Doesn’t that take up too much time?!
I don’t have time for that.
It’d be too hard to get my students to learn to blog.
These were all questions I was asked and statements I heard when colleagues found out that I had my students blogging. After 6 years, I can say with conviction that I’m glad I had a friend show me Kidblog as a student blogging platform.
Yes we’re blogging! No, it doesn’t take up too much time. We aimed for 20 minutes a week when we started blogging, within our pods (aka stations, centres), and it’s amazing what the students learn so quickly. They are very adaptable and versatile when we provide them with the opportunities to try.
Using Kidblog in the classroom has allowed my students to share their voice and their hard work with a larger audience. Now when they write there is a more authentic audience which helps drive their purpose. It also allows me to open up a forum between the students – they can read each other’s writing, comment, and ask questions. In a digital world where children communicate in various ways, Kidblog has given us the opportunity to have “digital penpals”.
Over the years since I’ve had students blog, I’ve been completely amazed at the transformation of their work in all spectrums. They are engaged in writing, eager to read other written works by their peers and excited to share with our community whether it’s in math, science or language arts. Many times when we create various written works in the classroom I get asked, “Do we get to put it on our blogs?” The other day I heard one student tell another that he was “going to do some blogging this weekend”. This love for writing has shown me that getting students involved in Kidblog was one of the best things I could have done as an educator.
It has also given me a way to do things in a new manner. Exit slips, tell what they know, upload images, embed codes – these are just a smattering of things we do with our blogs. Did I start with all that? Nope! I started small. And as the students increased their skills so did my knowledge and handling of Kidblog in my classroom. We all have to start somewhere, and learning with the students made the process real and rewarding for me. Kidblog is very easy to use in the classroom whether you have a wealth of technical knowledge or not.
My advice to educators when it comes to blogging: give it a try! Even if you’re unsure, the students will be more than willing to help and explore with you. Start small and do what you’re comfortable with but don’t hold back because it’s unknown territory. That’s how history is made. You’ll see what a difference it can make in your classroom and the enthusiasm it’ll invoke in your students. Give it a whirl and let it take you on a wonderful classroom adventure.
Photo Credit: good question by Eric via flickr cc