Your First Classroom Blog

Starting a classroom blog can be a daunting process, but the juice is definitely worth the squeeze.

I am a huge advocate for the use of technology in the classroom.

However, just having the tools is only a small part of the solution.

Because, as you are probably aware, a laptop can be a game-changing tool…. or it can be a $2,000 pen and notepad.

How we use the tool will dictate the results we can get from it.

I have previously had students publish their work to a worldwide audience for greater authenticity (buzzword alert). This has been in the forms of podcasts and YouTube videos.

However, I have only just started a blogging network with my students using edublogs.org.

Edublogs is a great tech startup that helps teachers and schools start blogging networks. I am trialing the program in hopes that becomes an online portfolio for learners.

Here is a brief intro on why to use edublogs.

Benefits of planning your first classroom blog

There are many benefits to bringing blogging into your classroom. While I am only fresh in the game, these are some of the little wins which I have picked up in under a week:

Getting real-time feedback from a real audience

It was great to see that even though their blog was semi-private, the thought of publishing work that will be seen to the world gave students a greater responsibility to make sure their work was at their best level before submitting their work.

While it is unlikely that a student blog will hit the first page of Google anytime soon, students who would usually

Students commenting on each others’ work

One of the best parts of student blogging is that they can have real-time conversations with each other about their work.

By encouraging students to leave comments on others’ posts, students become learners and teachers.

Teacher comments are easier

As the teacher, I have an easy way to check in on all student work after they publish, leaving my own comments and becoming a part of the conversation.

Class and student blogs invite parent involvement

Parents can also join in the conversation! Parents are involved in the planning process (I am sure I’ll write something about planning a blog at some point) and are sent links to browse or follow the class blog, along with their child’s blog.

While I wouldn’t put an announcement in the blog, there is scope to write about class excursions and camps.

Students get used to publishing online and learn about their digital footprint

By learning on what to post and what to comment, we learn a little about the digital footprint we leave behind.

Along with that, by making the blogging platform open to the world, we learn about online privacy and staying safe online.

The conversations that have come from this in only a few lessons has been great to see. We have already spoken about when to use names/images online, and even spoken about copyright and content ownership laws.  

Final thoughs

Planning the blog is a bit of work up front, but nothing compared to the results you’ll get and the time you can save throughout the semester.

Have you tried a blog in your classroom before? Let me know.

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