Saturday, January 08, 2005


I've been checking around, and teachers and others involved in education have caught the blogging fever. Right now, interest seems to fall into two categories:
  • Those who write about technical aspects of the technology
  • Those who write about how it's used in schools

I tend to be one of the latter. I'm most interested in how a technology can be used to foster learning, improve communication, and make teachers' jobs easier. Some of the blogs I've found lately:
  • LORE: An E-Journal for Teachers of Writing. This is not just for Language Arts teachers. With the current emphasis on writing across the curriculum, this is of interest to all.
  • EduBlog Insights. This blog is both enthusiastic and insightful (as its name would suggest).
  • Teachnology. This is apparently a post-secondary teacher with an interest in education.


Weblogg-ed posts about the social aspects of the Internet. I think this is an often-overlooked feature of the technology. Think of the ways that the Internet fosters interaction:
  • Instant messaging
  • Email
  • Listservs
  • Videoconferencing
  • Blogging
  • Distance Learning

The funny thing is, school districts are terrified about that very thing. They often make it as hard as possible for spontaneous interactions to occur, even banning some of the above activities. Unless the activity is scripted or moderated, they don't want it.

And that's a true shame. In my experience, it's the spontaneous hook-ups that most often lead to a true educational moment. I favor giving kids the tools (age-appropriate, and with oversight), and letting them use them. Yes, I know that kids will initially need a lot of monitoring (particularly their language, which is often not even PG), and, yes, I know that there will need to be supervision to prevent them from contact with predators, but that's true for most activities involving kids.

Rather than clamp down on all kids, single out the ones using inappropriate language, and send them a personal message (like, I know this is how you talk normally, but I believe that you can do better than this). If necessary, kick them off for a few days, longer if they don't learn the lesson. But, don't keep all kids from accessing the power of the web because of a few. It's better to teach them how to use it properly.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


Blogging in educational circles is reaching the level of critical mass - it's not just for the techies. The blogging tools are widely available, the expertise needed is well within the reach of the average user, and its benefits for both students and teachers has been demonstrated over time.

Educational blogs range from commentary on education Joanne Jacobs, a writer who specializes in educational issues, graduate students and professorsJenny D. and Winston's Diary, an adjunct, and classroom teachers Ms. Frizzle, Behind the Desk, and I Am a Teacher, who is currently working as a substitute (as am I).

Some Links about Blogging: