My First Educator Blog Review: the PE Geek

My most favorite educator blog is the PE Geek blog! A Physical Education teacher, Jarrod Robinson, from Australia began this blog in 2008 to incorporate technology in his classes and to inspire digital literacy for his students. Since I am almost finished getting a certification in Physical Education, Mr. Robinson, you are my hero!
In the PE Geek blog, PE teachers can find information about Apps, videos, products, and websites to improve instruction for students. He provides helpful reviews of digital resources including links for more information. As an example, Mr. Robinson explains in a blog post why Twitter is his favorite resource.

He even made understanding Twitter accounts easier by posting a video about the basic Twitter sign up and how to use it as a resource for connecting with other PE teachers worldwide. Check out his Twitter video

Twitter for PE teachers

Continue reading

Advertisements

Secondary education blogs

Middle School:
The first blog I would like to discuss is a middle school blog.

Blog: The Plugged in Portable
It was nominated for the 2010 Best Class Blog by Edublog. The blog was developed by 6th grade teacher in Ontario, Canada. The title, The Plugged in Portable, is not only catchy, it captures the teacher’s philosophy that students should not be pushed to “unplug” when they go home from school. He states in his about page, “The use of technology shouldn’t be something students are only exposed to in the computer lab, it needs to be integrated on a daily basis in the classroom to keep our students engaged and keep learning relevant.” (Carruthers, 2012). He set up the blog to have numerous components to it. One is a teacher blog where classroom ideas are shared. The other is a class blog that is shared with another class. The third is that students also have their own blogs linked to the main blog. It is quite ambitious but seems to work to keep the blog active and fresh. There is a twitter feed attached to the blog  and Mr. Carruthers seems to tweet every day. I would believe he has expectations of how frequently the students blog and the quality of the responses. A good example of the connection between his posts on the teacher blog and the students’ blogs can be found at the claymation post.
You have to check out his video about the lesson! It is short, but polished and professional. This teacher is obviously proud of his students. In his blog he writes about the claymation lesson in which students created characters, script, storyboard and backgrounds. If you click on one of his student’s Abby’s blog, you can read a summary of the activity. She wrote about what she did, what was her favorite and least favorite part, and what she would do differently.

I liked how seamless the blog was designed with the different users and audiences. Mr. Carruthers is creating an online community similar to this one. His students are exploring and using technology on a daily basis.

High school:
The next blog I would like to share is one created by a Carroll County Public School teacher for his AP World History Blog.

The address is
His blog was set up to provide information about class assignments and future test while allowing students to ask questions. For instance, he posted information about a unit test essay . A few students posted questions in the comment section. Something that I would find helpful is for the teacher to add something about himself and/or his class. He could also provide more elaborate posts to keep the blog interesting and meaningful to the students. Compared to the other blogs I have viewed so far, this one is a good start with basic information, but more detail and creativity would be helpful.
Incorporating Blogs in the classroom and encouraging others: Blogs are a great tool for education and create a virtual community and support group. Unlike word of mouth, blogs are there to read 24 hours a day providing teachers and students with valuable resources, ideas and guidance. Just like I was, many people are not aware of the benefits of blogs. One way to promote the use to others is by sharing your blog, ideas and enthusiasm regularly. If I want to share a video or presentation, I may share the link to the blog now instead of through email. Having comments to posts archived, creates an ongoing discussion.

Professional Development: Blogs can be used in professional development opportunities while incorporating technology standards. Presenters can use their own blogs, reference others and create a richer experience for the audience. Supervisors could use blogs to disseminate new trends or policies to staff and welcome feedback. By reading blogs on various educational subjects, teachers can share ideas, problems and learn from others creating limitless opportunities for professional development. No longer do you need to spend a lot of money and hop in a plane to travel to a conference in a far away city to network with others.

An elementary blog to see!

An elementary blog to see!

Classroom Blogs:
Elementary Blog: Kindergarten Tales
I visited a great kindergarten classroom blog. Wow, I can see why this blog earned so many awards. The first feature I noticed was a “Listen now” button. When clicked, the text was read outload clearly. To me, that is a great resource for kindergarten students who are learning to read. They not only can read the blog post, but can hear it too. The teacher had posted a video about a hummingbird that was only partially viewed in class because of time constraints. This is a great use of a blog because it encourages students to log in at home and share their day with their families.
Mrs. Blakely has a beautiful background for her blog. It is cheery and colorful with birds and  a white picket fence with the alphabet on it. The background fits well with the audience of the young learner. Each week of the school year, Mrs. Blakely posts a short paragraph about the day in the classroom. For each blog post, she includes a link to a video, artwork, or a picture. The format is simple, yet engaging. Mrs. Blakely has a catchy title for each weekly post such as “Dads and Doughnuts and Books, Oh My!”

The site also includes reading sheets that parents can work on with their children at home. Comments are made to the blog by families but also other educators who like the ideas and want to share their own.
This is a perfect example of how you would use the blog in a primary classroom. The value for the student is that they can share their day with their family and feel proud of their accomplishments. Whenever teachers connect school to family life, it benefits everyone because the family can reinforce concepts learned in school and be active participants in the learning process. The value of this blog for educators is that it demonstrates how short and simple classroom news can be effective. Depending on when and if I get a teaching job when I graduate, I would love to make a blog similar to this for the primary grades. A blog such as Mrs. Blakely’s can be used for not only the classroom teacher, but primary content area teachers. As a primary grade PE or health teacher, a simple blog could be set up to include the weekly lessons and digital resources available.

Hello friends!

My travel to the blogging world has begun!  I am a graduate student learning about the application of technology in education.  In my blog I hope to share my journey  and learn how to use digital tools to inspire others.