October 1, 2011

Is Student Blogging REALLY Worth Our Time?

I put off student blogging for years because I just didn't see how typing random, useless stuff (journal-style) would be worth my instructional time.
But my twitter PLN encouraged me to rethink how blogs could be used in the classroom. So I decided to think of them more like DIGITAL PORTFOLIOS than journals. That shift in thinking was apparently all I needed to buy in to the idea. I set up a class account at KidBlog.org and started planning. You can read about my plan in a blog post "Digital Portfolios with KidBlog.org."

This week the students wrote their first reading posts using the CROP-QV format which I learned about from Chad Teres's fifth grade student blogs.

Would blogging be engaging for students?
Me: "We're going to read this story and write about our thinking. This will be your first blog post."
Student responses: YES! SWEET! AWESOME!
Imagine the same directions without the blog bit at the end.... did you imagine it? How did students respond?

My students read a 6 page story from Cricket magazine and hand-wrote 2 pages of thinking in preparation for their blogs. They, then, sat in the computer lab for over an hour reading their peer's About Me posts, writing comments, and typing their 2 pages of reading thinking. (Our class blogs)

No one complained. Everyone was excited.


At the end of the day they all wanted to know if they could blog at home too. So we brainstormed what topics they might write about.

It seems that I was wrong - blogging is worth our time. However, I'm making a serious effort to do curricular blogging, rather than random journals.

It still amazes me how something so simple can make such a huge difference in student engagement. If we had been just typing these 2 pages of thinking - there would have been lots of grumbling and certainly no one eager to "do more at home." Move that typing to a blog - MAGIC - somehow, it's a whole new thing.

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  1. Nice article,I really enjoyed reading about student blogging,keep posting

  2. Great post! This is really detailed information nice posters on time for more benefits..