I'll be delivering an ISTE Webinar later this afternoon, and it occured to me last night that I might try to suggest some instructional uses of blogs aligned with the new ISTE NETS Refresh. I'm including them here as a reference for the Webinar participants and for you.
- Creativity & Innovation
In the coming weeks, major news outlets will start talking about the leading events of 2007 and the most influencial (or best dressed) people, i.e. Time's "'Man' of the Year." Few of your students will remember when these same agencies were talking about the events and people of the century and even of the millennium.
As a creative blogging assignment, we might ask students to look through the lists of the people and events of the year and of the century (People of the Year & Man of the Century) and then speculate on an achievement that might define the 21st century, describe it, and describe a ficticious person who is most responsible for the achievement.
After the original blog posts have been made, then classmates and others could comment on the articles, describing how the achievement of the century might impact on them.
- Communication & Collaboration
As you are studying a part of the world in Social Studies class, ask students to write blog entries about what they are learning and also their reflections about the places and people they are learning about.
Connect with another class in that part of the world (Use ePals' Class Finder), and arrange for students in that class to read your students' blogs and then comment on them with clarifications.
- Research & Information Fluency
As students are engaged in a major research assignment, as them to journal daily about their experience, listing what information they have found, how they found it, and how they evaluated the information to assure its appropriateness to the assignment.
Read and comment on the blog entries, giving support, tips, corrections, and other aide.
- Critical Thinking, Problem-solving, & Decision-Making
After reading a story, novel, or play, ask students to pretend to be one of the characters, and describe one sentence that might have been spoken to another character and at what time, that might have overcome the roadblocks of the problem more quickly and with less cost.
Ask classmates to read the blog entries and comment what the second character would logically have said in return.
- Digital Citizenship
Through class discussions, establish a bloggers code of digital citizenship and then ask students to select one of the elements of the code and write a blog entry about why it is important, describing the harm that ignoring it can harm, and strategies for making it a practice of habit.
Have classmates read and comment on, expressing support and making recommendations about strategies.
- Technology Operation & Concepts
Ask students to learn about a new web tool and prepare to demonstrate it to the class. Ask them to journal, in their blog, their process for learning the tool, how the went about finding the answers to questions about operation or reasoning their ways into the solutions.
Then ask classmates to read the blog entries and comment, identifying the skills that seemed to be the most useful to the blogger.
There is obviously a lot of overlap, as many of these blogging activities address a number of the ISTE standards. Bottome line is that blogging is about communication, conversation, language, sharing, and building.