Holidays are a great opportunity to not only relax and recharge but to rethink and reflect. During our recent break I spent some time reorganising my iPad, saving and deleting old notes etc. As I did so I came across several notability files that I took on my trip to the UK last July. During my stay I visited a number of schools, both primary and secondary, who were successfully blogging with their students. I blogged at the time, trying to capture my immediate thoughts and impressions but on reflection my notes tell me so much more about successful blogging with students and classes.
These are a few of the main points I captured:
- Blogging with your class and students can and does improve literacy outcomes. Several UK teachers reported that by teaching their students how to write extensive and interesting blogging comments their overall writing skills had improved, often across several levels.
- That when students learn to write reflective and positive blog comments, they become able to transfer this skill into their own work. Especially when placed in such situations as peer moderation for writing.
- That the nature of blogging being a very public act forces students to become more accountable.
- That the act of blogging improves writing skills, as students become more able to think who is their audience, what is their purpose and what effect should this writing have?
- That blogging gives students ownership of their writing.
- That blogging increases the engagement of students in the act of writing.
- That when students have an audience they have a greater sense of autonomy.
Interestingly I came across this beautiful video and article this week from an US school with the very youngest of writers. In it Mrs Maley a year 1/2 teacher explains.
“But it’s never about the technology — it’s about curriculum and learning,”
Not only are the students more engaged when blogging, they also produce better quality writing than when they write in the paper journal only their teacher will see. “Audience is the biggest part to it,” Maley says. “Anytime we get feedback, even as adults, it helps … push us to new heights, so I find blogging pushes them as writers.”
Watch and read it for yourself HERE and see how it too encapsulates everything the UK teachers were saying.
It is great to be reminded that I am not alone in believing in the power of class and student blogging to improve literacy outcomes.