Overcoming the Filter Barrier! Blogging and Facebook In Your Class!

Like you, I am often frustrated by the inability to showcase different sites and tools because of district filters.  I was so excited to see a post from DEN STAR Katie Warren the other day re-posting a great article by McTeach called Learning to Blog Using Paper  It’s definitely worth the read, especially as they provide step-by-step instructions for doing this in your class.

For now, I’ll provide the Cliff Note version (or the carrot I’ll dangle to get you to click the link and learn more) Essentially, students create their “Blog Posts” regarding a certain topic using paper and pen (yes, imagine that… but what a wonderful twist for our low tech teachers)  Students can decorate to reflect their own personality or topic of interest… they could even print out and add a photo.  “Blog Posts” are then hung on a bulletin board, where other students can use sticky notes to literally “post” their comments.

I was so excited as I read this post. I love how sometimes when we have limited resources, creativity prevails.  What if we took it a step further… what if for the next story you read in class you created a “paper” version of a “Facebook” as a bulletin board on your class wall.  Students could pose questions to the character, take turns responding and posting as the character, draw or print pictures for their albums, create friends, etc.  Students are familiar with the Facebook format and I believe would really be surprised to see us embrace the style for learning. (Please someone try this and send Jannita_Demian@discovery.com a picture and summary so we can feature you on our blog!)

I remember an afternoon my PTA president and I were trying to plan our class party.  Her daughter jumped out of her seat when the mom mentioned playing a game.  She said, “Don’t tell her it’s a game mom… she’ll make it educational” We all had a good laugh that afternoon.  Though the comment was not intended as a compliment, I still consider it one of my favorites. I often hear teachers complaining that technology is decreasing students’ attention span.  Perhaps, the problem is that they just aren’t paying attention to us.

How can we tweak learning this year to be exciting, different, and still make a meaningful impact? (I like to refer to it as “EDUtainment”) How can presenting ‘paper blogs’ or ‘Facebook’ bulletin boards re-engage todays learners?  What are some other examples we can re-create with low tech solutions?  What are some other strategies you have seen implemented?


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  1. Techynana said:

    Great post, Jannita. You made it EDUcational just like your student said! LOL

  2. Peg Hartwig said:

    Thanks so much for this post! I too, saw Katie ‘s Facebook post and because of DENSI Experiences, I initiated a blogging plan for my Calc kids this year, but now I have a solid way to start my students off with the paper blog version! I am going to have students paper blog on what would have been review material, instead of reteaching. Then they will convert into an online version for other kids in the school to access! I am so glad I was fortunate to find Katie’s post and think it is great you were able to post here on the DEN Blog because it is a great approach!

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