logging into Edublogs
  • Navigating to pages
  • Creating class page
  • Creating  and publishing initial post
  • Check for Understanding
Discuss what is appealing or not in the selected blogsMove about the room to observes studentsThink-Pair-ShareRandom Reporter
  • Independent Practice
Students will create a post in response to a prompt on the classroom blog and comment on two student blogs, and respond appropriately to any responses on their post.
Closure This is the first in a series of lessons. Students will use the product of this lesson as a foundation for future class/school assignments.Reflection/Class discussion:

  • How do you think using blogging will help you in reflecting on your learning?
  • What is the impact of responding to other students using comments on their blog? Is it different from just telling them?
  • Do you see the need for keyboarding skills in relation to your blogging?
  • Checklist – Students demonstrate they can log in, navigate Edublogs, create posts and comments independently
  • Rubric – Student blogs, post, and comments assessed based on the University of Wisconsin – Stout Blogging Rubric, created by Karen Franker.
  • Observation – Work ethic: time on task, collaboration, organization, safe and appropriate use of technology, proper keyboarding technique
Resources/Materials Computer with authorized Internet AccessVocabulary listEdublog Pro subscriptionEdublog Directory – Class BlogsEdublog tutorials:

  • Set up My Class for managing student blogs
  • How students create their own blog and Join a Class Using My Class
  • Student Blogging


3 responses to “Get Them Blogging!

  1. Kim

    August 3, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Looks good but remember to post an example of what student post might look like.

  2. George

    August 3, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    Great post. I disagree with Kim. I think students need to use their skills to come up with the posts. If you want cookie cutter responses, then yes show them a post. If you want something original, then give them freedom!

    • cedwardsbms

      August 3, 2014 at 9:01 pm

      Thanks George for your insight! I am fortunate that I can focus more of my class time on building blogging skills. I want them to create reflective entries for their core courses and maybe develop a page for some of there own work. Many of my students enjoy composing poems, songs, and short stories. I think have personal space will foster their writing.


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