Blogging has become an important way for people to connect. Businesses use it to reach customers. Non-profits use it to raise awareness of their brand. Teachers can even use it to connect with students and to enhance learning.
There are a number of ways that teachers can use blogging in their lessons — both in and out of the classroom. Here are a few ideas for how you can use blogging in your teaching:
Teach Writing Skills
Of course, the most obvious application of blogging is to teach writing skills. Students can maintain their own personal blogs, or they can be asked to contribute to a classroom blog. Writing assignments can include open-ended journal-type entries responding to readings, or they can be formed around prompts that you provide.
Encourage Classroom Discussion
Not all students feel comfortable enough to open up in the classroom and share their thoughts. Some students may experience social anxiety, while others may not be able to articulate their thoughts quickly. Starting a classroom blog allows these students to feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts, and it gives them the time to articulate their thoughts well. This will encourage more students to participate, leading to a more lively classroom discussion.
Build Student Portfolios
A blog is a real-time record of student work. As students add to it, they automatically have a record of their work and the progress they have made in the class. Asking students to keep a blog is a great way for them to build a portfolio of their writing and the work they perform in your class. The portfolio can be used for assessment for your class, and students can use it to show off their skills when applying for more advanced classes or programs.
Teach Proper Online Behaviour
More students are engaging more frequently online, yet not all of them understand proper online behavior. Many of them are sharing inappropriate personal information, or they are making inappropriate remarks. By maintaining a classroom blog, you can teach lessons about what is appropriate to share and proper online etiquette.
Communicate with Students and Parents
A blog is a great central location to share classroom information and to communicate with students and parents. On a shared classroom blog, you can post reminders about homework and project deadlines, updates about class projects, and important dates (such as school holidays). On individual student blogs, you can share grades and comments about student progress.
There are many ways that you can use a blog in your classroom, but these are just a few of the more common ways that teachers have found them to be the most useful. Be creative and find ways to adapt blogs to the purposes of your classroom, the grade level of your students, and the lessons you want to teach.
Have you used a blog in your classroom?
Share your tips for using blogs in the classroom in the comments!
Kay Winders is presently the resident writer for www.badcreditloans.org, where she researches the best way for people to pay off their debts without damaging their credit. In her spare time, she enjoys freelance writing, the beach and gardening.