Blogs are online places where people share their observations, insights and feelings. They can be really useful in education by providing students with more opportunities to share their thoughts. A lot of students who wouldn't ordinarily contribute in class will be more likely to post on a blog. You can even have students communicating with other classes in your building, within the district or around the world!

Blogs can be used to :

1. Develop Creativity and Innovation
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
a. apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
b. create original works as a means of personal or group expression.

2. Communicate and Collaborate
Use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
a. interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
b. communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
c. develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
d. contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

3. Research and Information Fluency
Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
a. plan strategies to guide inquiry.
b. locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
c. evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.

4. Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving & Decision-Making
Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems and make
informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.
b. plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
d. use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.

5. Digital Citizenship
Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.
a. advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.
b. exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and

6. Technology Operations and Concepts
Demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems and operations.
d. transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies.

Directions for setting up a 4J blog

Why Blog?

This article gives great examples of how students participate and are motivated to write using a blog. Plus, it's about one of our own teachers!

If you want more ideas for blogging take a look at these sites:
Kirsten Haugen is a 4J parent who has a great wiki with tons of helpful information, including a page on blogging in education.

Links to some of our 4J blogs</span - Mary Hochberg's blog: "Technology for Teaching-- Making technology easier for people"
Check this blog about Jefferson Bear!
Larry Ferlazzo
has a specific focus on ELL, ESL and EFL students but his material could be useful to almost anyone.