Seventh grade teacher, Lisa Wright, began using Kidblog to integrate technology into her Language Arts classroom. However, eight months later, she found the platform had transformed her classroom far beyond this goal.
“What motivated you to start blogging with your students?”
LW: “At the beginning of the school year, I knew I wanted to focus on integrating technology into my Language Arts and Social Studies classroom. I spend hours researching meaningful ways to empower and motivate my students to write well and to write for a larger audience. After I read Pernille Ripp’s blog about blogging in the classroom and her book, ‘Passionate Learners: How to Engage and Empower Your Students,’ I decided blogging was exactly what I needed in order to excite and entice my students to enjoy our Writing Workshop classes.”
“What has been the biggest surprise to you throughout your classroom blogging journey?”
LW: “My biggest surprise throughout my classroom blogging journey has been my student’s generosity with their words when they blogged. As much as my students love to read, some of them hated to write at the beginning of the school year. Blogging was new and exciting and it allowed my students to take ownership of their writing. Blogging gave them a platform in which they were able to express their individuality and find their voice through creating meaningful writing pieces. This is important for middle school students.”
“Do you have a favorite blogging ‘moment’?”
LW: “My favorite blogging moment, was when students began to publish unsolicited pieces. At these times, I was able to assist my students with going through the writing process. My students know that once they submit prose or poetry for publication, I will edit it and suggest changes, via the private messaging system provided through Kidblog. In order for a student’s piece to be published they have to make corrections and resubmit their work for publication. The first time I went through this process with an individual student and was able to witness him grow as a writer, has to be my favorite blogging moment.”
“What has been the biggest challenge you have faced with blogging in the classroom and how did you overcome this obstacle?”
LW: “The biggest challenge I have faced with blogging in the classroom has been to find balance with the use of technology. Students do not want to blog every assignment and they should not have to. I have overcome this obstacle by balancing my excitement about blogging with my belief that students should have choice and flexibility in the classroom.”
“What are some of your goals and aspirations as you continue to blog with your classes year-over-year?”
LW: “One of my biggest goals would be to see other educators in my school use Kidblog across subjects. This would give students an opportunity to incorporate writing and technology in other subjects besides English and Social Studies. I would like to connect my students with other classes that blog around the world and provide more opportunities for dialogue in order to nurture diversity and inclusion. Finally, I would also like to encourage students to continue to go grow as writers and use blogging as a form of self expression.”
Check out some of Lisa’s work in the classroom here.
Connect with @MrsLisaEWright via Twitter.