The students have only been required to blog three times, so far. The images below are examples of the student work. They were required to note the state standards (They need to know what they should be learning, as well as explain what the heck the words mean--that is a lesson in itself), define key terms, find images to represent these standards, embed a whole class created GoogleDoc, add video and then explain what they really learned in their own words. I could go on and on about what they are learning, but students and parents direct words say it so clearly (as copied and pasted from my classroom blog):
I like doing a blog, because I think it is a fun and interactive way to learn. I think this changes learning because it helps me do better work because I want to leave positive footprints.
From Dad:Your project is amazing. The fact you can incorporate all the information and present it the way you did is beyond what I would expect and imagine. I'm proud of you.
I think the blogs are really cool and awesome! They are fun to build and experiment with. After a couple hours of messing around with my homepage, I pretty much got the hang of how to edit and build. There's so many possibilities! My parents love it too!
From Mom: I find your blog very interesting. Great pictures!! Let me know when you have added more to it.
Personally, I enjoy working on the blogs. It is a fun way to express what we know.
In addition, the blogs are teaching us how to use a variety of technological resources.
I like these blogs because we can write about/express history in our own ways. It changes learning because instead of just flat-out taking notes, we can add posts to our blog as we go along. We are not pressured.
From Grandma: I can't believe the professionalism of your blog. Your pictures, captions, questions, and overall blog were great. Whenever you get some time I would love to know how you did it. Thanks for sharing.
I enjoy doing the blog a lot. It is fun and is a cool, new way of learning. Everyone gets a say in what their ideas are. This does change learning. It's different and fun.
I do like doing blog because it is a new way to learn. I think it does change learning in a way because it is a new form of learning and I think it's more of a group learning. I think it's more of a group learning because students share their comments on things and other students can read their comments.
I love using blogs to learn they are much more fun and interactive than textbooks and someone just standing there talking. It makes learning much more fun and interactive. Thanks
Honestly, I love the blogs. They are really fun and they seem to teach me many things. When I work with the blog, I seem to work harder to get a better grade, but it also teaches me a lot.
These blogs are an amazing idea. If they are saved, they can create an enduring impact on the future. "Leave digital footprints worth following"
From Grandpa:Wow, I am quite impressed. I feel that your interview of me was done in a real professional manner. If I would have realized that I would be on the internet, I would have changed out of my work jeans. All in all, your presentation covered the subject matter quite well and the addition of the photos brought that time of my life to life. Great job!!!!
I think the blogs are a fabulous idea! They are soo much fun, if you use them right, and such a fab way to share your ideas, because alot of the times when you are talking about class in your social time, it is about either how annoying the teachers are or complaining about the homework for that night, NOT what we learned in class. We should talk more about those things, but it's just so boring in real life! On the blogs, other people (i.e.: friends, your teacher, parents, grandma[??]...) can take a couple of minutes to read your thoughts and opinions about what you are learning, and it could possibly change your friends' thoughts about class that day! Also, it will give your parent(s) an update of what you are doing! Definitely a fun thing to do and I am so glad to have a blog of mine that is put to good use!
Student blogging helps me in my job. Kids are writing more, thinking more, connecting more, and "seeing" more. Student blogging is creative, meaningful and engaging for all. Give it a try.