This is going to be my third attempt at maintaining a classroom blog. I started out with Weebly near the end of last year (you can see some of my old posts here) and then near the start of this past school year, I switched over to Edublogs. Both sites had some great features, but now, I believe going back to Weebly suits my vision better. I thought I might use my first new post to recount a little bit about how I got here!
My experience with wikis and blogs began several years ago when I attended a tech workshop through my school district. I was intrigued by the various uses they could have and the role they could play in a 21st century classroom. My first class wiki was set up through PBWorks...you can still find it here: http://ullman205.pbworks.com. I first used it mainly to post homework, and then started to post resources for various projects and give students their own pages to edit. PBWorks worked really well for me for several years.
I began to shift my thinking about two years ago. My district started using Google Drive, which enabled me not only to post assignments, but to have students be able to complete them online. Then I was introduced last summer to Google Classroom...all of a sudden, the main reason why I was using PBWorks no longer seemed applicable. Now I could post assignments, announcements, and have students turn them in all through these two applications!
The real change happened in May of 2014, when I attended a workshop led by Alan November. It was here that I picked up the ideas for a lot of the tech tools I'm now using in my classroom. I started using Remind as a tool to keep families updated as well as another avenue for making sure students knew their homework assignments. I began using Twitter as a professional development tool. I learned about other online teaching tools like Blendspace and Verso. Most importantly, I started learning how blogging could be a powerful teaching tool and how it could empower students to share their work to a larger audience and for a greater purpose.
Which brings me to now. This past year was the first year I'd blogged with my students, and as the year progressed, I began to get a clearer idea of what I want to do. This year, each of my students will get a space on Weebly, where they will be able to post examples of their work along with reflections about it, creating a "blog-folio." I also intend to make reflective blogging a weekly practice in my classroom and hopefully finding a few more classrooms to share with and to engage in conversation. Let's see how it goes!
5th grade teacher in Princeton, NJ. Passionate about education, technology, and the New York Giants!