Saturday, October 15, 2011

Why Students Should Blog - My Top 10

Image: Kristina B

I have written about it before, I will write about it again I am sure, so here is why students should blog:
  1. They have an actual audience to write for.  The writing is no longer just for me but the whole world. When we write science diaries, we have scientists write back to us and push their questioning skills.  When students write about a book they are reading, other students ask them questions and give them more recommendations.  When students go on vacations they write to us to tell us all about it.  You get the idea.
  2. You can track their writing progress.  I have always had them keep track of their writing in their binders but invariable papers got lost.  Here I can see their growth, print it out and hand it to them.  I can have them focus on specific skills, just like regular writing, but they can go in and edit on their own time.  They can see their growth and the electronic version seems to appeal to them more.
  3. It opens a dialogue.  Students have a direct line to their teacher and to anyone else they are connected with.  Blogging helps us write back to each other, but great blogging is like a conversation with questions and critique.  My students are learning how to engage in written dialogue with topics they care about. 
  4. It establishes their internet identity in safe manner.  Students are getting on the internet earlier and earlier so as teachers it is vital we embrace this opportunity to teach them safety.  My students know the safety rules by heart and help each other follow them.  By being on the internet and establishing a presence they are actively practicing staying safe rather than just talking about it.
  5. They teach each other.  Numerous times my students have corrected misconceptions or created new awareness of concepts being taught within our room.  They become teachers rather than just students in our classroom and blogging allows them to continue that outside our classroom walls.
  6. They are global citizens and global collaborators.  We speak of creating global citizens but then forget to actually connect kids with kids.  My students know where places in the world are because they speak to kids from those places.  We have connections around the world that we can use when we study other places and this year my students will even be working on a project together with another classroom.
  7. Transparency.  Too often teachers shut their doors to the world rather than sharing the amazing things we concoct along with or students.  Blogging opens up that door and shows the whole world what is happening.  My students have more than once inspired other teachers to try a project.
  8. They become aware of themselves as writers.  Students start to create their own essence as a writer first playing around with fonts but then creating tag lines for their blogs and deciding how they want to present themselves to the world as writers.  This is powerful at the elementary age.
  9. I can easily check in on their learning.  When my students blog about a concept I can quickly see whether they are understanding the essential concepts or need another learning opportunity.  
  10. You give them a voice.  Students need a way to express themselves to take ownership of their learning, so through our blog students tell the world their thoughts on education, their learning and their needs.  I am a better teacher because of their blogging.
I could keep going but I hope that this inspires you to try it.  Reach out, connect, I will gladly help anyone that wants to try blogging with their students.  My students tell me now that blogging is one of the best things that has ever happened to them.  To see their work and their thoughts visit them here

For more reasons why students should blog, check out this post:

22 comments:

Ms. Serdy said...

I've only been following your blog for a couple of weeks now. However I thought this post important enough to share with my school. I've been trying to promote the importance of 21st Century literacy this year. The work of teachers like yourself is so important because we need models for those who need them to take that first step.

Mrs Ripp aka @pernilleripp said...

What an honor to have you share this with your school, thank you so much, If you ever need someone to Skype n and speak to people about it just let me know. I can also help via email if anyone has any questions. Blogging changed my teaching and the world f my classroom so I am always eager to help others get started.

6thgradeclassblog said...

I've just started blogging with my 6th Graders. It's a small group of kids who need the extra language help and hopefully this will give them a good boost. I really enjoyed reading your post and it definitely encouraged me to continue.

Tracy Watanabe said...

Nicely written! I recently talked about this and wrote a post about the impact of blogging on our district. I hope it's okay that I linked to you as well because this is a fabulous testimony why students should blog.

Kind regards,
Tracy Watanabe

Laura said...

This is a great post! My students love blogging. Thank you so much for inspiring me. I have since gotten my husband to have his class start blogging. I love the concept of teaching each other. We just blogged about how we are all teachers and can teach each other. I have become such a proponent of blogging and we've only been at it for a few weeks!! If you have a chance, take a look at what you inspired!! :)

kidblog.org/mrsrahnsclass
login as visitor, password moose

-Laura Rahn

photomatt7 said...

Pernille,

I am so glad you put number 5 on the list, about the kids teaching each other. This is something I didn't anticipate when we started. It has been amazing to see kids who, at first glance are struggling in most everything, be the ones to support others in finding keys on the keyboard or reminding them how many spaces to put between words, etc. It's another way in which the playing field is leveled when kids blog. It is truly inspirational.

Thanks also for the link.

Matt

Wm Chamberlain said...

You could make the exact same list and substitute teachers or parents (or anyone) and it would still apply. How cool is that?

Mike Gwaltney said...

Adding bits of this to the 'goals' section of my blogging assignments. Thanks for posting! Cheers. ~ @mikegwaltney

Jodi said...

Our school currently only wants us to blog using our school site for the protection and safety of kids. However, it is not user friendly. You mention teaching them internet safety. I looked at your students' blogs as well. Can you explain to me how you do this so I can use this information to help my district understand. Thanks. I love the idea of blogging and the little bit I have done my kids embraced it.

Mrs Ripp aka @pernilleripp said...

Hi Jodi,
I would love to discuss how we keep our kids safe on the internet. One place you can start is with the resources here
http://mrspripp.blogspot.com/p/student-blogging-resources.html

I do discuss some safety there and then you can also email me directly at psripp at gmail.com and we can discuss further.

best,
Pernille

Joel Heinrichs said...

Thanks for this post! We are big advocates of student blogging. The benefits are endless! I discuss this more in my post here: http://mbcurl.me/2KW

mensajes claro said...

This is a great post! At most at All of students love blogging.

Ms. Serdy said...

I just revisited your post today as I added it to my delicious stack about 21st Century Skills. After I finish my graduate work in a couple months, I will see if I can get some teachers to collaborate. We're in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Again, thank you for sharing your insights and reflections.

Christian Sarono said...

This is very brilliant and helpful post to anyone looking for ideas similar to this. I agree that everything isn’t perfect, but this post is very effective and efficient.

Miss Price said...

This is a fantastic resource and I appreciate all that you share! I have run across this exact list on a few other teacher blogs and I am wondering if you have shared your list with other educators to post? We will be beginning our blogs soon and I am always looking to find the best resources and guidance out there.

Mrs Ripp aka @pernilleripp said...

I am so glad it is useful, I don't remember sharing it with anyone other than on this blog but I am sure people have shared it. Hopefully they give credit.

Sean Thompson said...

Hey I love this post. So much so that I've tweeted it and even used it as a link on my new training site: http://www.giveitaway.net/index.html
Thanks for sharing,
Sean Thompson

Anonymous said...

I think that this is an amazing website for people to see what are the true intentions for why students should blog. It goes into more details than just putting a student on a computer and telling them to write something. It will help people understand that the way things are today are different than they used to be and that there is more ways to help students understand what they are doing.

Thank you,
Desiree

mensajes claro said...

This is very brilliant and helpful post to anyone looking for ideas similar to this. I agree that everything isn’t perfect, but this post is very effective and efficient.

Muara Pos said...

Last year, I read Many blog posting every day and now I want to blog like what they have done. Hoping for some good in future.

nj back pain treatment said...


Thanks for the great post on your blog, it really gives me an insight on this topic.

Julieanne said...

Thank you Pernille for this top ten list. I'm using Kidblog and I love it because it's simple! I started blogging this summer with my incoming and outgoing class of 5th graders. I didn't have a chance to give them much instruction (frankly I was learning right along side them) so we just got ourpasswords and went with it.

At this point, my contact is limited to the extent that I can only respond to those who blog. That in of itself tells me a lot. Some have really taken to it others, not so much. But that's okay. We're getting our feet wet and I am so excited to take it further when the school year starts.

Thanks again for your words of wisdom and support. I'll be looking to you for help as we get further into blogging. Looking to the global read aloud as a way to reach other classrooms too.

 

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