This is a reflection post as part of a Professional Development course our school is undertaking.
In this module, participants were introduced to the concept of blogs. For me, blogs are a great communication tool. I love how Commoncraft explain blogs “In Plain English”, and have used this time and time again with my students when starting our blogging program at the beginning of the year:
We have been using our class blog with our students with great success for the last 2 years, www.stmarks56.global2.vic.edu.au. Whilst it takes a while to set up, there are a lot of anecdotal advantages that I have observed in using blogs with students:
- it gives an authentic purpose for writing
- it increases communication across students, teachers and parents
- flattens classroom walls and connects learning to the world
It’s in the last point that the biggest advantage is, and a crucial reason to blog with students. As I mentioned in a previous post, educators need to skill students in critical skills for the web, but also provide the opportunities for practise. I have found blogging to be a terrific way to incorporate digital citizenship, cyber safety, copyright, writing and typing all in one nifty package.
For anyone wanting to set-up a class blog with students, I would highly recommend Kathleen Morris‘ class blog to see the potential of a well designed blogging program. She also has a personal blog and includes a great guide to educational blogging. I have used Kathleen’s resources for our own program, and she is a true inspiration and leader in educational blogging!
What advantages are there for students to be involved in blogging?
Kathleen’s series are excellent and she often helps us by writing posts.
I’m not sure if you’ve checked out our series on class and student bloggijng? But you’ll find it here – http://teacherchallenge.edublogs.org/challenges-2/blogging-with-students/
We have also been collecting other resources on student and educational blogging in our pinterest account here – http://pinterest.com/edublogs/ .
Edublogs Support Manager
Thanks Sue, I’m familiar with the edublogs site but haven’t come accross that guide. Looks very good! I will definitely share it with my staff as we are looking to introduce blogs at all levels.
I really appreciated your reflections on using blogs in your classroom- particularly regarding giving authenticity to writing and also “flattening the classroom walls”. I struggles last year to really get the blog up and active and found that I was doing all of the work and students really weren’t getting into it. In doing this course, reading reading reflections like yours and by getting individual students more involved, 2013 has started off much better. Thanks, Carlie
Mrs A, I know exactly what you mean. For some periods last year, it really felt like our student blog was going no where, and I got the feeling that I was doing all the work and the students weren’t getting into it as you say.
But this was precisely the problem! Getting students to contribute and feel like they own the blog builds their enthusiasm, and slowly but surely, they begin to be much more interested as it continues to be more relevant and engaging for them.