As part of a blogging assignment I am to look through several educators’ blogs and comment on what I observe. As my field is Secondary Social Studies, the first blog I looked at was The History 2.0 Classroom by Greg Kulowiec. The first feature of this blog that struck me was the extreme variety of technology Mr. Kulowiec highlights. For example, the most current post deals with the educational possibilities presented only by iPads. By contrast, a previous post details a no-technology simulation of the Industrial Revolution using the game Rock, Paper, Scissors. The second attribute that I noticed is the variety and accessibility of the posts. While most of the posts I looked at were traditional texts posts, Mr. Kulowiec also makes use of other formats, such as video posts. I found this particularly helpful in his Choose Your Own Adventure Tutorial.
The general purpose of the blog appears to be introducing and sharing new technology and classroom ideas with peers. From the comments, I see that a lot of people are adapting Mr. Kulowiec’s ideas for their own use. From the blogger’s perspective, I suppose it would be useful to have a log of projects you have done in your classrooms. Additionally, this blog could also be used as a backup of materials and most certainly provides the blogger with peer feedback. From a reader’s point of view, it is extremely helpful to have someone model uses of new technology. I found this blog particularly inspiring and adaptable.
Marx Rock, Paper, Scissors
Choose Your Own Adventure Tutorial
The second teacher’s blog I looked at is Scenes from the Battleground. I was interested in this blog because the purpose of the blog is to report and discuss topics and trends in British Education. I thought that looking at a foreign source for similarities and differences would force me to consider the nuances and subtleties of the educational system of the United States.
From what I’ve seen of this blog, many of the posts are strictly textual in format. Many of the posts are formatted as editorials or are otherwise informal. The blog certainly gives the appearance that it is meant to be approached by peers within the educational community.
One feature of this blog that I greatly appreciate is the guide to blog posts by category that is apparently updated each new year. I plan to do this with my own blog in addition to the calendar of posts. Also, this post was useful in gauging the scope of this blog. The topics that are covered in this blog range from humorous posts to behavioral issues.
A post I found fascinating is a reworked entry about the supposed habit of high school boys to obsess about the sexual orientation of their male high school teachers. Frankly, this is an issue I have never considered, but I was intrigued by the blogger’s position that the educator should be open about the issue. From my perspective, I don’t see how the subject should come up at all. This led me to reflect on what I perceive the most correct and least disruptive response would be. Look for my decision in a future post!
Another post I’ve read closely is a detailed response to a post about education on a separate blog, Liberal Conspiracy. The original post argues for the inclusion of student opinions in what they are taught and how they are taught. The post sets up students as “consumers” in the educational system. What remains murky to me in the original post is the role of the instructor. The rebuttal post I focused on reframes the issue in terms of the professionalism, knowledge, and experience that instructors are to have. The argument at Scenes from the Battleground is that students are not experienced enough to know what they need to know and how they best learn. Overall, the find the rebuttal post more compelling, but I enjoyed reading both sides of the debate.
A Guide to Scenes from the Battlefield
How to tell if your Teacher is Gay
Why Students Aren’t Given More of a Say in Education
Original Liberal Conspiracy post
The third Educator Blog that I focused my attention on is Stump the Teacher by Josh Stumpenhorst. This blog caught my interest as the blogger is in fields and a school setting that I am interested in. Additionally, I wanted to take a closer look at the format of this blog. The blog reads as a personal log of experiences as a professional within the classroom as well as in other settings and it reads as a log of thoughts on current educational topics. Basically, this blog is a catch-all education blog from the perspective of a single teacher.
The reality of this purpose is reflected in the format of the posts. Some are textual only, some include text and pictures, and some posts are in video format. Most topics are related back to their impact on the blogger himself. In this way, the overriding theme of this blog is of reflection.
I was drawn to one post right from the beginning. A fairly recent post from the author lambasts the practicing and harboring of mediocrity in the teaching profession. He does define several factors and agencies behind the drive. However, he offers no solutions. A second post, which is about the Common Core, has similar issues. The post does not go into actual details about current or future standards and is thus not very helpful to beginning teachers. The third post that struck me is based on the supposition that male students are being dealt a worse hand in education than girls. This argument by the blogger is based on; frankly, sexist notions that “boys are rambunctious” and activeness and loudness are “boy-like qualities.” From these three posts I believe I have found a flaw with the purely reflection based blog. The posts are only useful and truly relevant to the individual who wrote them. The posts are not challenging or boundary-pushing for readers, so why read them?
From reading these various Educator Blogs I have learned how I want to set up something similar. While I feel most drawn to the reflection style of blog, I also find it to easy and not professionally challenging. I admire Scenes from the Battlefield in that the blog discusses the profession of teaching as a craft. I enjoy the discourse with peers and the laid-back attitude. I would like to someday have a blog with components similar to the History 2.0 classroom. I admire the professional know-how exhibited in that blog. Overall, I intend to create a blog that meshes features from all three blogs, perhaps separated by topic.
Concerns with Common Core
Schools Fail Boys