Tech This Out!

An Online Digital Toolbox of Resources for Teachers

Literacy in Digital Spaces - Part 1 of 2

"Blogging is not an activity, but a process. The process includes reading, writing, commenting and connecting. It is about reciprocating and an emphasis on quality, not just publishing."
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Writing in Digital Spaces

Student blogging is not a project, but a process. As writers, are continuously striving to refine, improve and re-evaluate our writing (When you're done, you've just begun! right?!) However, before we can expect our students to do this in a digital space, its important to have a basic understanding of blogs, its pedagogical uses, as a platform of a new writing genre (digital writing) and how the idea of "blogfolios" (a digital portfolio) fit into your curriculum and the BIG PICTURE of learning. The idea of blogging is not a platform to use only for a particular subject, but should give evidence of learning for each student.

The focus needs to be in using the platform to guide students to :


  • GROW as writers
  • Create QUALITY content
  • Write with a GLOBAL audience in mind
  • Learn the infrastructure and grammar of digital writing
  • Use the "amplified" possibilities that a digital platform offers to not only practice basic writing skills, but REDEFINE and TRANSFORM the writing process (Being able to do something that was impossible to do before such as write for a global audience, linking to other resources, other writers or embedding multimedia (images, audio, video, etc.)
  • TRANSLATE traditional writing (that can be done with a paper and pencil) to an online space
  • PERSONALIZE their writing
  • Create a SPACE for their own personal learning experience

What Does the Data Say?

According to the recent Brightbytes survey given this fall to teachers and students in Noblesville Schools, 69% of the students surveyed in the district, grades 3-12, said that they never to every few months were asked to write online and only 26% of students reported that they were asked to receive feedback online from someone other than their teacher. In addition, 46% of students reported that they were asked to create e-Porfolios at least weekly to monthly.


Why This Matters!


  • Digital writing assignments, like digital storytelling, can turn a student’s responses to an idea into an activity that allows him or her to “blend design, creativity, thoughtful expression, and technology skills” (Gresham, 2014).
  • Students who collaborate in online spaces to provide feedback “learn from each other, improve their work, and develop their skills,” making such interactions beneficial to students of all ability levels (Thomas, 2011).
  • Electronic portfolios allow students to personalize their work through dynamic links, provide opportunities for digital self-reflection and peer feedback, and offer ongoing storage, organization, and progress tracking (Meyer et al., 2009).
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Someone out there WANTS to HEAR what you have to say!

Kidblog

Why Kidblog? Kidblog is...


  • Safe - It provides teachers with the tools to help students publish writing safely online. Students exercise digital citizenship within a secure classroom blogging space. Teachers can monitor all activity within their blogging community
  • Simple - It offers a kid-friendly publishing experience suitable for any K-12 student. Students can focus on what's important because Kidblog removes distractions so they can focus on writing. Teachers efficiently manage all posts and comments through an easy-to-use dashboard.
  • Authentic - It gives students’ writing a meaningful purpose and an authentic audience. Students are motivated to write for their peers and engage with a global network. Teachers moderate all content, so nothing goes live until you say so.
  • Transformative - Re-imagine writing instruction. Built by teachers, for teachers, Kidblog’s platform is deeply rooted in the pedagogy of writing. Engage students in the process of pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, publishing, and commenting — Kidblog facilitates feedback and moderation at all stages.

Blogging: A Twist on Reader's Response

The students in Wendy Penn's 5th grade class at Promise Road Elementary have a lot to say and they not only want to say it but, they want someone else to hear it! "I use Kidblog for my reader's response letters," says Penn. "I love the fact that the students have a broader and more authentic audience than just me. Also, they comment on each other's posts." Another advantage for Penn is that now, she only has to carry home an iPad to read their letters. She simply adds, "Before, I was lugging home 23 reader's notebooks every week." (That alone is a plus in my book!)
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Ways to Embed Blogging Into a Practice Which Has a Clear Purpose and Direction

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You Should Start a Blog Right Now!

Click here to read 7 great reasons for you or your students to start blogging!

Upgrading Blogs Through the Lens of SAMR

Click here if your ultimate goal is for using a classroom blog or student "blogfolios" to create transformative teaching and learning opportunities, not to have a platform that substitutes a composition book or paper journal.

You Have a Class Blog, Now What?

Click here to learn how to move beyond blogging as an extra activity in your daily routine to something that is embedded into a practice which has a clear purpose and direction.

Top 50 Elementary Teacher Blogs

Fusing new tech tools with traditional teaching methods puts these teacher bloggers on the cutting edge of 21st century education. This list features the top elementary blogs ordered by website popularity!

Courtney Cohron

Tech This Out Archive - Click below to see previous month's newsletters


December's Issue - The SAMR Swimming Pool

January's Issue - Making Thinking Visible

February's Issue - What Does It Mean to Be an Investigator? / Canvas in the Elementary

Scheduling a Coaching Chat

I would love to sit down and chat with you about all of the wonderful things that you are doing in your classroom. Let's discuss why technology would be a great enhancement and brainstorm ways to integrate it into your learning environment! -Courtney