The use of blogs in high and middle school provides teachers with an additional teaching tool to expand the scientific knowledge base of their students. Teachers can use blogs as a new educational technology venue to provide support for their students or challenge students through web-based problem-solving situations.
The digital divide for many schools includes limited technology resources for teachers to use in the classroom. As an essay writer, I know that teachers who are not as limited, have imperfect situations due to the number of actual classroom resources to use daily. This is where the integration of science class blogs can support both teaching and learning.
Blogs are not intended to replace a teacher’s website if he/she has one; however, there are distinct advantages of blogs over websites. These include:
- Blogs are dynamic, while websites are static
- Blogs are free from wordpress.com and blogger.com the two most popular services
- No special software or technical knowledge needed to construct a website, upload files, and information
- Teachers can post specific stories about science concepts and embed links to appropriate websites in stories for students to visit right on the blog
- No advertisements or other distractions
- The teacher controls all information on a blog, just like a website
- The teacher can allow comments by students and block comments from others
- Ideal for homebound students how cannot attend school due to health issues
- Can be rapidly updated with new information daily, if needed
Integration of blogs in science classes can be accomplished in the following ways:
- Embed videos and/or pictures can be added to support lessons and lectures
- Provide science resources for students not available in the school
- Provide links to support information for science learning centers
- Provide pictures related to science concepts for students to view during and after class
- Embed videos or links to science videos for students to view during and after class
- Allows students to read information and provide comments on the blog for homework assignments
- Provides science resources for students who need extra help
- Post interesting happenings in science class for parents to view
Students have been studying a unit on the Biological Classification of Organisms.
- At the end of the week, there will be a unit test on the classification system.
- Instead of using class time to conduct a review or waste paper giving students a study guide. A study guide is posted on the class blog for students to review for the test.
- The study guide provides links to supporting websites, pictures, and videos for students to review for the classification test. These are the same resources used in class to support unit lessons.
- A few sample test questions were also added to the study guide.
Students are studying a lesson on Mechanical Advantage of Machines.
- They are going to complete an investigation to determine the mechanical advantage of the six simple machines.
- Students cycle through learning centers to complete mechanical advantage measurements of pulleys, levers, and inclined planes.
- Additional learning centers are used which have embedded videos in the class science blog of various screws, wedges, and wheels in action. They are required to answer specific questions provided by the teacher related to the mechanical advantage of these three simple machines.
Blogs have made the process of crossing the digital divide easier for teachers. They are simple to update and maintain, without needing all the resources to maintain a website. The use of science blogs is limitless for supporting teaching and learning.