A lot of students find writing in class to be a tedious task. Usually, they just complete the assigned material because they have to. When students view writing as a task, rather than as something useful yet enjoyable, learning is not optimized. Educators have been trying to find ways to make writing more interesting for the students. With the exposure of students to the internet, educators discovered an effective tool to encourage students to write – through blogs.
How to get started with blogging in school
Blogs are a social media platform where you can share your thoughts about anything under the sun, basically in an essay or narrative form. People who come across your blogsite can comment and share your posts.
Including blogging in your class will make it fun for the students and encourage them to write more, as they are most probably familiar and comfortable with that platform.
Here are some tips on how you can introduce blogging to the curriculum.
Introduce the concept of blogging
With the advancement of digital technology, chances are, your students are already familiar with blogs. What you have to do is to introduce responsible blogging to them. Since it will be a class blog, certain rules that you and your students agree on need to be followed. You should also involve the parents and explain to them the advantages of blogging as a class activity.
Once you are done setting up the class blog (this should be an entirely different topic), it is time for the students to start writing their blogs. Keep in mind that posting the students’ blogs publicly at this point might be overwhelming for you and the students. It is best to keep the blog within the class at first so that you can monitor their posts and guide them until they become more comfortable with writing articles or essays. After a while, you can allow parents, other teachers, and other classes to view and comment on the class blog. This setup mimics the “online reality” where students can get feedback from people outside the class, albeit more controlled. Eventually, when you and your students feel that they are ready, you can make the class blog public.
Blogging should not be included as a mere writing exercise or an “add-on” to your class activities. For it to be effective, you should make it a point that your students write blog posts on a regular basis. Set a couple of minutes at the beginning or at the end of the class for blogging. It would also be helpful if you set a goal, like a specific number of posts in a week, for your class.
Merge language lessons with blogging
If the current lesson in class is subject-verb agreement, then you can discuss that topic, using the blog posts and comments as examples. Instead of a written output about a particular writing lesson, you can have the students post their work in a blog. For example, if the lesson is about character analysis, you can ask the students to pick a movie or book of their choice and write about the character on their blog. Make it so that their blog assignments are parallel to the lessons in class.
Blogging can help to improve students’ reading and writing literacy. Blogging also paves the way to interacting with a greater variety of audience. This helps to develop the students’ communication skills. All in all, incorporating blogging into your curriculum can be quite a learning experience for both teacher and students.
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