The Wordle image above was created by the teacher.
This year I wanted to try something new with my students, so I came up with the idea of starting a class blog called ‘The Griffin’. Some of you might be wondering what is the purpose or the benefits of blogging with students? Well, I read an excellent article by Jenny Luca who is a teacher at an independent school in Melbourne, Australia. Here are six reasons why blogging is a good learning experience for students:
- Positive Digital footprints – a class blog is an excellent way to teach students how to create something positive on the web. They can share what they are learning in the classroom and at school.
- Communicating with digital tools – the students learn all about widgets, categories, using the HTML editor to embed code, creating a sidebar, uploading images, internet safety, inserting a link, picking a theme and changing the image in their header. This is the language of todays technology.
- Transparency for parents and family – the learning is taking place beyond the walls of our classroom. Parents and relatives are able to feel more connected with what happens at school. On the left side of this home page, in the sidebar, is a widget called the ‘Google Translator’ which instantly translates all the text into a language of your choice. Grandparents in other countries can leave a comment on a child’s blog.
- New ways of thinking about web tools – I was fortunate to see Dr. Alan November as a keynote speaker at a technology conference. He said that as educators we need to stop visiting websites that other people have created and focus on creating our own content. A class blog allows us to demonstrate new methods of learning using different web tools.
- Effective digital citizenship – we are having the conversations about how to conduct yourself in a digital space (e.g. how to write an appropriate comment).
- Their world view is changing – on ‘The Griffin’ home page there is an embedded map that shows the different countries where people are visiting from. They get so excited when they see that someone has visited our blog from another country.
As a teacher I’m really enjoying blogging and learning with my students.