Teaching with Blogs: Electronic Portfolios

In late December 2006 I started a class blog and gave each of my students a blog of his or her own. Having only started this blog a few months earlier, it was an exciting time as I (with the great help of Ellen Nickles, a technologist at my school) and the children explored more and more ways to learn with the blogs.

This year I started the class blog in September and use it constantly. If I had modeled a piece of writing for an assignment I put it on the blog. If we’d made a chart of ideas I put it on the blog. Everything we did was there for the kids, the parents, and me to refer to. And so when they were given their own blogs in January they were eager and ready to go.

Since then we’ve taught the kids to scan in images and add them into their posts, do links, categories, and podcasts. They created their own banners and tag lines. It has been amazing and wonderful; I keep getting inspired with new ideas for them every day.

In addition to the class blog being a great archive for me (as I go back and look at last year’s posts when teaching something), the student blogs have become archives for them. In other words, electronic portfolios. I have accordion files for each child in a file cabinet and they put finished projects in them. For example, after weeks of hard work they have completed Cinderella stories and placed their many drafts in those files. As for their final stories, they will be publishing them on their blogs next week. Already on them are their Amistad poems and lots of other writing. Today we begin our Pilgrim unit and they will be putting a great deal of the work they do for it on their blogs.

And so, in addition to all the other great educational reasons for blogging with kids is the one that blogs are electronic portfolios — for teachers and kids.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Teaching with Blogs: Electronic Portfolios

  1. It’s great! I’ve been using a blog for one of my classes this semester also… good for all ages!

    http://clarissaproject.blogspot.com/

  2. I agree with you on using the blog as an electronic portfolio – just the other day I was scanning my archive from last year to see if I mentioned what I read/did for St. Patrick’s day (I had). I love the way you use the blog in your classroom!

  3. I use my class blog for my middle school special education students. They are a great tool to get kids to read and write.

  4. I used blogging, or sort of in my classes a few years ago. I fooled them into to thinking it was just a fun thing to do on Friday, but it was an exercise in them paying attention and to check for basic skills like grammar and writing a decent sentence. The blogs were all used in my social studies classes.
    We were on an 88 minute collegiate schedule. After laying down the groundrules, like no foul language and no putdowns, the students were told to write three good paragraphs on something they had learned during the week, something that stood out, and/or something they thought they might remember in life. Some students struggled with format at first. I saw a dram atic improvement over the 17 weeks we did the blogs.
    (A note: Because of recent horror stories of young people getting picked up from their websites, an administrator suggest that we not post them, which is the course I took)
    Later in the semester, I increased the length requirements and graded accordingly. Over the course of the semester, I did see an improvement in writing abilities.
    Unfortunately at the last school I taught at, we didn’t have enough computers to pursue a project like this, but I hope to do it in the future again.

  5. Ashley

    I think bloga are a great idea to get students involved. I hope to use them in my future classroom.

  6. dailyruffy

    well, just aswell cheap mobiles uk stock really cheap electronics products. Make me looking foward to xmas already :)

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