Writing has always felt like a solitary process. Of course, the outcome is shared and sometimes even the process is debated and fine tuned, but really once the piece has been written, it is done. When you blog about something, rather than just write about it, the written piece is merely a “midpoint” a place to rest on the path, but not the destination. This is important to understand as I think of how to sell the idea of the usefulness of a blog to my parents. I don’t need to sell the idea to my students for even last year, when I had just a classroom blog, they begged to be allowed to share on it. I foolishly didn’t let them. Now, however, we are going out into official blog territory and so I need the parents to come along and support this journey. It is therefore vital that they understand that the blog is not just a way to put writing up on the Internet but rather is a whole different way of writing.
The main point for me in considering a student created blog is because they need to write for an actual audience. Not just their classmates who hardly ever given them honest or even constructive feedback. I am sick of the days of, “That’s really great.” It is not that I want to feed my students to the wolves through their writing but rather that their writing needs to become an ever-shifting process, something they revisit and reflect upon, thus deepening their connection to it. By adding the potential for the voice of others; other students, parents, other classrooms, my voice as the teacher becomes just one of many and that is a wonderful thing as well. They are not writing for me anymore but for themselves to produce something that they can be proud of to share with the world. I do not determine how long it must be, as long as the effort is there. However, how do you define, or even worse, asses effort? Through a blog you can see the effort put in when students choose to partake in the dialogue that has risen from their writing. No longer static, but an ever-changing idea, molded perhaps by many and owned by even more. That is the difference between writing and blogging for me.