I’ve been blogging with my students for many years now, firstly at year5rc and now at year6rc. Over the years I have come to realise that class and student blogging has had many benefits both for my students and our community. This post is my attempt to quantify those benefits.
Class blogs are a window into classrooms, they are a great way of giving communities a glimpse of their child’s school life. Do not fall into the trap though of thinking that all posts need to be written by you the teacher. This will only add to your workload and in the long term this will quickly become unsustainable. Successful class blogs give student reporters a voice. Allowing them to decide what to write about not only validates their learning but also teaches them the value of meeting writing deadlines. On the other hand teachers should add some posts. These might include images of things such as art works, maths puzzles, science experiments and messy learning. Most parents will not have seen learning such as this and it will help to open their eyes, as well as promote home school relationships and discussions.
Students blogs give individual students a voice. They encourage students to read and write just because they can, not because they have to. Student blogs can be customised to match individual students likes and dislikes, which they love. Student blogs also give all students a voice, especially the quiet one. Over the years I have found many of my quietest students have really found their place in the world through blogging. Also, using student blogs for homework helps to keep students accountable. After all they are writing for a real audience and not just for you their teacher.
To those who would argue that blogging is too open, I would say what better opportunity can one have of teaching authentic cyber safety skills? I am convinced that my blogging students have learned how to maintain a safe online presence long before they might be tempted to post inappropriate pictures online.
So why not try blogging with your students? Start one today, teach your students how to comment, how to write interesting posts and how to behave online and watch them fly.