10 Quick And Simple Ideas For Blogging In Class

I have been a teacher since 2003. I qualified in Primary education, and went on to be Head of ICT and Head of Year in a secondary school London. I now work as a consultant, helping schools make the most of their technology. I spend my time showing schools the most appropriate use of free web resources, advising them on how to implement and embed ICT in their classrooms practically, and discussing all kinds of ICT issues with other educators, based on their individual and unique needs. I believe that ICT can help both teachers and students, equally and easily. You can follow me @heartofsol and find out more about how I help schools at www.21cln.org.uk

Blogging has really taken off in lots of schools already, but some schools have only just started theirs. As with anything, teachers are always looking for quick and simple ideas to help get their blog up and running. Here are some ideas to get your blog started.

Blogging In Class

Get Blogging In Class!

1. Diary

Post the things that have happened in your classroom. This could be the child that has contributed the most, the lesson objectives of the day, the key words and vocabulary, or just an account of the most interesting learning that happened that day. This is also a great way of getting your parents involved in the learning of their children.

 

2. Resources

Every teacher refers to material during their lessons. That material could be something they have created when explaining a concept (could be on an interactive whiteboard file or a picture of a regular board). It could be a poem or a picture created by a student. It could even an audio recording of the class’ discussion. Whatever it is, why not post it, and give access to the material to your pupils?

 

3. 100 Word Challenge

100 Word Challenge – Post a word once a week and students have to write a story based on that word, in a one hundred word limit. An easy task for a school, but very challenging for the students!

 

4. Prep Work

Put learning resources on your blog the day before you plan to teach them. The Flipped Classroom approach means your students can be exposed to ideas early, and they can come up with ideas and questions as soon as they step into your classroom.

 

5. Homework

Ask your students to put some of their work on the blog. Not only does this give them a platform for them to publish their work, but it also exposes their work to a larger audience. Children tend to take more care in their work, and it can encourage some students who were not interested before. Also, having comments on student posts is very addictive…

 

6. Feedback

You might start blogging by visiting other school blogs before running your own. Leaving comments on other’s posts is very closely related to assessment, and will help your students develop a sense of helpful support or “constructive criticism”, as well as helping them understand more about the quality of their own work. Visit a few blogs with your class, and explain the do’s and don’ts of commenting on other people’s posts. Once your class understand the rules of commenting, visit Quadblogging.net and get help finding other schools to partner with.

 

7. Partnerships

Blogs are great way of developing a relationship with other schools. For example, a school near a farm can record some data about the number of animals that live nearby and post the results on their blog. A school a few miles away with less access to farms can also use the same data for their work. Partner schools in two different countries can help each other practice learning another language. I am pretty sure that there are plenty of London schools willing to share their experience of the upcoming Olympics, and these are first-hand views of a huge world event from a child’s perspective.

 

8. Class Work

Start your lesson in the classroom, and get your pupils to complete it online. Introduce the concept of building a story, and ask students to write or continue their own story as a post. Start a discussion about the rights of a child in the classroom, and ask the pupils to write their own viewpoints and experiences as a post. This can also be modified, so that the blog is used as a means to collect all kinds of homework and assignments.

 

9. School events

A blog is a great way of promoting the school disco, World Book Day, or anything else. Information about the event can be shared, the day’s events can be recorded, and follow-up work can all be done on a blog.

 

10. Transition

Schools involved in students leaving or arriving from other schools can use their blog to help ease things, get “inside” information, and generally prepare for a successful start. Older students can write guides for new students, and staff from either school can use the blog to introduce themselves, or make themselves available as an additional resource or support.

 

Remember, you don’t have to use all these ideas all at once. Start slow (maybe one post a week), and then become more frequent as your confidence grows. Also, try sticking to a “routine” if that helps. Do one of the ideas every Monday, for example, and that way, you can plan and prepare in advance.

How do you use a blog? What great examples have you seen?

 

Image courtesy of Flickr, david.nikonvscanon