First off let me say I think there are way more positive aspects of using blogs in the classroom than there are negative. Actually I can only think of one negative so let me start out with that and get it out of the way. I'd say the one negative I can think of would be the lack of technology available. For instance if you are teaching at a school that may not have computers in every classroom, or if they do they may not work properly. Or if you may be at a school that doesn't even have access to an updated lab, both of those problems could be a major hinderance for having blogs in your lesson plan. There are many cases also in which the students may not even have access to a computer or internet at home and that could make it impossible to use blogs also. Now on that, if you as the teacher are the only one using the blog it might work with the lack of technology, but still you are putting those that don't have the resources in a bad position because they may not even be able to look at the blog.
Now, on to the positive elements of using a blog. I think one would be such an open communication line. If you as the teacher are using the blog to update your parents on the happenings of the classroom they have all of that information at such easy access. Also, along with blogs you usually have message areas and e-mail buttons in which the parents or even the students can contact very easily also. More and more the world is focusing in on technology, so as where many teachers still hand out newsletters in the class, even more teachers are beginning to use the blog as a constant and ongoing newsletter for their class. It's just easier and quicker to update your blog online rather than printing up two dozen pieces of paper every week. This way you can update your parents everyday if you wish to.
Another positive element I see with using blogs in the classroom is networking. As in our class, we researched and found blogs of classrooms around the nation and around the world. This opened us up to so many networking opportunities with teachers, schools, and students. As teachers when we make those kinds of contacts they can be very useful in things such as lesson plans, classroom ideas, and so much more. It opens up an entire new realm of gaining information from different parts of the country and world so that we can incorporate ideas in our classrooms that may never have been thought of before in our particular state or area. It's just always a good idea to have contacts in many different places and be able to reach out and help them possibly too.
The next and last positive element I'm going to discuss is all of the knowledge gained from using blogs. As they were used in this class, we researched so many different things from blogs in other areas to iTunesU to social-networking sites. We read and used those tools and then we wrote about them on our blog which helped embed that information within us so much more. Honestly, without the blog I don't know if I would have even put iTunesU to use and then when it might have come about where I could use it in my own classroom I wouldn't have even known about that resource. So that worked well for our class structure, and even in middle and high school, say a student learns some new information and wants to share it with the class. If you have a class blog then that student could easily update the blog with the new info and it is right there to access from all of your other students. Blogs can be put to use with so many different ages.
Blogs are just a great tool. Sure, they may take some time, but compared to the alternative (paper) they're much easier. Also, with the age we are in and the technology that are students are already familiar with, using blogs can only interest them more; much more than say a traditional newsletter. There are so many pros to using blogs in the classroom, it's hard to find a reason not to. By the way, I read all of Hannah Rogers' blog posts for this assignment. :)
Hope you all enjoy reading!