I have struggled to think of ways to use a blog in my math classroom. In my current teaching practices I stress the importance of self-refection in order to grow as a learner. My students create a reflection log using Google Sheets. They each share this document with me and I am able to see their reflections and comment back to them individually. This is a great method to continue communication with each student. As I researched, it became clear to me that this activity could be greatly enhanced by having each student create a blog. Blogging opens up the door for students to “create original work as a means of personal of group expression” (ISTE, 2015).
High school students are already familiar with online discussions and creating one for my math classroom has the potential to spark engagement among the students. “Forums provide an alternative channel of communication between students and educators” (Tucker, 2014 p. 169). Communication is key for students’ success. Blogging is one method to increase interaction between the educator and each individual student and between peers as well. Utilizing technology that students use in their daily lives “promotes student reflection using collaborative tools to reveal and clarify students’ conceptual understanding and thinking, planning and creative process”( ISTE, 2015). Learning from each other’s mistakes, sharing advice, asking questions and sharing words of encouragement is one way to build relationships and strengthen the supportive environment of the classroom. It also gives students the chance to “collaborate, and publish with peers, experts or others employing a variety of different medias”(ISTE, 2015). Blogs could also be used in my math classroom for students to post real life connections.
In mathematics, students always wondering how the concepts relate to their daily lives, future careers or potential endeavors. Using blogs in order to research how others are using math in their lives gives students the opportunity to take learning into their own hands. With this tool, students would be able to research and reflect on the information they found and share that knowledge with their peers. Each student would then have the opportunity to “pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in the setting of their own educational goals” (ISTE, 2015).
There are many methods in which educators can incorporate blogging into their lessons. Will Richardson stated that, “One of the biggest potentials of Weblogs is the ability to create spaces where students can collaborate with others online” (Richardson, 2010 p. 23). As a mathematics teacher I am still learning the different ways to implement blogging into my classroom activities. What type of activities do you use your blog for?
Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
(n.d.-a). ISTE standards for students. Retrieved May 9, 2016, from http://www.iste.org/standards/iste-standards/standards-for-students
ISTE. (n.d.-b). Standards for teachers. Retrieved May 9, 2016, from http://www.iste.org/standards/iste-standards/standards-for-teachers
Tucker, S. Y. (2014). Transforming pedagogies: Integrating 21st century skills and Web 2.0 technology. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 15(1), 166–173. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases