Friday, March 14, 2014

Blogging Around the World

Back in the day, when students wrote anything, it was for a one person audience, the teacher. Their purpose for writing, a good grade. Did this encourage them to write? Inspire them? Give them a purpose? For most students, I would hazard to say no. They wrote because it was required. It was less authentic and creative. With the explosion of Web 2.0 tools and social media, the potential for a global audience is now at the fingertips of every child. In most cases, our students are already using these tools to share their stories, connect with others, and create new knowledge, but are they plugged in at home AND at school?

Digital writing fosters creativity, collaboration and gives students the opportunity to write to a broader audience. As a result, more effort is usually put into their writing because they know that what they write is going to be read and commented on by others. It is authentic and gives them purpose. One of the easiest ways to get your students up and running is to have them blog. Although there are many blog tools available, my favorite tool to use with students is Kidblog. It's simple and safe for them to use! It is a blogging platform that was created by teachers for teachers and allows students to get the most out of the writing process in a safe and secure environment.

Once you get the blogs up and running, you need to actively market them so you can get some blog readers and broaden the audience. Share it with parents and your school community. Tweet it out! If you are looking to blog with other classrooms around the world, then Quadblogging is the way to go! By registering your class on this site, you are partnered with three other classrooms around the world who are also blogging. The premise is that you get on a cycle where each class is in the spotlight for a week in which the other classes comment. This gives your students an authentic audience for their blogs and the opportunity to comment on the blogs of others, which is great digital citizenship practice. In addition to improved writing, blogging with classes from around the world helps them think globally and makes the world a smaller place!

Blog Resources
Why Have Students Blog?
  • Give Them a Voice
  • Write to an Authentic Audience
  • Share Reflections
  • Share Learning in Any Subject Matter
  • Increase Writing Motivation
  • Track Writing Progress
  • Leave a Positive Digital Footprint