Monday, 2 December 2013

Blogging in Primary Schools

Blogging is not a new concept, but it is for most primary schools. Short for 'web logging', the term blogging was created back in the 90’s. 

Blogging can be a great way to encourage reflective writing and improve student’s literacy skills. Students don't tend to write unless they have to or are engaged in the activity. Blogs are one way to encourage it. 

Lots of teachers also use class blogs for collaboration, discussion and learning.  Some instructors use the same blogs as digital student portfolios, where pupils show their work and achievements but also share their learning. 

Creating a blog is simple, although there are many different platforms to do it. Of course, each has its own pros and cons, but the best choice depends on the aim of the blog. That’s why one of the main decisions when creating a new blog is to decide if it’s open to anyone on the web or private to the class. However, it’s really important to make kids aware of the responsibility involved. The blog permits a dialogue, reflection and collaboration among students instead of being a one way communication where the teacher is the only one deciding what should be passed on.

As pupils start writing about an interested topic, teacher find out that when students are asked to write for an audience outside of their class, they are more motivated, put more attention and they offer better content. Many blogs allow multiple authors to contribute to it and several pupils can work together on a single topic or assignment. Although easy to use, some blog tools are not specific to the education community and might not have all the safety and control features a teacher needs.

Benefits of student blogging:
  • Expectations of writing change. They not only create for the teacher but for a wider audience.
  • Students are more reflective developing their skills (how they learn, identify a process to work, convert an idea into words).
  • Feedback becomes more constructive and motivating for both author and visitors.
  • The blogs are a source of pride because they students have an online space that can be personalized and customized.
  • Increase the variety of language used, opposite to what happens in social networks or mobile devices (SMS) -  text talk.
  • It can help to combine education with hobbies and interests - what students do outside school, what they prefer and like etc.

If you are interested in learning more about blogging in primary schools - either for students or teachers, you can contact Webanywhere to discuss solutions that can help, and which are built with e-safety in mind.

Australia contact - 03-9008-6825 or visit Webanywhere Australia to learn more.