Saturday, January 26, 2013

Blogosphere: Create, Share, Learn Together - Barb Brown, PhD Candidate

This morning, I am at the for 's session on blogging during the Education Students' Association's (ESA) 21st Century Classroom Student Lead Conference -

Barb's own Technology Leadership blog is here:

Barb advises that bloggers create an "about me" profile to help others learn more about you and your professional interests. She explains how to use QR codes as a way to link people to your blog.

There are several good books on using social networking as a part of your professional practice, with titles from Personal Learning Networks, the Socially Networked Classroom and Playing with Media. Barb advises you take your own pictures for use on the blog as often as possible; be aware of the rules and guidelines around copyright and the use of images and photos in your blog. As a teacher, you need to be ready to advise students about appropriate use, copyright, fair use and creative commons. 

Educational Blogging

- "Our schools need to harness each student's natural propensity for participating in online spaces and funnel that energy into building powerful networks for learning that are used in class almost everyday" (Personal Learning Networks, Richardson and Mancabelli, 2011, p. 7).

- Time will always be an issue; as teachers, we need to find time and design ways to engage students' enthusiasm for creating, connecting and sharing online. While teachers have to consider curricular objectives and school learning, they also need to consider Alberta Education's Inspiring Education direction for educators in our school system to instill the following qualities and abilities in our youth: engaged thinker, ethical citizen and entrepreneurial spirit.

- Levels of Educational Blogging: 1. Information Sharing, 2. Reflection and 3. Collaboration (Playing with Media, Wesley Fryer, 2011, pp. 58-62).

- Kist (2010) the Socially Networked Classroom: Teaching in the New media age. Corwin.


- When considering a blogging assignment at school, we need to engage leadership, colleagues and parents in the conversation about purpose, objectives, preparation and guidance of students' digital citizenship roles and responsibilities. As teachers, we are education students as part of a community of teachers, family and community - we need to contribute to good learning and digital citizenship.

- In addition to your pedagogical design and assessment framework, considerations for blogging with students include copyright and intellectual property, characteristics of good blogging, online etiquette, blogging guidelines and expectations for students.

- Private versus public blogging - Teachers need to consider the purpose and design for learning, and ask themselves several questions: Do you want the students to collaborate and communicate only with each other? Do you want to include the parents and community in the ongoing interactions and conversation? What is the jurisdiction policy on open networks for elementary, junior high and senior high? Do you plan to connect with another class somewhere else in the world? Do you plan to collaborate with others to create and share knowledge?

- One example was shared about a gradual and graduated approach from private to public: A soft launch can be appropriate, such as private and closed at first as the teacher and students develop their digital citizenship and literacy skills, and gradually move towards a more open and public blogging space as teachers and students are skilled in the roles and responsibilities of ethical, digital citizens.

Collaborative Communication

Opportunity for workshop participants to ask Barb additional questions:

1. What are the questions that remain unanswered for you about blogging?
2. How do you see yourself using blogs or micro blogs in the classroom?

Submit here:

Barb's notes from this session are also here: