Blogging! So handy in the classroom!

Blogging can be a brilliant classroom activity and a skill that students can really benefit from. It can help allow students to express their opinions and interests. Importantly it can fit quite smoothly into most key learning areas (Pericles, 2008). A very interesting article published by Kim Pericles (2008), ‘Happily Blogging @ Belmore South’ has brought to my attention some very useful information and tips in regards to implementing blogging within the classroom.

The important points I gained from her article are written below.

Blogging can be a very diverse activity and it can be tailored according to individual and personal needs. There are different types of blogs and blogs can serve a variety of functions.

These functions can include but are not limited to:

–       Posting assignments and class news and parent information

–       Sharing of class activities

–       Online publishing of student work

–       Showcases of student art, poetry and creative projects

–       Spaces to respond to concepts and ideas studied in class

–       Journal work

–       Connecting with other classes in other parts of the world

Blogs provide an avenue for students to communicate with each other as well as connect with students from other countries. It can really create a medium where authentic learning can take place. For instance by sharing work with others and communicating with others through commenting, students can rethink, analyse and question their work by taking into account feedback from others.

 Quality Blogging guidelines

Work should be done prior to working with blogs within a classroom.  Discussion and negotiations with students should take place in order to set up high quality guidelines. These guidelines should aim to create explicit quality criteria, high expectations and student direction in relation to blogging within a classroom. As a class a variety of class and individual blogs should be examined focusing on some individual posts, comments and general aesthetic backgrounds or themes. This examination will help students get a sense of what blogging is and will allow them to negotiate what should be in their class blogging guidelines.

Guide lines for the class can include:

–       Blogging rules

–       Topic guidelines

–       Good commenting guidelines

–       Editing requisites

–       Positive responses

–       Open ended question guides

–       Reflective openers

Guidelines are important because it is an explicit reference point for students to know what is required of them. The guidelines can help them edit their work with more direction and it can also help students pinpoint their own weaknesses which they can improve on.Class blogging- Can be central to a quality learning environment

Blogging can become a central part of daily classroom activities.

For instance as a class students and their teacher can:

–       Look for new comments and respond to comments

–       Create answers to questions

–       Connect to other schools by visiting other school’s blogs

–       Share what they are doing in their classroom

 

Article Reference

Pericles, K. (2008). Happily blogging @ Belmore South. SCAN, 27(2), 4-6

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