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Brainstorm for Final Case Study

THE READ/WRITE WEBLOG

"This notion of self-publishing, which is what Blogger and blogging are really about, is the next big wave of human communication. The last big wave was Web activity. Before that one it was e-mail. Instant messaging was an extension of e-mail."
Eric Schmidt

CASE STUDY PONDERINGS

For your final case study, you will want to examine the potentialities for blogs both today and into the future. Think both about what you might be able to achieve pedagogically this next year, and also think well into the future about where you might be able to expand into. Think big, think ambitiously! There is no limit to what you could choose to do with blogs, taking into account multimedia and all its possibilities.

While you brainstorm about the technology of Weblogs, keep these questions in mind:


  • Implication on the classroom environment -- how has/can this technology help teaching and learning to address the learning needs of all students?

  • Ethics of using the technology in the classroom -- what are some of the new issues we need to address because of this technology? Include issues as related to parents, teachers, and students.

  • Where has it come from and where is it going? How might bandwidth increases and ubiquitous Internet access both in school and at home alter your use of Weblogs?

This case study will not come due for some two weeks, but take this opportunity to let your mind start to chew over the technology of the Weblog in the educational setting.

Comments

BLOGS/Blogging

Ethics:

When implementing a class BLOG a teacher has to think of many issues that might go along with it.
One issue is privacy. The first thing a teacher should do is consider having their class BLOG passer protected. This will only allow a person who knows the password to enter the class BLOG. This will keep the class BLOG safe and private to use. A teacher also needs to think of the student’s privacy. She shouldn’t use a student’s last name or pictures of a student on the class BLOG. She needs to inform the parents about the class BLOG and get consent from them for their child to use the class BLOG. She should earn the parents trust first so waiting a month after school has started might be a good time to send the consent forms home. The form should be very generic so as not to overwhelm the parents.
A teacher should also inform the principal of her school and the school district she works for. It’s a good thing to let them aware of what you are doing in your classroom that involves legality issues. They might have concerns or procedures that might hinder implenting a class BLOG.
Another issue is safety. I mentioned earlier about having a class BlOG passer protected, which will keep the students safe from inappropriate people visiting the class BLOG. Obviosuly, this will not be 100% safety proof, so the teacher needs to let the students know that they need to report any writing that is inappropriate to her. She also needs to talk to the students about being responsible when using the class BLOG. Since the students can post what they write without it being approved they should be told not to use inappropriate language (cuss words), or write cruel comments to other students (bullying). The teacher might also want to discuss with her students that not all teachers and students at the school are using a class BLOG and how to behave when talking about it to their friends. They should not put down other teachers or make bragging remarks to other students.
The last issue is copyrights. A teacher has to be careful what she and their students put on (pictures, video, or audio) their class BLOG. A teacher has a limited use of copyright, but should not abuse this privilege because it could become a legal issue.

Learning Implications:

A class BLOG can have many learning implications in the classroom. It could help all types of learners: kinesthetic, audio, and visual. For the kinesthetic learner this gives them an opportunity to learn through using their hands (typing) or mouth (recording their voice). For the Audio learners they can listen to podcasts. For the visual learner they can see the text on the blog with pictures and links to other text and pictures.
Nowadays the students we are getting in our classrooms are more technology savvy than their teachers. They have gameboys, ipods, cell phones, computers, DVD players, and more that they grew up with. Technology is all around them and a part of their daily lives. So why not use technology as a tool to engage the students who already are using technology and expose the students who are not. I think it’s a good motivator to learn. It’s different from the traditional way they usually learn at school. For many years students have been passive learners in school, but now they can be active learners by creating their own media. Using computers does not mean that students will not write or read in class. In actuality most students write with paper and pencil first before typing and posting on the class BLOG. It gives the student another opportunity to read text in another format other than books.

Case Study on Blogs

Ethics:
Before introducing a Weblog in a classroom, the teacher needs to address important issues to parents, teachers, and students. The issues are privacy, bullying, copyrights, and being safe. First, the teacher needs to get parental approval by sending a letter home explaining what a Weblog is and how it’s going to be used in the classroom. Also, discussing the use of Weblogs to administrators will reduce illegal issues from occurring. Inform parents and administrators that the Weblog will be passer protected allowing certain people (administrators, teachers, and parents) to view the classroom Weblog. Share about the Weblog to colleagues so they know what project base activity your class is doing and other students from their classrooms don’t surprise them with it. Hopefully that will create an interest for them to create their own class Blog. Second, teachers need to take precautions of internet predators, bad language, and inappropriate pictures. In working with younger students the teacher needs to spend time planning and checking sites before going on-line. Talk to students that being safe are being responsible, so having a class discussion of what is safe and what isn’t is important. Copyrights should also be discussed. Let students know that the teacher has the use of copyrights to a certain extent and should be used responsibly or it could become illegal. Students also need to learn that their information is private. Putting pictures, names and tasteless comments about another student (bullying) is not acceptable and will not be tolerated with. Safety is about responsibility.

Learning Implications:
A Weblog in the classroom can have positive and negative learning implications. On the positive side, students today are far ahead of their teachers in computer literacy. They have the motivation to learn a subject through the computer because it’s not dealing with the same boring text. Most of them can use the tool and go through it easily. The Weblog can address the learning needs of students who are visual, audio, and kinesthetic learners. Children who are visual learners are learning by looking at posts with pictures and links that they have created or another child has done. Audio learners are learning by listening to podcasts on poems, class broadcasting from other schools, summaries on books, and facts about a subject the student has learned. Kinesthetic learners are learning through the use of their hands by typing and using the mouse to create posts with pictures and links. It’s more project base and students are working with hands on activities coming from the teacher and not just the textbook that the district wants you to use. In doing a class Weblog the teacher differentiates instruction using this resource to reach all students. However, there is a negative side to it. Not all students have access to a computer at home to work with. The only access is at school and sometimes that’s not enough. Also, there’s parents might be computer illiterate and believe that the textbook is all their child needs to learn from. I believe that the parent needs to balance out the learning in using a computer and text.

Evolution:
The Weblog came from people who wanted an easy publishing tool. These people wanted to create personal journals and build resource sites creating a community of bloggers. This tool is a large box of information where people can learn about themselves and the world. Do to this; I can see more technology occurring in 5-10 years because everyday something new is going on. For instance, you see people using ipods instead of a CD-player or walk-man, cell phones, sky cams, wireless lab tops, digital cameras and much more than they had before. I can also see in the future students being able to communicate with other students in different countries. Maybe a bilingual student in the U.S can teach English to a student in Mexico or vice versa using Spanish. The ideas of using a class Blog are extraordinary!