Using Blogs in Education

What is a Blog?

A blog is an online journal where entries (called posts) are written in chronological order with the most recent at the top of the blog. Anyone can set up a blog and there are lots of sites that will host your blog for free.

Blogging is about extending conversations, on topics, from those in your immediate environment (i.e. work colleagues, family and friends) and gaining from collaborating with a global audience. Increased collaboration with people, will always lead to greater innovation and ideas, because each individual sees a different perspective of the task – giving all involved greater “food for thought!”

(source: Sue Waters Wikispace)

Why to use a blog in class?

A blog offers a kind of asynchronous education. What are the elements that make a blog a useful tool to use in class?

  • The motivating element. The students interface with something completely different from what they are used. They become so much involved in things that in the end they forget that they are learning. In fact, they are having fun. They enjoy themselves in the activities that they are engaged. (I think that after that, you have won the bet ;-)
  • Practice and develop  reading and writing skills. (Teacher evaluation & assessment but also peer assessment)
  • Attach media (pictures, videos etc). Every student has his/her own personality. Some are visual types, some reading or writing types. A blog may fill all the student’s needs.
  • Communication is strengthen. Students communicate with each other and with the teacher. There is a greater team spirit.
  • Improve self-confidence. When a students feels that s/he contributes something useful, this results in a feeling of achievement. We need students that feel good for themselves and their language and general skills.
  • Parents  can have an overview of their child writing – an important element in the parent partnership with the classroom.
  • Digital portofolio. The students will keep a track of their writings in a blog. It can be an individual or a class blog. Then, they can go back and forth and check their works.

Where can I make my blog?

There are some websites that offer free blogging. Such sites are:

WordPress

Edublogs

Blogger etc.

Examples:

Here are some examples of  blogs that are used in class.

Ninth-Grade English

Academic Reading and Writing

Educators Blogs:

Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day

In Practice