Do blogs have a place in schools? I think so and so do others. Although, we do need to be careful how we use them to take full advantage. I recently had a sixth grade teacher come to me, as the library media specialist, to see if you we could start a blog with her students. Now, regardless of whether or not you feel this is a good idea, we came across an obstacle - our IT department.

Our tech director, who I feel is extremely out of touch with reality and what works in schools, has had almost all blog sites blocked by SurfWatch. This is the software our district has in place to block our students and staff from accessing certain sites. One of the media specialists in the district asked if some blog sites could be unlocked so he could have access for a class he's taken. Our wise IT director reviewed his policy and has allowed this media specialist, and all media specialists in our district to now have access to all blog sites. Sounds pretty good, huh? Well, there's still a small group of people without access - THE TEACHERS!! I'm not commenting anymore.

Now, I found a blog site that isn't blocked and we have begun to set up our students on the site and in the next couple of weeks will be figuring out how to take advantage of this tool. We have enlisted a couple of tech savvy sixth graders to play around with the site to see how it works, how to add entries, make comments, and generally navigate around. It is our hope that they will then be able to teach their classmates.

Are you or is anyone in your school using blogs with your students? I'd be interested in learning how.

4 comments

  1. happychyck // April 3, 2007 at 11:31 AM  

    I've played with the idea of using blogs in my classroom for a few years. My biggest problem is that we are locked out of everything on the Internet, including some of the blogging websites intended for classroom use, with all kinds of safety features already present. As of last week I was able to access the new portal called 21classes.com.

    My other problem is that I am not sure how I'd use them. I believe it could be a great communication tool, but something needs to be readjusted or one more thing to do might make me lose my mind.

  2. rookie teacher // April 3, 2007 at 6:45 PM  

    No one in my school is using blogs that I know of. I think that it could be a cool thing. There are a lot of teachers who makes websites of their class for the parents so it's basically the same idea.

  3. IMC Guy // April 3, 2007 at 10:09 PM  

    21classes.com is the one we have set up, although we haven't started using it.

  4. On the Edge // April 8, 2007 at 10:03 AM  

    The teachers in my school are generally anti-blog. I think that they fear it, because they cannot control it. Anyway, our Internet system blocks blogging sites.

    It's too bad, because I think kids would love it and be inspired to write more, which would mean they would become better writers in the end.

I.M.C. Guy. Original design by : Yanku-template | Sponsored by : Tutorial87 / Commentcute / Free Blogger Template