“Blogs: great for class portals, an online filing cabinet, e-portfolios… but better: a collaborative space for students and teachers to react to questions and scenarios … Student writing becomes authentic, relevant.” Will Richardson, Connective Learning: educator, presenter, blogger, author of Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms
21 reasons to integrate blogging into the classroom (thanks to Anne Mirtschin for sharing some of these ideas).
- It is great fun!
- There is an authentic audience – a potential global audience.
- Suits all learning styles.
- Increased motivation for writing.
- Increased motivation for reading.
- Improved confidence levels (via comments and global dots on their cluster maps). Students can share their strengths and upload areas of interest or units of work.
- Blogs facilitate use of text, multimedia, widgets, audio and images – all tools that digital natives want to use.
- Increased proofreading and validation skills.
- Improved awareness of cybersafety that may confront them in the real world, whilst in a sheltered classroom environment.
- Facilitates sharing – students are already involved in social networking – why not extend that to education? They can share with each other, staff, their parents, the community, and the globe.
- Providing them with ‘out there’ web technologies and tools that are in use in the world of work.
- Mutual learning between students and teachers.
- Family members can view their child’s work and writings – regardless of their geographical location.
- Blogs may be used for digital portfolios and all the benefits this entails.
- Work is permanently stored, easily accessed and valuable comparisons can be made over time for assessment and evaluation purposes.
- Students are digital natives – blogging is a natural element of this.
- Gives students a chance to show responsibility and trustworthiness and engenders independence.
- Prepares students for digital citizenship as they learn cybersafety and netiquette.
- Fosters peer to peer mentoring.
- Allows student led professional development and one more……
- Students set the topics for posts – leads to deeper thinking activities.
And if you still not convinced:
Focused on primary school children, but a great message ‘Bring the World in, Blogging with your students’
Where to start?
Wikis are an extremely useful tool for collaborative projects, sharing knowledge, resource reppositories for students and teacher lesson plan/resource exchange and much more. Limited technical expertise is required to contribute to a wiki, they are quick and easy to set up. Think Wikipedia – it is a collaborative writing space that allows users to read, add, and edit text and files of any kind including sound, movies, and even links to other websites. To learn more about wikis visit “The Seven Things You Should Know About Wikis”.
Wiki: Cool Tools for Schools
What are the advantages of using wikis with students?
- Relatively simple technology
- Promotes “real-world” collaboration skills
- Fosters richer communication than synchronous communication (Mabrito, 2006)
- Pools strengths of many
- Assessable, easy to track
- Online collaborative writing produces higher quality writing than face-to-face collaboration (Passig and Schwartz, 2007)
Help with getting started:
Getting started with Wikispaces tutorial