Sunday, September 23, 2007

Blogging in the Science classroom.

Science Blogging.

The area I would like to discuss in relation to blogging is Grade 11 physics. When the teacher gets to the topic of oscillatory motion and mechanical many students do you think will leave the classroom somewhat confused or completely lost? I know that is how I felt leaving many physics lessons in my last years of high school.

I think that if the teacher was to design a blogging site for students to discuss lessons and demonstrations, that many positive things would result. Students would have the opportunity to discuss course content outside of the classroom. This would be less intimidating for many students. The less vocal students could use this form of technology to have a voice. Students communicating with one another about course content, sharing likes and dislikes would create a greater sense of community within the class. Increasing the sense of community would improve the overall attitude in the class. A positive attitude, I feel would benefit students and be reflected in their quality of work.

The teacher could also use blogging to post assignment information and test material. The students could use blogging to work on group assignments without having to be at the same place or time. This would allow for more freedom. As teenagers often feel smothered by rules and regulations, I feel that having blogging as a method of completing course work on their own time and at their own discretion would be ideal.
The two websites listed below support my positive outlook on blogging in the high school science classroom. The website specifically discussing physics classroom mentions that the overall classroom attitude improved and to use exact phrasing the class in fact "came alive". Students were supportive of one another and joined together to accomplish goals.

As the second website discusses rules are necessary to ensure safe blogging. If I were to implement blogging into my classroom, I would keep the blog posts available to only members of the class at first. As the blog is meant for classroom purposes I would see no immediate reason to open the blogging information to the general public. I would have very clear guidelines as to the purpose of blogging. As I would expect my students to have good blogging etiquette I would teach a lesson or two on rules and proper etiquette prior to initiating the blogging site. I would monitor the blogs routinely to ensure the safety and the ntegrity of students.

In conclusion, I am a firm supporter of blogging in the highschool science classroom or any classroom for that matter. By educating students on what a powerful tool it can be when used appropriately I beleive it would help the classroom as a whole and each student individually.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Education 3508 Blog Assignment #1

I am so proud of myself. This is the first time I have ever made a blog. It is relateively easy if I do say so!!

Personal Introduction: I am 28 years old. I grew up in Capre Breton, Nova Scotia. I lived in Halifax for five years, where I received my Bachelor's Degree from Dalhousie University. I went from there to Alberta (5 years ago) where I attended the University of Lethbridge. I spent two years in the neuroscience building working away at a Master's degree.

I have been for the past two years working as a behavioural therapsit assisting children with autism. I was also employed by the Holy Spirit Catholic School Board as a teachers aid.

My experience in the classroom setting is what led me down the road of education.....which essentially brings me to today.

Blogging in Education: My first impression of blogging is that it opens a set of doors that were not open when I was going through the educational system. Blogging can allow kids to communicate with one another freely and at their convenience. It also allows the teacher to communicate more readily with the students. Postings can be made at anytime and from anywhere. The postings can be in journal or diary format, which allows students to archive their experiences. Postings can be used in an administrative manner, allowing teachers to post information regarding course outlines and homework assignments. Blogging can also be used to communicate with parents. Parents can be aware of class activities by simply logging on the

web. This would definitely aid parent teacher relationships.

On a broader level I think blogging may serve to help those students in class that are shy and afraid to ask their question or state their opnion in front of a classroom full of peers. The informality is appealling to many students and especially those that struggle in group situations.

Blogging is a great tool to incorporate into the curriculum and a user friendly way to welcome technology. However the old saying "too much of a good thing" comes to mind.Tthe fact that blogging is so informal makes it very inviting. It would have to be very well monitired by teachers and administrators that it is used appropriately. This tool in the wrong hands could be a problem. With ideas and information being shared so freely people could be targets for harassment and ridicule. People could become targets. This is my one prominent fear.

In summary I think that opening this communication tool serves many great purposes and is vastly beneficial. The benefits will only last if the mode of communication is monitored and shaped by the teachers and administrators.

Two thimbs up from this Bluenoser!!!