As you might know, blogging is getting more and more popular. Students have blogs, teachers have blogs and even an Average Joe might have a blog. Blogging is something that expands creativity and improves writing and collaboration skills. It can even be addictive – in a good way of course.
Literature teachers would love it, right? Happily for teachers, blogs are extremely easy to set up and maintain and they require absolutely minimum technical knowledge. Unlike those “high-end” websites, blogs are very flexible in design and the content can be added just like in Microsoft Word. Best of all, educators and students find them convenient and accessible via any computer or mobile device. The easiest way is to sign up is Blogger – it’s free and can be connected with your Google account. A more advanced way is to start a blog on your own domain, but that’s not necessarily needed.
As an educational tool, blogs may be integrated in a multi-faceted way to accommodate all students. Furthermore, blogging encourages students to take action (read and write), no matter what the subject or topic is. Blogs can be a great “tool” to promote writing and literacy skills. Students already spend most of the time behind a laptop screen, browsing on different social media networks. Why can’t they do something useful such as blogging? It’s engaging, moreover, blogs can also be used as a classroom management tool, for collaboration among peers, and as part of student portfolios.
If safety is an issue, you can always try KidBlog which allows you to set up accounts for your class without asking for your students’ email addresses. The process is quite simple: Students publish their posts and participate in classroom discussion within a secure blogging community. Teachers have full control over all of the blogs and user accounts. It’s a good way to introduce blogging to younger generation of students so the learning curve is much smaller.
I think the best way to promote blogging is to show teachers how blogs can benefit them personally. It’s very easy to share valuable information through blog posts. Check out the successful blogs of teachers like Kathy Schrocks, who blogs amazing ideas on tech infusion in schools, and Tammy Worcester, who blogs about her creative tech ideas and lessons for all grades. Two similar Canadian teacher blogs includes Mrs. Cassidy’s Classroom Blog and Tanya Avrith’s Edtech Schools blog.