Teacher Boot Camp

We have been creating blogs in WordPress for the past two class meetings. Would anyone like to share where they are with their blog at this point? It’s okay if you are still working on your posts.

Exemplar Blogs

According to the survey, none of us read blogs on a daily basis (including me). Let’s spend some time today looking for a blog we COULD see ourselves reading everyday. I found a blog that is extremely relevant to my research interests. My husband gets a little obsessed with sports, hockey being his first love. Here’s a blog about his favorite team with the namesake of his favorite player, Datsyuk. My son loves origami and found this one. I even found a link to the 50 Best Blogs for Art History Buffs. Let’s see what you’re able to find that interests you.

If you’re having trouble finding something, or you are interested especially in education blogs, check out these top education blogs of 2012.

Commenting on Classmates Blogs

I’ve created a page with links to all of your blog sites. If you don’t see a hyperlink by your name, it means you still need to complete this form so I know your site address. I’m going to ask you to leave a comment on a classmate’s blog for homework (this will be part of your blog project grade). Let’s brainstorm the substance of an ideal comment. You are also welcome to see what past classes were able to brainstorm.


I’ve uploaded a writing with technology (blogging) reading concerning writing and technology. This is a specific section about blogging (very short). According to the reading, there are several reasons to utilize blogs in the classroom:

  • Providing classroom experiences beyond the ‘walls’ of the classroom
  • Posting on a blog may appeal to different learning styles
  • Blogging could enhance the expertise of the blogger on the targeted subject
  • Blogging and the evidence of outside readers and their comments can be motivating to writers
  • Promoting self and critical reflection
  • Promoting collaboration and the development of virtual communities between learners
  • Promoting analogical thinking

There is even an example of how one teacher structures blogging for their students (on page 174). It says, “In your paragraph you need to make sure that you follow the Paragraph Structure that we have been working on as a class.”

  • 1. S— statement.
  • 2. E— explain your statement.
  • 3. E— example of your statement [ quote].
  • 4. E— explain what your example shows.

Do you think this is a useful structure for blogging in this class? You may find these 50 Useful Blogging Tools for Teachers helpful.

Boot Camp

There are so many things I want you to know about teaching in K12 learning environments. Each of you come from a different background, have different interests, and different motivations for learning — a lot like the students on this sample class roll!

Today we’re going to see how much learning we can cram into one class meeting – so I’m challenging you to complete the “Teacher Boot Camp”. In small groups of 4 or 5 – see how many pages you can work through on our Boot Camp website. Don’t forget to submit the Boot Camp Response Form for each category. If you missed class, you’ll need to complete at least 3 of the 5 categories and submit the form for each on your own.

For Friday:

1. Read the Horizon Report (pp. 4-7: “key trends”, “significant challenges”, and “technologies to watch”).  Create a blog posting for Friday with your reactions to the reading. You can choose to write freely or respond to the following prompt:

  • How do you think some of the trends, challenges, and future technologies will impact the future of education? Will 21st century classes need to change? If so, describe how the learning environment might look different.

2. Choose a classmate’s (or more than one) blog and leave a comment. You should reference our brainstormed list of what makes a substantive comment.

3. Be ready to explore communication and collaboration tools next class. Feel free to try out some of the Web 2.0 tools listed here (not required).

Two Late Pass Opportunities (These are optional)

1. Write about one of the tools you find helpful in your own life as a new blog posting. Try to include an image of (or representing) the tool.

2. Create a page concerning a personal hobby and blog about it. Try to include photos to make your post more visually appealing. Hopefully you’ll choose to blog throughout the semester about your hobby. I love to knit and crochet and have often thought of starting a “tutorial” type blog that would help other people enjoy this hobby. Make sure to create a label for this blog posting, such as “hobbies”, “knitting”, etc. You can see the screen shot below to show you where this option is.