Why Blog with Elementary Students?


I was putting together my thoughts on why teachers should blog with their students when someone emailed me this excellent TeacherTube video. Needless to say, I've added it to my thoughts.





















Why Blog with Students?

- Worldwide Audience - The beauty of computers in the classroom is they allow things to be done that could never be done before. If you only use the computer to 'type up their stories' then get a typewriter. If you want your children to take part in the 'Global Village' then set up a blog.

- Authentic Audience - Goes without saying really :) Parents, other students, teachers, grandparents, relatives and people from all over the world.

- Engagement & Motivation - I have found that many of the students who were least likely to be engaged in the traditional writing classroom are now some of the students who use their blog the most.

- Demonstrate How to Use - The social web is here and given that it can offer such a level of anonymity that much of what goes on is unproductive, base and quite nasty, perhaps it is the role of teachers to provide a role model in how to use these tools to enhance learning and not to just bully people or flirt.

- The Comments Function - The ability to comment on a friend's work, a classmate's work, the teacher's work and an almost unknown person on the other side of the world provides instant feedback and is great motivation for the students.

- Ethics, Netiquette & Digital Citizenship - Blogging gives you a real context for teaching all of these.

- Child Protection & Internet Safety - Blogging gives you a real context teaching it.

- Copyright and Academic Property - Blogging gives you a real context teaching it.

- Cooperation & Collaboration - open your class up to world wide projects.

- Writing Processes - There are many writing processes that you can teach for particular text types and products. Blogging gives you a real context to teach these in. Writing is no longer something a child may need in their future. It is something they need NOW.

- Creative Process - With so many people blogging how will you make yours stand out. Marco Torres says, 'Don't do it better, do it different.' How will you do it different? I use the SCAMPER process a lot and this works for me. What will you do?

- Blogging is Really Easy - Believe me, the mechanics are really easy. Just sign up for a Blogmeister account and start. It is the production of content that many teacher find challenging.

- Spelling - I've put this one down the list a bit but blogging can be a motivator to using spelling conventions.

- Typing - I've put this one even further down the list but they do learn to type. Give them the occasional demonstration of the value of putting your fingers in the right places. For those who choose to continue to 'hunt and peck' bring in the school secretary and have the children watch in awe.

For Switched on Executives & Administrators who may stumble upon my humble little page - (he says with his tongue firmly in his cheek) hehehe

- Blogging Cannot Thrive in Worksheet Culture! Use it to advocate change!

- Blogging is 'trendy' so use it to show you are a 'switched on', 'cutting edge' leader.

- Delegate blogging to your, 'star' or 'personal champion'. They will serve you well and you'll get most of the kudos if you play your cards right.

- Provide some Professional Development time for the staff to explore the issues together and to identify the 'saboteurs'.

- Invite in a blogging 'expert' (if one really exists yet) to demonstrate the possibilities to the staff.

Back to