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Create a Classroom Blog
Do you want to share files with parents, students and other teachers online? Why not create a blog. Edublogs offers free blogs for teachers. The blogs are easy to set up, requiring no technical expertise. Just go to http://edublogs.org and follow the on-screen instructions to set up a blog.
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How to Use Edublog
I use Edublogs to post daily lesson plans and assignments for my students. I have shared the address with parents and mention the blog whenever I contact parents. In addition to posting lesson plans, Edublogs offers free space to upload and post PowerPoint presentations and handouts that you may have to accompany your lessons. Depending on the size of your file, you can also upload podcasts, images and video, including YouTube, Google video, and other types.
I think of my Edublog as a record of what I taught and how I taught my lessons. Students who are absent can use the blog to see what they have missed. Teachers can also create review games to post or give parents and students suggestions for studying or review. Edublogs is a tool which is useful for advanced learners who would like to study ahead or for students who need remediation. You can organize your blog to help provide differentiated lessons for students. Depending on your system and with parental permission, you can also post student work on the blog. Lessons can become interactive as well. You can post reading response questions and ask students to respond online on the blog by posting comments.
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The most obvious downfall to using the Edublogs is the possibility of server problems. There are some scheduled maintenance hours when the server will be down, but you will be notified of those outages. If you are using Edublogs in your lesson, make sure that you have a back-up plan. The Edublog site, however, states that the blogs save automatically so you won’t lose a post that you’ve been working on.
When I first thought of using Edublogs, I was concerned that I would not be able to use the site due to the firewalls use by my school system. I was happy to find out that I could access the site at school, but you should try to use the service (create posts) at school to be sure that the site is not blocked by your school's firewall. If you plan to post YouTube videos on Edublogs, check to insure that You Tube is not a blocked site at your school.
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The Final Judgement
Overall, Edublogs offers a great service for adding the power of technology to your lessons. You can post messages to aid your students and enhance their learning. An added bonus is that you can share your posts with other educators and other people around the world.