Utilizing Blogs in the Classroom

When I first came across teaching blogs several years ago, it never occurred to me to use them in my classroom.  I always viewed blogs as a public journal for adults, but never something that could be used by children.  However, I am slowly starting to learn that blogs can be a dynamic tool in classroom settings and can foster wonderful collaboration skills.

As a first-grade teacher, I often wondered how blogs could be used in my classroom.  Many first-graders cannot write complete sentences or sight words for that matter.  They come to first-grade not knowing basic sentence structures so it was very difficult for me to formulate how blogs could be beneficial.  However, I came up with a great idea that I think my students would love!  Each student could create their own blog to be used as their writing portfolio that can hopefully follow them through each grade level.  Throughout their writing journey in first grade, they can write or even draw stories to post to their blog.  This allows for students to use digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves (ISTE, 2016).  Furthermore, their peers along with their parents can watch them as they grow into amazing writers and storytellers.  Family, friends and visitors can cheer them on as they embark on their writing journey.  Students can also use their blog as a place where they can work to further develop their writing with the advantage of an audience (Luongo, N. & Finetti, M., 2013).  Students can become global collaborators and learn to work effectively in teams to collaborate and enrich their learning (ISTE, 2016).  I can also offer instant instructional tips, and students can practice and benefit from peer review (Luongo, N. & Finetti, M., 2013).  I can facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity along with support student success using digital tools and resources by collaborating with students, peers, parents, and community members (ISTE, 2008).

Blogging has so many benefits and can encourage more writing within the classroom.  Do you believe blogs have a spot in the classroom?  How would you use blogs within your classroom?

Finetti, M. & Luongo, N. (2013). Let’s Pre-Blog!: Using Blogs as Prewriting Tools in Elementary Classrooms. Ohio Reading Teacher, 43(1), 25-28.

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). (2016). Standards for students. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/standards/for-students-2016

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). (2008). Standards for teachers. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/standards/standards-for-teachers

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3 thoughts on “Utilizing Blogs in the Classroom

  1. Hi Jenna,

    I agree that I have always felt blogs were a public journal for adults. As I continue to take part in my Master’s in Technology Education at Walden University I am developing a better understanding of the benefits blogging can have in the classroom.

    I love your idea as to how to incorporate blogging into a first grade classroom. As you set up your classroom, how do you intend for the students to be able to create their own posts? Often at such a young age, parents tend to take over the duties we hope that our students would be completing on their own. Like you had mentioned, at first grade they are still developing their writing skills and learning their site words. How can we as educators ensure that our students are learning how to use technology and not have parents interfere with this learning opportunity?

    I think that it is an excellent idea for students to create a blog at such a young age and have it follow them throughout their schooling. This would be something I would hope that all teachers could incorporate in their instruction. With this idea comes challenges as well. For those who are not as familiar with technology, or willing to adapt to the ever so changing classroom environment, what is one way that you could get them on board for continuing this idea? I feel that my principal at my site would love for this to happen at our school. She feels very passionate about technology and all it has to offer to our students.

    Thanks for the idea. I may be bringing it up at our next leadership meeting coming up. 🙂

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  2. Hi Jenna,
    Nice post!! I too never really associated blogging with classroom teaching until I was introduced to it at a teachers’ symposium in my country, Trinidad and Tobago, quite recently. As stakeholders in education we were shown different areas that we could incorporate this technological tool into our teaching plans to make our sessions more interesting.
    Yes, I do believe that blogs have a spot in the classroom. Students always participate willingly in sessions that they are familiar with and once the sessions are properly supervised teaching blogs in the classroom can be interesting and a fun way of learning.
    Like you, I would use blogs to help my students with their writing and reading skills. These areas are quite challenging for them and most of them do not like the traditional teaching methods. Blogging would definitely encourage increased classroom participation.

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  3. Hi Jenna,
    Blogging can be so much FUN for students. I have a classroom blog that students create posts for. I also post once a week for parents and families to stay connected as to what the students are learning in class. I love your idea of having the students start blogs that they update with their writing through the years. Blogs can support the learning that takes place and serve as an online journal for students.

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