Katelyn Hileman’s third grade students were motivated to write once they were given an authentic audience via Kidblog four years ago. Katelyn discusses her student blogging journey openly with Kidblog.
What motivated you to start blogging with your students?
I started using it for students to blog about the books they are reading. Students write book recommendations and comment on each other’s blogs. It has truly made my classroom become a community of readers and writers!
What has been the biggest surprise to you throughout your classroom blogging journey?
When students know that their work will be read and seen by others, they are so much more motivated to write. I love seeing their personalities come out in their personal blogs! It really surprised me how creative students can be when you give them the opportunities to do so. I was skeptical at first since blogging is a big responsibility to give to young students (being a good digital citizen)! However, after trusting them and practicing digital citizenship skills, I am impressed by how well my students enjoy writing blogs.
Do you have a favorite blogging ‘moment’?
The first time I realized that my students were having REAL conversations about their book recommendations on their blogs. Students were commenting to each other “Hey, can I read that book when you are done?” or “What is the AR level on that book?” I absolutely love reading my students’ posts and comments!
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced with blogging in the classroom and how did you overcome this obstacle?
My biggest obstacle was trusting my students to make meaningful and kind comments to one another. I was honestly pretty nervous at first to give them that big of a responsibility, but after discussing what a blog is supposed to be and practicing digital citizenship skills, my students made our blogging experience fun and engaging.
What is your favorite Kidblog feature?
I love that students can personalize their own blogs, but my favorite feature is being able to connect globally.
Watch Katelyn’s webinar on Connecting with other classrooms on Kidblog.
Connect with Katelyn on Twitter @kateyhileman
View Katelyn’s Kidblog class here.