Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Using blogs for educational collaboration

While the introduction of ICTs in the classroom and the educational process may seem to some teachers as an additional demand on an already demanding workload, there are fun and innovative ways for inclined teachers to engage their students with the technology. Now, what do I mean by "inclined towards the technology"?

If you've come to this blog as a result of the recent issue of "Teacher," where the link was published in an article about the Equity and Technology Workshop, then you are inclined towards the technology. You have either heard about "blogging" before, and have come here to see what the fuss is about, or you are a blogger yourself, and wanted to scope out what we're up to.

So the hard part is over :)

People all over the world, in many different industries are using the Internet as a site of learning and collaboration. Blogs are one of the ways they are doing this.

At the time the Equity and Technology survey was administered (2004-2006), 22% of all Nova Scotia students indicated that they had their own blog. Given that the amount of new blogs coming online increases everyday (at last count, there were about 83.5 million blogs), and the increase in popularity of social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, that percentage is likely higher today.

Though we didn't ask teachers about their use of blogs, I imagine there are a fair number of you out there who also engage in this new hobby.

The educational use of blogs is an emergent practice, but it is one that has warranted the creation of edublogs, a free blog server created by teachers, for teachers. Many teachers have implemented the use of blogs as a "best practice" for teaching, and here are some links if your interested:

http://www.ecolenet.nl/best/edublogs.htm (Best Practices with edublogs)
http://miketemple123.edublogs.org/ (Edublogs Tutuorial Blog)
http://tama.edublogs.org/ (eLearning Resources)
http://educational.blogs.com/ (Edublog portal)

The best thing about teachers collaborating through blogs is that most of the writing is informal, and entertaining, mixing real-life classroom scenarios with best practices... and let's face it, the best best practices are going to be those that work in a practical sense, not just a theoretical one.

The workshop is now over, and we would like this blog to continue as an online resource for teachers to take advantage of. Please post links in the comments section of this blog for the educational blogs that you use, and perhaps even your own educational blogs.

We will be updating the sidebar links as they come in.

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