Despite having been actively blogging for close to ten years, I can honestly say I’d never really thought about the teaching and learning potential of them. Reading Pericles’ Happily blogging @ Belmore South, however, has certainly changed my perspective on that. The drawcards for promoting active blogging in the classroom are numerous. The potential to connect with students beyond the classroom, and allow them to connect with each other and other learners around the world, is exciting, giving them opportunities to learn authentically. Explicit criteria and student direction are, of course, still necessary, but can be enhanced through use of a blog. Teachers may also elicit more useful feedback on students as some who may not feel confident enough to contribute in a classroom setting feel more at ease online and participate more.
Having access to a variety of learners is another bonus for teachers to use. Students do not need to write to an imaginary recipient about their learning experiences, they have a wide audience online who provide not only an authentic audience, but may also provide honest but supportive critiques of their writing, allowing students to improve. As students may discuss or write about their learning experiences in any KLA, teachers can engage them across the whole curriculum by providing them with this outlet. The blog itself also provides the teacher with formative feedback and maps the students’ learning journeys, allowing progress to be seen more easily. Because it is online, students also learn how to use and produce multimodal texts in an authentic manner.
The following two examples showcase the potential of successful blogging where these teachers have engaged students inside and outside of the classroom through its use.
This blog is an excellent example of an engaging blog, suitable for Stage 2 students. The blog content covers a variety of KLAs, including English, Science and Technology and Creative Arts and is well organised, using tags to allow easy navigation and searching. It is well formatted, with use of images and videos of the students, which will serve as an engaging reminder of their learning experiences. The teacher also poses questions in each blog post, promoting discussion and participation from the students and others around the world interested in their learning experiences. They are also connected to a variety of other blogs around the world, creating an online learning community.
This blog is another great example of a blog for students, also suitable for Stage 2 students. Much like Mr. Salsich’s Class blog, it covers content from a variety of KLAs and school activities that students participated in, and this teacher also poses questions in each blog entry to encourage discussion and participation. The drop-down menu at the top of the page provides extra information on internet safety, learning how to blog, as well as the classes’ rationale for introducing blogging into their learning experience. The sidebar provides links to affiliated blogs, including blogs of individual teachers and students, highlighting how successfully blogging has been introduced and implemented for this particular group.
Pericles, K. (2008). Happily blogging @ Belmore South. SCAN, 27(2), pp. 4-6.
Also, feel free to check out my Scoop.it! site! I’m mainly interested in looking for ways to use technology to promote creativity in the classroom, but for more general Scoops, feel free to check out my more general Scoop.it! site.