After being introduced to class blogging through my Information Technology in the Classroom course I thought blogging would offer a bit of fun for my students and families. Over time, I have come to appreciate the many benefits that blogging offers to students. However, with a very full curriculum schedule I have found it difficult to build blogging into my regular classroom routine. For now, I occasionally add to the blog myself to give parents a small window into our space; but I hope to also have students share work here once in awhile as well. Below are a few of the many great reasons students can benefit from participating in our blog.
Supports Reading Skills
Reading other blogs is an important part of the blogging process. By reading posts from other bloggers, students learn about creating interesting and informative blogs. This allows them to make connections and practice reading for authentic purposes.
Helps Students Develop Writing Skills
In our class we will be using blogging to address a variety of writing skills. Writing posts together allows us to look at how to present information to a desired audience. As well, students will be expected to write quality comments that follow a letter format (intro, body, closing). Writing using paragraphs will also become an expectation, which is a part of the grade 4 and 5 language curriculum.
Teaches Students to Build a Positive Digital Footprint and Practice Internet Safety
Most students today are using the internet in some capacity today. They will only continue to access this tool more and more as they get older. It is important to teach students how to be safe on the internet and how to ensure that they are creating a positive image of themselves and their actions online. It is not enough to do this over a few brief lessons; blogging allows consistent regular practice for these important skills.
Class blogging can allow opportunities for collaboration in many ways. Students can work together to build posts for our readers. Students may work in groups on a collaborative project and this can be shared on our blog for feedback from other students in the class or from global viewers. As well, blogging gives us the opportunity to connect with other classes around the globe and establish relationships. Classes can learn from each other and can have a better understanding of geography, time zones, and social interactions.
Includes Parents in their Children’s Learning
Blogging provides a window into what is happening into our classroom. Parents can see what students are learning about and have regular updates on what is for homework. As well, many parents often wish they could be more involved in their child’s learning. The classroom blog is a great place for parents to leave comments about what we’re learning or ask thought provoking questions about our topics. This gives students a reason to consolidate what they’ve learned and put a response together that shows their understanding of new concepts. As well, parents are able to create guests posts about topics of their choice. Students would love reading about topics our parents know lots about or to hear about some exciting facts from places our parents have traveled to. This encourages our students to ask questions and write quality comments.
Without a doubt, I know that students love using technology. Students are motivated by the idea of blogging. Many teachers who use blogs report that students show improvements in their reading and writing through blogging. There is also an increase in effort and creativity from students when they know their work is being published for an authentic and immediate audience. Students who tend to be reluctant writers are more willing to write when their work is being published on the class blog.
Students Learn 21st Century Learning Skills
Students today will require a variety of skills when they enter the workforce. Many of them will have jobs that haven’t even been created yet. For this, they will be expected to be confident in using a large variety of 21st Century Learning skills. Blogging teaches students to navigate the internet, how to create digital presentations, how to type, how to work with others in different locations, media literacy skills, reflection skills, and a variety of technology skills.
Mrs. Yollis is a fellow blogger who I am inspired by. She has been blogging with her grade 2’s and 3’s for several years now and has seen many benefits of the process. See what her students have to say about blogging:
Still not convinced, here is a great info-graphic that the amazing Langwitches shared on her blog:
The skills learned through blogging are invaluable!
Miss. Azzapardi’s Class. “Why We Blog.” Five White’s Class blog. Accessed 08.04.14
Yollis, Linda. “Rewards of Teaching Young Children to Blog.” SmartBlog on Education. Posted 08.08.12. Accessed 08.04.14
Morris, Kathleen. “Flattening Classroom Walls With Blogging and Global Collaboration.” The Edublogger. Posted 07.02.12. Accessed 08.04.14
Yollis, Linda. “Why Have a Class Blog.” Educational-Blogging. Accessed 08.04.14
Mrs.Yollis’ Class. “What We’ve Learned from Blogging.” Mrs. Yollis’ Classroom Blog. Posted 05.08.09. Accessed 08.04.14
Sinha, Rini. “Blogging in Classroom: Steps and Benefits.” EdtechReview. Posted 05.16.13. Accessed 08.04.14
Tolisano, Silvia. “Implementing Blogging in the Classroom.” Langwitches. Posted 10.08.12. Accessed 08.04.14
Davis, Anna. “Rationale for Educational Blogging.” Edublog Insights. Posted 01.17.07. Accessed 08.04.14
Holland, Beth.”Introducing Social Media to Elementary Students.” Edutopia. Posted 06.18.14. Accessed 08.04.14
Morris, Kathleen. “The Benefits of Educational Blogging.” Primary Tech. Posted 03.08.13. Accessed 08.04.14.
Utecht, Jeff. “Blogs Are Not The Enemy.” Tech and Learning. Posted 04.20.06. Accessed 08.04.14.