Should I create a classroom blog?

Blogs can be informative, interactive and beneficial to the classroom setting. Many teachers assume that only middle and high school students can work with blogs, but I disagree. Teaching second grade, I have learned that most of my students can catch on rather quickly to new technology ideas and programs. Students love interacting with each other whether verbally or through social media. Why not let them use that enthusiasm for classroom assignments?

You can make your classroom blog rhetorical or interactive. It could be set up as a weekly or monthly newsletter to the parents and community. If you are apprehensive about writing a blog, this could be an easy and non-threatening way to get started.

Blogs can be interactive as well! For assignments where you want to have the students reflect on a topic, you could post a short paragraph about what you want them to ponder, then give them a deadline to respond to the post right on the blog. This can be an assignment they complete at home or when they complete another assignment, use the classroom computers. Have the students write their own response then have them comment on at least one other person’s. This way they are learning from each other, as well as completing the assignment. You are getting the students to think beyond the lesson itself and really reflect on what they are learning.

You can easily level this kind assignment per grade. First and Second grade students could type a word or a sentence, Third and Fourth grade could write 2-3 sentences and so on. You will be surprised at how quickly your students will catch on! For older students, you could have them start their own blog! Instead of writing 10 book reports for the school year, you could have them start a blog report! They could be book critics!

A lot of times students do not have a computer at home, but that should not stop the teachers from utilizing every aspect of technology. The teachers just need to be responsible for making sure the students have many opportunities to hop on the computer and get the assignment done.

Blog sites you could use:

www.theedublogger.com

www.21classes.com

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Should I create a classroom blog?

  1. I really appreciated your ideas for getting primary grade students online and blogging. I teach second grade and have wondered how much is to much for them when it comes to blogging and online learning. I had to smile when I thought about my kids and the technology they use daily from the Wii, Nintendo DS systems, and iPods. Oh, and not to mention the computer where they are navigating sites like eBay, Club Penguin, ToonTown, and doing Google searches to find answers to their questions and curiosities.

    I really liked your idea of having students reflect on a topic and post their reflection to the blog. It would be easy to differentiate an assignment like that depending on students experience and comfort being on the computer. One potential problem I see for assignments like this is some schools lack of technological resources. You mentioned some students do not have computers at home or internet access. The struggle with integrating technology into the classroom will be affording the technology to give students first hand experience.

    One solution could be writing grants for technology. There are a lot of organizations that donate money for education, and technology is a huge expense. One that has been used successfully at my school is Scholastic Grants. You can access information through Scholastic’s web site and then search “grants”.

    http://www.scholastic.com

  2. Allie – I absolutely love all of the ideas you have included in your blog this week! You make a great point that blogging is not just for middle and high school students and that it can be used with the younger elementary students as well. With technology all around children today I think it is entirely beneficial to be teaching them how to participate in a blog at an earlier age. In an age with online classes and businesses world wide, children should be getting this experience earlier on how to respond appropriately. What I am curious about is what is the main focus for having a blog in a second grade classroom? Would you use it to teach them about blogging, would you use it for content areas, or maybe use it for both purposes? I think incorporating the content you are studying along with teaching them about the rules, safety, and using blogging appropriately would be the most beneficial lesson to your students. As a sixth grade teacher, I would love it if my students came into my classroom already knowing about blogs and how to participate. Thanks again for your ideas on blogging, I will definitely be looking in to using blog book reports next year!

  3. Allie this is Joanne C.

    You have listed many good ideas for how to use a blog to enhance student learning. Your example about older students starting their own blog rather than writing book reports is a skill educators need to help students learn. I have read some articles indicating in the future colleges may require potential students submit an electronic portfolio showcasing their work.

    Although not every student currently has internet access at home or even access to a computer, it is still important to provide the opportunity for students to use blogs. We have a program at my high school where classroom teachers identify students in need of a computer and a group of teachers work with organizations to provide as many of these students as possible with donated computers.

    As technology continues to develop students may be able to use cell phones and other portable devices to create and access blogs. Younger students are generally very eager to learn and the earlier in their education they are exposed to and learn how to use a blog the more comfortable they will become. By the time your second grade students reach high school they will be expecting the use of blogs as part of their learning.

    There is a direct correlation between the age of the student using the internet and concern for their safety. The younger the student the more important it will be to monitor their use of the internet. Therefore it will be very important to establish clearly stated guidelines for both the classroom as well as at home. It will be necessary to have the cooperation of parents in this endeavor. i would suggest parents have their home computer in the busiest place in the home this way it is easy to see the sites their child access.

  4. Allie,

    I love how you connected blogging to the elementary ages! I will be one to admit that as a high school teacher, I had a tough time relating classroom blogging to any ages lower than middle school. Your idea to have students add sentences to a pre-existing sentence that they had already created is a marvelous idea, and a great way to get students to expand their thinking and almost create a story in the end! Can you think of any ideas for elementary students to use a classroom blog other than English class work? I think that something relating to spelling words and short story sentences is a great use of a blog, but I cannot come up with many activities that would relate to the other content areas…?

    Thanks for opening my imagination a little!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s