Blogging With Students

Have you ever thought of blogging with yours students? I did it with my middle school students for the Winter Olympics in 2018 and I was surprised at how much of a positive impact it had on a range of learning areas. To get an idea of what the blog looked like just click on the image below and it will take you to their site.

Screenshot 2019-05-22 at 19.05.12

What I learnt from the process:

  • To start, it works best when the blog has a clear start and finish time. My students were taken aback by how much work goes into a blog once the researching, writing, proofreading and buddy editing is taken into account.
  • Knowing that the project had a finite period of time helped keep the students motivated to get over the finish line with a finished product they could be proud of.
  • By getting the students to write a blog it was a far more valuable tool for teaching digital citizenship then just having lessons about it in which the students create posters or role-play scenarios. This was the real-world and with careful support and guidance they learnt these important skills in a real-life setting.
  • It was a great tool for improving the students proofreading and editing skills. This and the quality of their writing in general improved a lot after this project.
  • It made the students think a lot more about the audience they were writing for.
  • Be prepared for limited engagement from the parents and look to use other classes to comment on the students articles and provide praise.
  • When planning on creating a class blog make sure there is a rich seam of topics for the students to write about.

Things to consider for the future:

  • Next time I do something like this I will spend more time considering how to support my students with accurately citing and attributing the sources of their images. This was something I overlooked this time.
  • With GDPR here in Europe, more consideration needs to be made with regards to protecting the students personal data. My current school suggests using Google Sites over WordPress or Weebly to address this.
  • I want to develop something like this over the year. We would start by doing a short term project in the first term to focus on the skills needed to do this. By the summer term, I would want to have student led projects which they are responsible for completely. I will hopefully be able to do this as my schools IT infrastructure improves.

What are you experiences with blogging with your classes? How have you structured it? What did your students blog about? Please leave your comments in the box below.

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