Sunday, July 02, 2006

Blogging: Why is it the right thing to do with our students?

I wouldn't call myself an expert blogger, I am sporatically writing two blogs, this one and another that is basically a 'hot list' of things I think might be of interest to the students in my Technology Arts courses. Each of these blogs serves a different purpose in my professional life and has made it easier for me to communicate with the various groups of people I need to work with. This blog has technology resources for teachers and ideas on how to integrate them into the classroom. Previously, I was just sending this to the teachers at Capuchino, but I think the issues that are discussed on this blog are of value to all teachers in the San Mateo Union High School District. I discussed the idea with the District Technology Coordinators and they felt like it was a good idea as well.

Now, to the original topic... Blogging with our students.

Why should students blog? Well, there are several reasons, but the most compelling argument is that allows students to have a voice greater than their friends and family. Now, this may not sound like much, but when someone publishes something and they know it is going to be seen by more than just a teacher and a few other students there is a sense of ownership and innate pride that effects the student content. A new Wiki site has been established to assist teachers in finding ways to incorporate blogging into their classes, called 'Support Blogging.'

What blogging does for students: (From Support Blogging)
  1. It helps them find a voice for individual interests that may not have been completely explored previously.
  2. Creates enthusiasm for writing and communication. If students know there is a greater audience, their motivation is enhanced to write and to write well.
  3. Engages students in conversation and learning. Students may find comonalities with students in different grades, in different classes or even around the world. This can have a tremendous effect on students desire to read and write.
  4. Provides an opportunity to teach about responsible journalism and ethics. Maost students do not understand the role of the press and media in our society. By blogging, they become part of the mediascape and learn first hand some of the issues that professional journalists face.
  5. Empowers students to look outside of themselves.
    1. To become life-long learners and become inquisitive about things they are interested in.
    2. Writing and blogging are intertwined and create a transparent society, where all members have a voice and are valued.
    3. Teaches students to trust in others and to accept praise and criticism effectively.
If these issues interest you, take a chance to blog yourself and see what you come up with. If you become comfortable with the format, you might introduce it with your classes. There are plenty of sites that will allow you to create a blog for free, including the one I am using to publish this, We will be using blogs with a group of 9th graders at Capuchino this fall in our Global Communications program. If you want to see what some of the prelimary plans look like, take a look at the wiki we have set up to collect ideas and create the course content.

If this interests you, but you don't know where to start... leave a comment on this blog post and it will e-mail me!


Kyle Brumbaugh
Technology Coordinator
San Mateo Union High School District.


Anonymous said...

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