Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Using Blogs in the Classroom

As my ECJ India class prepares for our trip in July, I want my students to keep up-to-date on what is currently happening in India.  This semester, I experimented with a class blog.  Students were responsible for posting to the blog four times during the semester: twice they summarized a news article and created discussion questions linking the article to class material, and twice they commented on another student's summary and questions.  While the blog we've created is not particularly flashy, it has been a helpful tool for class discussions, as it shows the students that the ethical questions we cover in class are not just hypothetical--they're real issues that real people face right now.

Some of the students in my freshmen Introduction to Catholic Christianity class also used a blog as part of a project on characters in the Old Testament.  The students had to research an Old Testament figure and come up with a creative way to show the class the importance of this figure.  They had many options--drawing, painting, writing a song, creating a blog, etc.  The students who created the blog had to demonstrate that they understood their part of the story from the perspective of three different characters.  Here is an example from a student who wrote about the crossing of the Red Sea.

Setting up the blogs was simple.  For my ECJ class, I created the blog and added all of my students to it using their mittymonarchs account.  For the freshmen, the students used their mittymonarchs account to create their own blog--they completely designed it on their own.

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