Welcome to Blogging with Students

What is a Blog?
The word blog is short for web log. Written for online audiences, a blog is a journal that is frequently updated and stored on the Internet. The content of a blog can vary considerably, from a running log of events to reflections and personal insights. The increased use of blogging as a simple method of communication has made it important to provide students with opportunities to blog.

Watch this video then click on the comment icon to submit a comment or reaction to it. Be sure to read and follow the guidelines for commenting that appear in the box.

 Click on the word Comments below to express yourself in a safe and respectful manner.

Why Encourage Students to Blog?

  • Kids love blogging.
  • Students who lack the reading and writing skills they need to succeed also may lack the motivation to practice those skills. Many are motivated; however, to write for an audience.
  • Blogs offer an exciting way for students to engage in reflective writing about classroom topics.
  • Blogs give students a voice.
  • Students enjoy writing for an audience.
  • Blogs allow for feedback.
  • Blogs can be monitored.
  • There are many opportunities for teaching students about Internet safety and online etiquette.
Watch the video in the sidebar.

Blogging Do's

The risks of blogging are real because students are posting information on the world wide web. A good place to start is by allowing only comments on the blog. The comments will be moderated by the blogmaster before they are published. Students do not need to login. Please keep these things in mind:
  • Notify parents, get permission and send them the link to the blog so they can monitor and also so they can be part of the audience.
  • Remind students about your school's acceptable use policy.
  • Make sure students never post comments with their full names. A better solution is to use initials or pen names.
  • Make students aware of what subject matter is appropriate and permissible.
  • Help them understand the difference between formal written language and slang often used for IM and text messages. Make sure they use good grammar.
  • Use this opportunity to promote the writing process, teaching them how to edit, copy and paste, and spellcheck on the computer. 
  • Teach students the importance of tone and respect for others' opinions.
  • Have clear expectations, rules, and consequences.
  • Remember that with risk comes growth and learning.
  • Make sure students NEVER post personal information on the blog.
  • Most importantly, monitor those comments carefully.

Good Ideas for Classroom Blogging

Here are some suggestions for classroom blogging. This is a good place for you to get your feet wet and contribute your own ideas to the blog.

  • reflect on their reading or classroom discussions.
  • investigate topics online and then report on their research.
  • record group progress on a project.
  • talk about shared classroom experiences.
  • post thought-provoking quotes, then ask students to offer their own thoughts on the topic.

Getting Teachers Started

The idea behind this blog is to help you experience blogging yourself before jumping in. Here are some suggestions for your introduction to blogging:
  • Start by posting comments to these blog entries to see how it works. Notice the rules for comments, posted on the comments screen. Use your initials or your first name only. A good place to start is in the Good Ideas for Blogging section.
  • Take a look at some of the student blog samples in the Resources section on the left side of the page.
  • Feel free to submit an idea for posting, via the link in the sidebar. This information is collected in a GoogleDoc and reviewed by the blogmaster.
When you are ready to set up your own blog, contact me for information on setting up the blog to safely monitor everything that is posted.

Be sure to check out the resources in the sidebar of this blog for guided learning challenges.

Getting Students Started

Gradually introduce students to blogging:

  • Teach students the etiquette of online posting.
  • Invite students to comment on your blog for a few days just for fun, just to see how it works.After they have experimented with fun comments, ask them to comment on posts related to learning.
  • Consider offering comments on blogs as an optional activity to a traditional paper and pencil assignment. Let them blog instead of completing a journal entry, filling out a reading log or something similar.
  • Keep blogging focused on a class-related topic.
  • Remind students to keep entries short and concise, emphasize reflection.
  • Once students have demonstrated an understanding of etiquette and Internet safety rules, consider allowing them to create their own blogs. They will need an email address for this, and the best way to do this is to get parents involved in setting this up and monitoring their children's blogging.
  • Encourage students with their own blogs to provide feedback on each other's blogs.
  • Be an active participant in student blogging.
Be sure to check out the resources in the sidebar of this blog for guided learning challenges.