Educators are constantly encouraged to implement technology into their curriculum. The abundance of apps, websites, and online tools can quickly become overwhelming for teachers and librarians. As media specialists, it is your job to master online tools and teach the most effective platforms to other teachers in your school. It is likely you have been addressed about the effectiveness and ease of blogging in the classroom. Student blogging is a great way to increase media literacy in the classroom. But, how can you, the media specialist, implement blogging in your own unique setting?
Benefits of student blogging
Blogs can be used to improve student writing, especially in developing skills in analysis and critique of text. The online format is a fun and effective way to get students writing literature reviews. The ability to display multimedia aids in supporting topic ideas. Students can choose post themes, add images or videos, or embed a Google doc to emphasize a main idea.
When students publish online, they are able to continue discussions or respond to questions outside of class time. Students can easily collaborate on group projects and presentations. Additionally, you can connect your class with other teachers’ classes in your school to view and comment on posts, and other teachers can view the work students are completing during their time with you.
Tips to implementing blogs in a library setting
1.) Set aside some class time to learn the platform: Not all students will be comfortable with the new blogging platform. Be sure to provide adequate time to explain the intent behind your class blog, set blog expectations, and help students through the log in and publishing process: how to save drafts, choose audiences, and submit for publishing.
2.) Create guided projects: The first posts are tough. Creating a project that has clear deadlines, expectations, and steps to completion, helps walk students through the blogging process.
3.) Encourage posts and comments daily: You have good intentions – a desire to get your students writing for an authentic audience to celebrate each student’s unique voice. However, a few weeks or months down the road you may find your blog has been deserted. It is easy to lose sight of your blog. After all, publishing both in and out of the classroom can take a lot of time! Ensure students are actively publishing in your class by setting clear and quantifiable expectations. For example, require students to publish a post once a week or make five comments on classmates’ posts. Before you know it, publishing in your class blog will be a daily routine and your students’ momentum will be strong. Trust us, the benefits gained will be worth your time upfront.
4.) Create a student book club: Once a routine is set and students have gained blogging momentum, create a book club to keep students writing beyond their daily or weekly assignments or projects. This will help encourage conversations, develop unique author voice, and keep students excited about sharing ideas online.
Kidblog is excited to be attending the upcoming AASL National Conference. Visit our booth #938 to further discuss how Kidblog can be an asset in your media library, view a live demo, and receive free gifts!