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