One of the classes I’m taking this semester is IST 611, Information Technologies in Educational Organizations. Over the course of the semester, we’re exploring a number of different Web 2.0 tools that can be used to support a library program.
This week, one of the topics we’re looking at is blogging. While blogging is by no means a new tech tool (as I think back to the rather embarrassing livejournal account I had in high school), I think it is certainly useful, and there is definitely a place for blogging in the library.
I think that blogging could be used to enhance the library program in a number of ways. I like the idea of the librarian maintaining a blog to keep the school updated on library goings-on. This could be a place for the librarian to let students and teachers know about new resources or events happening in the library, or even an informal professional development tool for teachers (through blog posts with tips on using social media in the classroom, or quick tutorials on a new website, etc.).
I also think it’s important for students to have a voice, and so I don’t think that a librarian-run blog is enough. I think it would also be beneficial for students to maintain a blog; this blog could showcase student work, include student book reviews or recommendations, and include reviews of library events. While it would be important for the librarian to collaborate with students to make sure guidelines are followed, this could be, for the most part, a student-run blog. This would give students ownership of the library, while also helping them to develop writing and digital literacy skills.
While the two ideas mentioned above are both blogs that would be tied directly to the library, I think that blogging is also something that could be used as a collaborative project between classroom teachers and the librarian. With websites like kidblogs that make it relatively easy for students to have individual blogs, the librarian could work with classroom teachers to help students set up blogs and do a few lessons about respectful and ethical online behavior and internet safety. Then, student blogs could give students a voice while also serving the purpose of the class. A social studies class, for example, could have current events blogs, while an English class could write blog posts rather than keeping a traditional journal. Even a math class could use blogs; there could be a problem of the week, and students would need not only to find an answer, but also to explain how they were able to solve the problem.
Having a blog for the library would help keep the school community aware of what’s going on in the library and how the library can support teachers and students. Having students participate in blogging, meanwhile, would allow them to have a voice in their education and have a stake in the library, while also developing their writing skills and learning other 21st century skills. I think that blogging, on the part of the librarian or students, would be a great way to support the library program.
Are you a teacher or librarian? How do you use blogging in your school or library? Let me know!
Standards and Stuff:
CC.8.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CC.5.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
CC.11.W.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. Explore and inquire into areas of interest to formulate an argument.
1.3.4 Contribute to the exchange of ideas within the learning community.
3.1.2 Participate and collaborate as members of a social and intellectual network of learners.
3.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to organize and display knowledge and understanding in ways that others can view, use, and assess.