What Does Student Blogging Exactly Do?

As a proponent of student blogging I am often asked what it “does” for my students.  The thing is, it does quite a bit.

  • Provides them with a voice.  Education cannot be done to students anymore, they have to have a voice since it is their lives it effects the most; blogging gives them that.
  • Gives them an authentic writing audience.  The product doesn’t end with me and a grade, it is out for the world to see and to continue to be developed.  
  • Puts their place in the world in context.  We think our students know how much in common they have with kids their age around the world, but they don’t usually.  Blogging with those kids and connecting through projects such as the Global Read Aloud brings the world in.
  • Increases their global knowledge.  Again, when you connect with others through your work and words, friendships develop and as does a mutual interest in the lives of one another   This is the modern version of penpals.
  • Instills them with tech saviness and confidence.  Blogging teaches my students yet another tool to use and we also use it to showcase other tools we have played around with.  They feel confident in their skills as bloggers and it carries into their overall tech approach.
  • Instills safety rules and measures to be taken whilst online.  We drill safety all year and the kids know the lessons by heart.  It is our job to teach them how to be safe and the best way to do that is to work with them in situations that could be unsafe if treated the wrong way.
  • Teaches them how to give constructive feedback.  We comment on each others posts but they have to be constructive comments.  Blogging is a natural extension of the peer edit.
  • Teaches them how to have a meaningful written dialogue.  When students don’t get comments on their posts, we often go back to see why not.  Usually they realize it was not written in a manner that invited others to participate in their writing.  Revision and reformulating follows.
  • Cements proofreading and spell check.  We don’t want the world to see us as a poor spellers or grammatical buffoons.
  • Expands their geographical knowledge.  We pushpin maps with the location of our connections, this sparks more questions, which lead to a deeper relationship between the students and those we connect with.  
  • Furthers their empathy, as well as interest in others.  Blogging should not be a solitary experience, but rather one that invites discussion.  To have meaningful discussions one must care about others, which is shown through their questions.
  • Encourages them to view their own writing through a more critical lens.  Because we have a portfolio of their writing from the beginning of the year to now, we can go back and see their development.  Are they developing as a writer or what do they need to focus on?  The stakes are raised because it is not just the teacher that sees their work.
  • Creates reflective students.  Because students are given a mouthpiece to the world, I see them take more chances to reflect on themselves and their choices.  It is remarkable to see a student reflect on what grades has taught them  or what it means to be a student.
  • It creates opportunities for us to have fun.

25 thoughts on “What Does Student Blogging Exactly Do?

  1. This is a great post to push some into testing the blogging waters as well as confirming for many the great things they are already doing by blogging with their students. Thanks for yet another great post. And BTW, have a few teachers in the GRA and they are enjoying it.

  2. As a Grade 4/5 teacher in North Vancouver, I ensure every student post and every comment is moderated by me for safety's sake. Also, this ensures high quality writing I think… or does it? At the beginning of the year I think an emphasis on proofreading is essential to set the expectations I have for my students' online writing. But I can't help but wonder is it stifling writing? Should small errors (to for too, or a missed capital) prevent a post from being approved by me? It certainly masks the progress a year-long blog might record in comparison to unedited writing… yet how to strike the balance between generating lots of interesting content versus an insistence on getting the mechanics of spelling, punctuation and grammar correct.My students can be found here:kidblog.org/WestCoast

  3. Paul, I think you bring up a great point which is actually making me rethink my editing in the beginning. You are right if we want our portfolio to be authentic then we should let students true spelling show at first. Thank you for making me think! When I get my students blogging this year I will have them visit your students' blog.

  4. I have seen an increase in a commitment by my students to writing. When they read a comment from another student or parent, they immediately realize the impact of their voice. There also seems to be a bit of competition for the most comments. And if that creates better writing in my students, then I'm all for competition.

  5. Love this and all your advice about blogging. I am going to start my 7th grade science students blogging this year and am very excited about it, but nervous about how to get started and teach them how to blog.

  6. Proofreading does not only apply to student bloggers. But also in an online business, all data should be checked before uploading it on the internet. Bad grammar may leave a bad impression on your visitors, making it possible that they will not visit your site.

  7. Student bloggers are what you consider budding entrepreneurs and those who gets the hang of it becomes a successful blogger. Most students nowadays only wants to share their knowledge and experiences to other without knowing that they can monetize their blogs. It's a good stepping stone for them.

  8. Yes, actually I heard that dropshipping companies are even eyeing for these so-called student bloggers and creating platforms that would catch their attention to somehow help them out in marketing the products and services they've got. I think what they are really aiming for is those bloggers who are active in different social networking sites such as the Instagram, facebook, twitter and as such.

  9. I guess student blogging is one of those lucrative industry in which marketing has evolved into. I personally like that commerce since it can actually give students the chance to fend for themselves.

  10. Student blogging is a tool for the young minds to speak their ideas out. It's a way for them to be heard, and to express themselves. I believe they also deserve a copyright for each and every piece they make.

  11. As far as I can remember, marketing companies are using this platform as part of their strategy to promote something. Also apart from that, the youth uses blog to air out their concerns on the society, which is cool and more effective.

  12. In my opinion, student bloggers should also have the basic knowledge in web designing so they can apply it to their blogs. It's always an advantage to know more than what you're assigned to do, so you can go with the twists and turns in the field of your work.

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