Creating an Authentic Learning Experience with Technology

What technological resources and programs can enhance content learning, develop knowledge and skills, create an authentic learning experience and meet the expectation of ISTE Standard 2 in an elementary classroom environment?

When students write for an authentic audience about a chosen topic or subject, the quality, motivation, and engagement greatly increases. Reaching an authentic audience can be easily achieved by online blogging. Lorrie Jackson, author of “Blogging? It’s Elementary, Dr. Watson,” explains the many learning benefits that blogging brings to learning. Blogs provide a space where students can share their writing with the public and other students in their class. The public, classmates, teachers, and family members are able to leave comments and feedback on their blog writing. When students are having conversations and discussions about the topic they wrote about, learning and understanding continues to deepen. Linda Teng also mentioned that blogging can be used as a reflective learning tool. Student can look back at their writing from the beginning of the year and reflect on ways that they’ve developed as writers. Blogs should be introduced and in early levels of education and can be continued through all levels of education and beyond.

Technological skills are strengthened by blogging. Already, these skills are expected to be mastered in high school, college, and especially in the work force.

Blogging also meets ISTE standard 2 because students are providing feedback and comments for the blog author, the author’s original work is being published, and multiple audiences are being reached such as parents, teachers, other students, and the public. Jackson (2012) offers some specific blogging programs and sites that have been used in classrooms already: Blogger, LiveJournal, Blogmeister, Kidzblog, Thingamablog

I am excited to see the level of engagement greatly increase during our next writing unit as I integrate blogging into the lessons!

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