Friday, February 8, 2008

Using Blogs to Expand the Curriculum--2 ideas

I was reading David Warlick's blog "Mr. Blogmeister" where he provided several examples of assignments using blogs to fit the new ISTE standards. The following two I thought would especially be useful in higher education. I've included them with minor grammatical adjustments. Both these assignments take blogging beyond just the journaling/diary-keeping concept. The first assignment asks students to think about the learning process--how they actually found the information and to evaluate that information. Warlick only asks the teacher to respond, but I think student responses might also generate discussion about why certain information was appropriate and how the student came to his/her conclusions. As always, having students role play or take on the persona of a character in a story, poem, or play adds a new dimension to the study. But having them choose a particular place/sentence in the text requires them to read closely and to evaluate. As the other students play out the second character, the story changes. The blog also allows for commentary on why the students chose particular sections and why they answered the way they did.

  • Research & Information Fluency
  • Assignment:
    As students are engaged in a major research assignment, ask 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
  • Assignment:
    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.

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