The primary purpose of blog is to facilitate interaction between a teacher and his or her students. This is possible because a blog is a dynamic tool which can be easily updated or transformed as necessary to meet the needs of a science or math class.
The integration of blog technology in a class requires an investment of time. Because of this commitment, additional evidence is needed to support the integration this technology in a science or math class curriculum.
Why Create a Class Blog?
When a blog is driven by the curriculum and not the opposite, the benefits of a science blog or math blog include the following:
- Blogs are interactive tools which foster debate, problem solving, and critical thinking in students.
- You can post PowerPoint or Keynote presentations, pictures, homework assignments, study guides, videos, links to supporting websites, journal entries, and discussion questions.
- Students can respond to discussions using VoiceThread, guiding questions, or submit their thoughts regarding discrepant events in science or challenging math questions.
- Students writing and reading comprehension skills are improved.
- You promote an attitude of student-centered teaching and learning in your classroom.
What are the Advantages for Teachers?
The greatest advantage for you is the ease of use and minimal or no cost options. These two things alone make integration of this technology viable for all teachers. Additional advantages include:
- No special software or technical knowledge is needed to create or maintain a blog.
- You can embed stories, example problems, videos, podcasts, or images easily using any of the three main blogging tools used by most teachers. These are WordPress and Blogger, which are both free. The third most popular option is EduBlogs, which offers both free and minimal cost options.
- You control the information on the class blog.
- Comments by students and others must be approved by you prior to posting in the blog.
- Ideal for parent communication through online newsletters, updates of current and future events, class assignments, project details, and more.
- Easily updated from anywhere you have internet access.
- Google Reader, Delicious, Diigo, and similar resources can be displayed or accessed directly from the blog.
What are the Advantages for Students?
Students enjoy using blogs because they are engaged in the learning process. For example, students are able to:
- Think outside the box, when it comes to problem solving and project based learning activities. This comes from online resources provided or they found on the internet to support the views, research, and findings.
- Collaborate with other students on projects, along with sharing of thoughts and ideas.
- Learning from other students, by reading their thoughts and processes when responding to assignments posted on the blog.
- Access science or math classroom resources from home, their local library, a Smartphone, or even their iPod Touch.
- Develop a sense of self-confidence about their ability to learn science or math. This happens as make connections with other science or math concepts, theories, and laws governing.
Example Science and Math Blogs
These two blogs are exemplary examples of how blogs can be used to facilitate science or math classroom teaching and learning.
- Extreme Biology – challenges students through creative strategies and techniques in this science blog. Students discuss topics, study current research, and collaborate with other students.
- dy/dan – challenges students to use their problem solving and critical thinking skills using a “What Can You Do With This” approach in math.
To Blog or Not To Blog in Science or Math Class – the evidence is overwhelming as to why you should use this technology. Blogs have been around for several years, they are not going away, and you may find many of your students have their own blog. So why not take advantage of this tool to support you teaching and your students’ learning.