In my recent blog readings, I have come across the prevailing thought that the importance of blogging is not just to make your voice heard, but it is the ongoing conversation that happens after a blog/piece of writing has put out there and others comment back to extend the conversation. It is not just the writing workshop process happening in the classroom, but it is taking it to the world. When you have to clarify and defend what you say, you improve your ability to write with a clear focus on your audience and purpose in expressing yourself.
Students who blog have a great opportunity to see their writing read by others and even get feedback on their thoughts and insights from “real-world” people and not just their teacher. How powerful is it to know that anyone in the world can read what you wrote and make comments. Remember – Comments can be moderated so that the not so helpful ones are not made public.
What are some examples of student created blogs? Here is a list taken from Will Richardson’s Book Blogs, Wikis, and Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for the Classroom.
- learn how to blog – nothing better than a hands on experience for learning
- class writing assignments/ ongoing portfolio of writings – blogs would keep all the writing organized and students can look back over time and see how their writing has changed over the year. This could also be a showcase of their best work.
- express opinions or insights about class topics – Blogging is not just for LA classes, students can give insight on:
- history topics
- pieces of music
- what makes learning a new language hard
- how science and math can be found in everyday life
- write editorial pieces about current events
- discuss class activities
Any other ideas?