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The Power of Student Blogging in the Classroom
Anyone can publish their thoughts and ideas with the whole world as their audience, the incredible potential of the Internet and blogging is undeniable. The problem is how to get people to make use of that potential. Or more specifically, how can you make use of that potential in the classroom? What are the benefits of introducing blogs into your curricula?
From a teacher’s point of view it’s simply easier, more effective and more accessible. It contributes to a paperless environment, allows the use of multi media presentation and permits access to class work by parents and administrators to monitor progress and make comments. It allows for student work and lessons to be easily archived for future reference. And as blogger Tom Whitby points out administrators should be using the power of the blog as a way of connecting with teachers, parents and other administrators to share ideas and communicate their vision and intentions.
For students, born and raised in the information age, blogging just comes naturally. It’s engaging and rewarding and encourages students to take pride in their work. A student writing for a potentially global audience is much more likely to take their writing and research seriously, and motivation is increased by receiving feedback from people other than just their teachers. It also gives them the opportunity to learn how to conduct themselves responsibly when communicating with others in cyberspace; if they don’t, their peers will quickly take them to task. Blogging is an effective means of helping students to find their own voice. But perhaps most importantly, it’s just plain fun.
Let’s look at a few examples of how teachers are using this useful tool:
- This is a great example of an interactive blog created by a teacher for her fourth grade classes. As you can see it’s chock full of fun and interesting things to learn and take part in. The same teacher also created this online book club for her students to discuss their assigned reading.
- Here’s an example of a collaborative effort involving students from Texas, California, Australia and Korea in a cultural exchange. The first steps in an emerging global learning community.
- A book review blog page by Chloe, a 4th grader with very good writing skills, and comments from her peers. How often do you see enthusiasm jump off the page like this in a traditional written book report?
- High school biology students created this award winning page. You can see how the blogging medium engages students to excel and produce a highly professional finished product.
- And blogs aren’t just for the primary grades. Here’s a link to some student blogs from Auburn University. And even postgraduate students are utilizing blogs, which might be invaluable in the job market.
Setting up a blog is easy and free with almost unlimited online resources, design and technical support. Considering today’s computer literate student, every classroom should be benefitting from the power of the blog.