For about seven years now, I’ve had students use blogs in my classroom. At first, I social studies blogs and one class blog. However, I noticed that students in my class quit blogging when they left. I also noticed that the blogs looked nothing like the blogs I write or read. They weren’t authentic. They were mostly just a social studies journal project plopped online.
So, I decided to go with a blended approach:
- Personal Learning Blog: This becomes their portfolio, their resource, their space to reflect on what their learning. This is a place for an ongoing dialogue between the student, the class and the teacher. It is, in this sense, semi-private. Note: In accordance with FERPA, I don’t “grade” anything here. That’s done on Google Docs and e-mail. This type of blog is more academic in nature.
- Individual Public Blog: This is more like the kind of blog I would typically read or write. This is where students choose the topics, write, add personal podcasts or post their photography and artwork. Over time, these blogs typically become themed, though not necessarily on purpose.
- Blogging Co-Op: Students work in small groups to blog about a particular topic or interest (an art blog, a social justice blog, a skateboarding blog). It becomes a mini-community.
- Class Blog: This is a place where we showcase our work, where we put finished products and where we engage in class discussions that are also open to the public.
I got some interesting push-back on this idea when I brought it up on Twitter. People suggested having students write one blog and then do tags for different topics and concepts. Others said that students most likely wouldn’t continue to blog on their own anyway and that multiple blogs become confusing for students and teachers. However, my process continues to evolve.
If you enjoyed this post and your curious about this topic, feel free to consider the following:
- Join the Creative Classroom Academy and access free courses and resources connected to blended literacy.
- Check out the other posts on blended literacy.
- Check out the free blended literacy resources like the Wonder Day Project, the Student Blogging Toolkit, or the writing prompts on the resource page
- Book Me to speak at your conference, district or organization.