Using Blogs as Student Notebooks

I am interested in trying to teach a paperless class. Right now in one of my classes, the students are keeping a journal on Blackboard’s blog, but I want to investigate using blogs for other kinds of assignments. My plan is to have each of them set up a blog and use it as a notebook. I will ask that all of their writing for my class be done in their blogs.  The drawback here is that a few of the students do not have computers at home, so I will have to make allowances for them.  However, I encourage my students to use the library as well as the Academic Support Center for their computer needs.

One additional issue is setting these blogs up in a separate reader, so that I can access them easily and not have them mixed in with other blogs I am reading.  Since I really like reading blogs through iGoogle, I may experiment with having more than one iGoogle account if that is possible.

3 Responses

  1. Do you give the students feedback on these blogs? If so, is the feedback on content, on how well it is written, or on both?

    When you are reading electronic writing, do you ever find yourself wishing you could jot down notes on the “document” itself? I’m a tactile learner myself, so I remember my reactions best if I write them down.

    • Having the students on blogs is still new to me, and I’ve only used the blogs on Blackboard. So far, I’ve shown the students how to use the editing tools in Word, and then copy and paste their corrected versions into their Blackboard blogs. Since the only task I’ve given them on their blogs to date is journal writing, I haven’t made many corrections or asked for revisions. I usually write comments regarding the content and try to include some of their grammatical errors in my responses but modeling the correct usage. If it is a repetitive error, I will point it out to them either verbally or in the comments.
      I had intended to have the students open blogs on Blogger last week, but I decided to start them on Twitter instead. Since I am teaching Advanced Oral Communications (grammar structures/usage), the short responses in Twitter are working better for us right now. I’ll talk more about that in class next week, but I can tell you the students were happy to get started on Twitter since they’d heard so much about it, and I’m enjoying inventing creative strategies for using it to improve their English.

  2. This is a good idea to help integrate technology into a course that may not be about technology. This is a good method to help students who may not have in-depth computer experience become more familiar and comfortable using computers.

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