Way back in June 2008, Anne Mirtschin wrote “What is a blog?” with a description of the different ways blogs can be used. We are still blogging at Hawkesdale, due to the great benefits for students:
1. Student-centered Learning
Blogs allow students to create their own space on the internet, where they can customize their templates, express their ideas and share their opinions. Students love to add different widgets, images, music and animated clips to their blogs.
2. Supports Differentiation
Blogging is an authentic, open ended task that is suitable for a wide range of abilities. You can be young or old, speak any language and use blogging for your own purposes and interests.
3. Open Learning Community
A blog is accessible 24/7 to students, peers, parents, relatives and anyone! Students can display a portfolio of their work to a global audience. Cluster maps or other widgets can be added to show where visitors are viewing from. Students love to see red dots popping up on their cluster maps and it can become a geography lesson too!
4. Authentic Audience
Students take more pride in their work because it has the potential to be viewed by this global audience, including their peers in other countries. They are no longer just writing for their teacher, but the whole world!
5. Improves Literacy Skills
Blogging encourages reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar and research. As the blog builds (with the most recent post at the top) you can look back and see improvement over time.
6. Builds 21st Century skills
Blogging allows connections with the global community and promotes teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving. Blogging helps to build information, media and technology skills required for 21st century work places.
7. Engages students socially
The Facebook generation expect to have a global voice, they expect to be able to communicate with everyone, all the time. Blogging allows this. Students can create links to their friend’s blogs and other sites of interest.
8. Allows reflection and a record of change
Like a diary or a journal, but accessible from anywhere, a blog can document the development of the learner. Blogging gives users time and space to record their reflections.
Year 7 Student Blogs: