This week I enrolled in a massive open online course (MOOC) - http://etmooc.org/ on educational technology and media. The first task is for participants to create an introductory post. This is my first experience in a MOOC, so I plan to share my experiences in my blog posts over the next few weeks. Since this is my reflective space that I use for educational technology, I thought it would be appropriate to include my MOOC experience in this blog space and use the tag #etmooc for the associated posts. One of the learner expectations in the course is to maintain a personal blog for continuous reflection, creativity and resource sharing.
I reviewed the welcome and introductory session for the MOOC facilitated by Alec Couros and he shared a site called about.me (http://about.me) for creating a personal biography page. The site is really easy to use and quickly allows users to add background images, text information, and options to add links to social networking tools. I was looking for a tool to create a personal infographic but decided the about.me page would be perfect for using during presentations as well. So I created a page and it is now active and at http://about.me/barb.brown Thanks for the inspiration to do this Alec!
I’m currently putting together a presentation for new teachers learning how about blogging and plan to share my newly created about.me page during the session. It will be much easier to provide one short link to participants instead of providing various contact options or a business card (do people still do that?).
Here’s some information about my upcoming blogging presentation …
Learning Together in the Blogosphere
Session Description: Empower learners to create, share, interact and collaborate online through blogging. What are the principles of design in creating a rich multimedia educational blog? What are some pedagogical considerations for blogging and micro-blogging in K-12 learning environments? In this session we will discuss how to set up and manage an easy to use class blog or your own professional learning blog while considering issues of copyright and intellectual property. Take away some tips and tricks to support an engaging and collaborative learning journey in the blogosphere!
I will admit, I’m not an active blogger and definitely not an expert in blogging. I look forward to viewing the recorded session - Introduction to blogging in education by Sue Waters in the MOOC - http://etmooc.org/ for more ideas. I'm planning to share both my successes and challenges in keeping up with blogging but will also share how experts in the field are suggesting blogs can support collaborative knowledge building.
For instance, I previously blogged about Wes Fryer and how he inspired me to use blogging with graduate students in an online class through his book - Playing with Media: Simple ideas for powerful sharing (2011), Chapter two. Fryer discusses many ways blogs can be used with students (pp. 58-62) and argues that we need to create and share multimedia messages effectively:
Level 1: Broadcast sharing or homework blog for informational purposes
Level 2: Professional reflection blog
Level 3: A collaborative class blog
During the session, I will share how Posterous Spaces (https://posterous.com/) [NOTE: POSTEROUS is NO LONGER ACTIVE] can be used to easily set up a collaborative class blog with students. What do teachers need to consider when using blogging or micro blogging in the classroom? What are copyright and intellectual property considerations in the blogosphere? How can we promote creating and sharing for collaborative knowledge building with students?
Another resource – The Socially Networked Classroom: Teaching in the new media age by William Kist (2010) will also be shared during the session. On p. 58, Kist (2010) offers rubrics for blog assignments; on p.73, Bud Hunt’s guidelines for blogging with students; and on p.85, examples are provided for teaching about online etiquette and characteristics of good blog comments. There is also a discussion on p. 120 about the common issues expressed by teachers, such as the issue of not having enough time for social networking .
Personal Learning Networks: Using the power of connections to transform education by Will Richardson and Rob Mancabelli (2011) is another great resource for teachers. The authors argue personal learning networks can transform schools and “our schools need to harness each student’s natural propensity for participating in online spaces and funnel that energy into building powerful networks for learning that are used in every class almost every day” (Richardson & Mancabelli, 2011, p. 7).The authors discuss research supporting the use of blogs and positive impact on writing fluency and motivation on p. 50. The text also offers strategies for empowering students in networked classrooms as a combination of:
- Connecting students and teachers inside the classroom;
- Publishing student and teacher work locally and globally;
- Connecting students and teachers outside the classroom;
- Connecting with experts around the world; and
- Collaborating with others to create and share knowledge. (p.71)
Any suggestions for other resources related to blogging or advice for the session are welcome!