Just like any other area of our lives, education too is affected by technological progress a lot. These days teacher are able to share their experience and discuss various things on forums, Facebook groups, websites, blogs, and other educational communities that can be found online. Also, they are able to use some of these platforms in the education process as well.
Blogs are one of the best and the most effective tools that can be used in classrooms for different purposes. That’s why today we want to focus on them, describing how exactly can blogging be used in the classroom today and how can it benefit students, parents, and teacher.
There are different types of blogs being used in classrooms:
- Blogs created by schools or teachers for informational purpose;
- Blogs created by teachers for educational purpose;
- Mixed blogs where both students and teachers post;
- Blogs created by students as a class assignment;
How do they work and how do they differ?
1. Informational blogs.
In some way they are similar to schools’ official websites, containing all the necessary information about the educational process: school calendars, tuition fees, discipline and dress code policies, and so on. Some blogs do contain this information – some, however, are more class-oriented. For example, a teacher could run a blog containing all the news and updates related to their class. A teacher could even post home assignments there.
This is very convenient because teachers don’t have to reach each parent and student separately. They also save money and paper because you post updates and home assignments online instead of printing them and giving them to students. This also helps to ensure that students will get their homework no matter what. Remember that classic “my dog ate my homework” excuse? Well, it won’t work again.
2. Educational blogs.
A teacher can create a blog related to their subject, posting some additional information for the most curious students there. Also, they can focus on posting class-related information (for example, a text version of the lectures they give), therefore integrating their blogs into educational process completely.
When the blogs are used like that, students are often encouraged to leave comments and to create discussions related to certain posts. This teaches them how to express their thought not only verbally but also in written communication. For some students that’s the most comfortable way to express themselves: for example, they can be too shy and introverted to perform well in the classroom but don’t struggle with delivering their thoughts online. Offering varied ways of learning can help a teacher discover such hidden talents within some of their students as well as let these students feel more comfortable with the learning process.
But besides that such blogs are also a valuable source of information students can use to prepare for the upcoming tests and big assignments. Without a doubt, that’s also a great thing.
3. Group blogs.
There are a few types of such blogs: ones that allow both students and teachers to post and ones that are created by teachers, especially for students. The posting process can be organized differently too. For example, a teacher can create separate accounts for every student and give them their logins and password. Or a teacher can create one account that can be used by any student.
These blogs can be accessed during class time or from home, they can be commented, graded, and edited. Teachers usually use them as a form of home or class assignments, encouraging students to contribute to the blogs from time to time.
4. Students personal blogs.
Just like group ones, these ones can be a form of home or class assignment. The only difference between them is that personal blogs are usually updated more regularly and are created and held separately by every student. Moreover, a personal student blog is usually also more, well, personal. When students participate in group blogging, the topics of their posts are often assigned by their teacher. Students who own personal blogs, however, may write on topics assigned – but they can also come up with their own topics related to the theme of the blog.
Both group and personal blogs help students get more comfortable with their writing and with showing their writing to others. Such blogs can be commented by their classmates or even by students from other schools all over the world. And, of course, just like any other blogs they can also be commented by random people who stumble upon them online.
However, personal blogs have one big perk: they help students express themselves and discover their voice. Many teachers who discover talented writers in their classes want to help their writing talents to bloom and blogs are one of the easiest ways to do so. They help develop a writing habit, teach how to deliver a message to a certain audience, how to express thoughts in written form, and so on. They also can be shown to admission boards later, proving students’ passion for writing or (and) certain subject.
The technologies develop quickly, affecting every area of our life and adjusting to them today is even more important than before. The world goes digital in so many ways and teacher can help their students make the most out of it by incorporating new tools in the learning process. This way they can also teach their students to see things differently and to make the most out of them. For example, a student who does write posts as a class assignment knows that blogs can be not only the source of entertainment but also an educational tool, a way to speak to the people out there, and even a career choice if you are passionate about it enough. That’s why incorporating blogging into the educational process is so important.
Do you agree with that? Or do you have a different opinion? Maybe you’ve also been using blogging in a classroom for a while? Please share your thoughts and stories in the comment section below.