Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Classroom Blogging

In an interview Gordon Snyder and I did with Karl Kapp, we discussed the topic of blogging. Karl really hit the nail on the head, when he described the effect that blogging has had on him personally.
I love my blog, it really clarifies my thinking and is a great online "memory box" for me.
Karl's point begs the question - wouldn't students benefit from blogging? Does blogging have the potential to help students become better communicators, clarify their thinking, fine-tune their critical thinking skills and improve their memories?

A New Jersey K-8 Tech Teacher - Ann - is using Class Blogmeister to blog with her students. Blogmeister is well-suited for use in the class room because it, explicitly designed with teachers and students in mind, where
the teacher can evaluate, comment on, and finally publish
students' blog articles in a controlled environment.
The key there - at least for me - is the controlled environment, especially for K-12 students. Gordon, Karl and I all use Blogger, Google's blog-hosting service, but maybe a tool like this is more appropriate for students. The flowchart on the left describes the workflow in Class Blogmeister.

An example for college students is Mark Viquesney who teaches at the Maricopa Community College District in Arizona. For a hybrid class Mark's teaching this fall he's using Google docs for student writing assignments and peer review. Mark is also using Elluminate to hold virtual office hours and encourage greater student-to-student to interaction.

Both great ideas! Different audiences; different tools - what do these two ideas share? Collaboration! Collaboration is the killer application!


bethg said...

Hi Mike,

I like what you said about blogging as a way to clarify thinking. As a writer, I've often said that I don't know what I think until I see what I say! You are also correct that collaboration is key.

I wanted to make you aware of another Elluminate collaboration tool, vRoom. It's our free, 3-seat virtual meeting room with all the functionality of Elluminate Live! except recording. It's great for small group colaboration, one-on-one meetings, and virtual office hours. For more, visit

You mentioned Maricopa CC. Here's a link to a vRoom story ( from the school. Check it out along with the other examples of using vRoom that we've posted.

- Beth, Elluminate Goddess of Communication

Mike Qaissaunee said...

Hi Beth,
Thanks for the feedback. I actually have signed up for a free vRoom and played with it a little bit. Wanted to get familiar with the interface, since Gordon Snyder and I are doing a 2-part Elluminate webinar on Webware in September and October. Maricopa is hosting.

Will take a look at your examples.

Thanks, Mike Q

Mark Viquesney said...

I have heard people talk about Google docs - even read what Gordon and Mike write about it in their blogs. It wasn't until I saw part of their presentation at SAME-TEC 2007 did I finally get ideas. And when they sent me a Google Doc to look at and correct, did I finally see the light of how powerful of a tool this could be with my students. Don't just read about it, use it, play with it with a few friends - then you will understand how you can use it.

Other ways it will help - since it is Internet based, my students can no longer have the excuse that they forgot their papers. I can see what revisions they have done and compare it to the original. Many of my students use MS Works instead of word and always forget to save it as an rtf file. With Google Docs, it doesn't matter.

Class Blogmeister is something that I think I will have to look into using. It doesn't matter what field the students are going to be in, but the more they write, the better they will be able to communicate. The blogs will help with this.

Leif said...

Hi Mike,

When looking into various blogging tools for students, please have a look at as well. We asked Will Richardson ( to consult us when looking for the important features for teachers and students, so we're confident to offer an appropriate platform for both students and teachers.

Best, Leif


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