You’re curious about blogging? You’re willing to explore and play with a few new ideas? That’s wonderful! I hope that this post will help you on your way to find some answers…
First, let’s start at the beginning: What is a Blog?
I really appreciate reading blogs from other educators, and I learn a lot about student blogs because other teachers are willing to share the work from their classrooms.
- To begin, please take a look at THIS VIDEO featuring Kathy Cassidy. Kathy takes advantage of student interests and comfort levels with technology to promote success and learning within a global context.
- Here is Kathy’s class blog: ’Mrs. Cassidy’s Class’
- Karen Lirenman’s class also has a wonderful blog: Peeking Into Division 18
- Ian Sands is a HS Visual Arts teacher in the US, and I have followed his lead in terms of setting up a classroom blog & digital portfolios: Art of Apex High School
If you aren’t familiar with blogs, you could compare them to journals. The bonus with writing and then sharing your thoughts on the internet allows you (or your students) to benefit from feedback.
Excited to try? I hope so! Here’s an excellent resource made by my talented #artsed colleague, Ian Sands:
The Basics & Beyond…
Already started? Ready for a bit more? Great! Explore the sites listed below when you’re ready to dive in:
I would highly recommend that you explore the Comments 4 Kids website:
As explained on their ‘Welcome to Comments4Kids’ page, “Comments4Kids is a way for students and teachers to find blogs to comment on and to get their own posts commented on.” I find that it is much more than that, though. Not only does this site promote student learning through blogs, but it will provide you with resources to help get you started.
If you have an account on Twitter, you’ll notice that many people use the hashtag #Comments4Kids to share student work. Try clicking on a few of the links to view the blogs that have been shared, and if you’re brave, maybe consider leaving a comment for a student!
Linda has included several videos and links to helpful resources that will help you answer any questions you might have about using blogs with your students. I would encourage you to explore several of the links that she has provided.
There are several reasons why I have included Wes’s site as a helpful resource. Not only is he an extremely dedicated educator, blogger and speaker, but he also experiments with a variety of technological tools that are fun to play with:
Take a look at Pernille Ripp‘s site & benefit from her experiences. So helpful!
Source: Wrong Hands
My Two Cents
I can’t explain exactly what it is about blogging that allows me to think a bit differently, and possibly to think a bit more. I could liken it to the way an artist nurtures an idea: from a simple thought that is slowly and carefully processed, it brews in my mind while I am busy doing other things, and I can see my idea from a variety of perspectives. This is why I want to share a few things that I’ve learned about blogging with my colleagues — to provide an option for them to share their thoughts with others, and to help them consider blogging as a tool that their students could use in the classroom.
I have two blogs: one that I use to write about art & educational thinking, and another that I use for my art classes. I enjoy both for very different reasons. My first blog (that I have used for this post) allows me to think about teaching and learning from a variety of perspectives. I sort out my thinking by writing about many topics, and I often hope for a bit of feedback (comments) from other educators to help me sort out my thoughts.
My class blog (Art With Mrs. Rose) has helped me communicate with my students and their parents (and others). I use different pages to provide my contact information, pictures from our classroom, and the links to each of my students’ blogs. It’s so much easier to share resources using our class blog, and it organizes information efficiently.
All of my students have their own digital portfolio (blog). They have benefitted from my feedback, comments from their peers and from visitors.
Thanks for taking the time to consider the benefits of student blogging. I hope that you feel free to explore some of the sites above, and I welcome you to leave a comment below if you have questions or if you would like to discuss any ideas.
If you know of another handy site that could help others as they begin to learn about student blogging, please include the link in a comment! Thanks for your help!
Remember, no one is an expert when they begin to learn. Enjoy the journey!
~ to the #HandsOnMedia13 team: Can you believe how far we’ve come?!
~ to each of the people who have created the resources used in this post: By sharing your knowledge, everyone benefits. (Do you remember the days when people locked their binders in filing cabinets so nobody could steal their treasured work?)
~ to my students: Not only have you experimented with blogging, you’ve shared some great work, and helped many people understand why digital portfolios can make it easier to learn (and succeed)!
*Update: the following video was recently shared on Twitter, and although it focuses on schools in Prince Edward Island, the concepts are relevant everywhere: