My blogging output has certainly suffered as I’ve been finishing up my last semester of graduate school. I’ll be all done December 5th when I take the comprehensive exam to receive a masters degree in Education Policy and a California Administrative Credential.
I thought I might combine my blogging and my graduate work by sharing one of my final research papers, an article on blogging’s role in the school community. I make the case for blogging on three fronts:
- Home-school communication
Schools are increasingly aware that they need to have a web site to have a public presence on the web. However, the majority of school web sites in a district like Los Angeles Unified are static pages set up by volunteers, experts, and other school outsiders. Often these sites sit without updates for years when teachers and administrators find themselves too busy or too intimidated to update the pages that they did not create themselves. Posting to a blog, however, is as simple as sending an e-mail.
Even in low income schools where many students do not have computers at home, many parents do have access to e-mail via cell phones. If parents subscribe to a blog by e-mail they can easily receive reliable updates and teachers can easily send valuable information as they find it.
- Student achievement
Blogs in the classroom can replace paper and pencil journal writing, showcase student work, collect student research on a particular topic, or be the format for creative writing. Aside from the novelty of working on a computer, the main advantage of blogging as a writing activity is that online writing has an audience whereas most classroom assignments normally begin and end with the classroom walls and the teacher as the only reader.
- Professional Development
Professional development often consists of one hour scattershot presentations with little follow-through and even less teacher input. By providing time for teachers to participate in blog reading or writing as professional development, administrators can support self-reflective practice and differentiated instruction tailored to teacher’s needs.
I also address practical concerns like pedagogy, lack of equipment and financing, and student safety.
You can download the entire paper here which includes my references.