This link connects to a project completed in Animoto. The project could be used to show highlights of a topic being studied in a classroom.
Although I am planning on being a teacher, I decided to also look at the librarian blogs because many of the blogs discuss how to encourage kids to read, which as an English teacher, is imperative to understand. The first blog that I took a look at is called A Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet. Essentially, the blog gathers available resources that can help a librarian better understand their students while also posting job listings and professional opportunities for future librarians. In particular, the post Unfamiliar with EdTech Terminology? Try a Cheat Sheet discusses the progression of education and gives teachers an idea of what students and educators or talking about in the classroom. Though there seemed to be more time spent trying to find other bloggers to fill in on the site, there was some useful information in the blog.
The second blog that I found was very interesting because it discussed how to deal with various issues within a school as a librarian while also providing examples of how librarians should act as professionals. The blog, The Daring Librarian, has various posts that range from dealing with your administrators and peers to deciding how to present you in a private and public domain. The post that caught my eye was titled What’s YOUR Twitter Formula? This post talked about how to use twitter if you plan to interact with your students openly and what to avoid tweeting in order to maintain your job. Though the posts are very informative, the color and layout of the blog made it difficult to follow.
The final blog I decided to review was called The Unquiet Librarian. In this blog, the librarian discusses various activities that are new and innovative within the context of typical library practices. Most of the posts are discussing what took place during the library session that was held and offers reasoning and reflection on each activity. One post, Teen Tech Week DIY 2014: Duct Tape, Squishy Circuits, and Makey Makey, the librarian discusses the in class activity in which students constructed decorations as well as putting together circuits that functioned as computer game controls once finished. This blog was interesting but only useful for schools that have massive budgets, as many of the activities are costly and inaccessible to most schools.
Incorporating blogs into a school’s library can be difficult, but I believe it could be accomplished. For example, a librarian could hold a blog that would discuss what books they were reading while opening the blog to comments that allow students to comment on what they are reading and what they wish to see more of in the library. This would thus create a library that is tailored to the students while creating a positive relationship between them and the librarian. To encourage other librarians to use blogging, I would first have to prove that I have implemented the strategy successfully into my own school and then show them the positive outcomes that resulted from blogging. For professional development, I believe that viewing these blogs and interacting with other librarians would be the most effective way of furthering oneself through blogging.
The first educational blog that I decided to look at was the top rated educational blog on the site provided. The blog is titled Edutech for Teachers and discusses new technologies that are available for teachers to include in their classrooms for no cost. The blog can be found here: Edutech for Teachers. The blog discusses these new technologies, some of which are free alternatives of popular products, in order to give teachers the ability to incorporate various learning strategies into their classrooms. The blog also explains how to use these technologies within a classroom. For example, the blog Quick Write Picture Prompts provides a link to various images that are readily applicable to an in class prompt while also explaining an activity in which students build upon each others’ previous ideas of the prompt to create a narrative that connects to real life experiences. Overall, this blog is incredibly helpful and can prove to be useful for any teacher,
The second blog I read was called The Cool Cat Teacher. The blog is administered by a woman, Vicki Davis, who writes many of her own posts while also sharing posts she finds useful for other teachers. The main goal of the blog is to help teachers become the most professional and effective teachers they can be by explaining common errors and providing various research and resources that could improve even the most experienced teacher. The first thing that caught my eye on this blog was the very first post, which was titled 5 Email Tips to Know Before Forwarding Mail. This blog discussed many mistakes people make when forwarding mail that I was completely unaware of. Altogether, this blog opened my eyes to some things I would have never thought about and she be reviewed my people entering the education profession.
The final blog that I chose to look at was one that interested me because it was mainly discussing how to motivate and engage young readers, a problem that many teachers face in this age of instantaneity. The blog is titled Read, Write, Reflect and discusses activities and their outcomes within the context of the fifth grade classroom in which the author was teaching. It was very interesting to see the motivation of the young students and how the teacher was able to engage them not only in the classroom, but also in their own private lives. For example, in the post Boys and Reading, she shows just how engaged the boys have become by showing text messages and other pictures of them reading in various locations outside of school. This was uplifting and proves that active reading can be achieved with the right methods as shown through this blog.
Blogging can be an incredibly useful tool for education and can be used in classrooms to promote active participation and discussion. By bouncing ideas off each other and the teacher, students can refine their own ideas. With smartphones and computers, students can all participate in learning activities whenever they want. However, it is important to understand your students and implement blogging appropriately. When I took a course where blogging was required, we never discussed the blogs or got any feedback from our professor. Consequently, many students began half-assing the assignments. I would make sure that all of my students had access to blogging materials before assigning blogs, and I would use the blogs as a way to discuss theoretical or larger scale ideas at home which would begin our discussion for the next class period. Although I was previously not a fan of blogging, these educational blogs have opened my eyes to many blogs that I never knew existed. To promote blogging to other teachers, I would simply explain how I came across blogging and how it changed my opinions on what I though blogging was all about. I believe that personal experience is the best source for persuasion and would allow teachers to understand how I came up with some of my ideas. For myself, I plan to revisit these blogs throughout my educational career in order to gain insight to various ideas that I may have never thought about. Although I never considered blogging to be a productive use of time, I now see I could not have been more wrong and plan to use other teachers’ ideas in the development of my own lessons.