I have been asked to post an idea as to how I can use blogs with my students in my classroom? I teach 7th grade Social Studies and our curriculum covers the eastern world. This includes SW Asia, SE Asia, and Africa. After some consideration, I believe blogging can be an excellent extension activity for my students, in order to find deeper understanding of the subject matter.
Initially, I would like for my blog to be a place where students can share their insights on certain concepts we cover in class. I plan on making my discussion topics open-ended questions to which there is no definitive right or wrong answer. I believe this will make for better dialogue among the students. My goal is for my students to give their position on certain matters, and then be able to defend their position using facts from materials and resources we covered in class. After becoming comfortable with this process, I would like for my students to continue doing so, but using multiple sources of outside information to argue their position. These sources need to be credible.
Ultimately, I would like for my blog to be a place where my students can connect to a global community, and continue to take a position on a topic, and defend it. This is especially important for my students because many of the people in the global community will certainly have a different point of view than my students. For instance, a sample question could read as follows: “Do you believe it was necessary for the United States to drop atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to bring an end to World War II?” This will certainly get mixed responses, especially depending on the responder’s point of view. This is what I envision my blog becoming. A place to enquire a deeper understanding of the concepts I teach, not necessarily a place for graded work. Although, it can be used for grades if needed?
Does my vision for my blog seem realistic? What potential problems could I face in implementing my blog into my classroom? What recommendations do you have for me in bringing this blog to fruition? All fedback will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!