Once students see the possibilities around sharing their ideas and having discussions with other people interested in similar topics they not only write, but become excited about the power of the written word and the way blogging allows them to connect with others and become part of an ongoing conversation around their interests. Blogs also make writing more exciting since students can include embedded images and videos and share links to other authors writing about similar topics.
One excellent blog example I use to gain my students curiosity with this tool is http://unofficialnetworks.com/
This blog is all about skiing and the life that surrounds it and since I teach in a ski town where most of my students have season passes(several alums even ski for the US Ski Team) to one of the mountains this blog features; it is a natural lead in. The kids eat up the content since they relate to it and share a passion for the sport and lifestyle. They also quickly see how it keeps them informed about local events, people, and industry trends which only makes them more excited about the ski season.
So, check out the link below to learn more about getting your students blogging and see how you can use these tools to increase your student's literacy and communication skills. No matter the subject we teach; it is all educators responsibility to help our kids be better readers and writers.
- https://support.google.com/blogger/?hl=en#topic=3339243 -- Google's free blog hosting service
- http://edublogs.org/curriculum-corner-using-a-blog-with-students/ -- Using blogs with students
If you have some great ideas about using blogging with your students please share by commenting on this post. One issue I know always makes some teachers hesitate to incorporate blogging in their curriculum is online safety. There are lots of wonderful resources online about teaching students how to use blogging and the internet responsibly and safely but please share how you address this topic in your class since we can all learn from each other. I know I always feel better doing something that I know others are doing as well versus be a 'lone ranger'.