1. George, I’m so glad I saw this post of yours. For the past four years, I’ve used a blog as a digital portfolio of student work. I use our Board blogging platform for this, and all of the student blogs are public, so they have an authentic audience for their work. It’s great that my youngest students (Grade 1’s) could share their work on a blog in addition to my oldest students (Grade 6’s). This year has been a little different for blogging though, as many students are not just typing their work directly on the blog, but creating their work using a different medium, and then eager to share it. I started with a group blog, but due to permissions, I was the only one that could do this embedding. Recently, I switched over to individual student blogs. Students are now administrators on their own blog. They’re learning to navigate the WordPress Dashboard, and they’re learning how to add all of their work to a blog that they control. This is a great way for them to take responsibility for their learning and the sharing of their learning, and I think this is a good thing!

    What I also love about blogging is the ease in differentiation. When I used to keep a paper portfolio, students that struggled with writing felt that they had limited work samples to share. If they were expanding on their points orally, and I was writing them down, then all that the parents were seeing was my writing. This is not what the students wanted. A blog is different though: students can embed audio and video files. This allows them to make their “own voices” heard and in the way(s) that work(s) best for them. It was actually with this reason in mind that I made the move to individual student blogs. I wanted to give my Grade 6 students the same opportunity that I gave my Grade 1’s and 2’s.

    Thanks for getting me thinking!

    • George

      Thanks for your continued leadership Aviva :) You are a great model of what kids can do with this medium! I appreciate your comment!

  2. Monte Munsinger

    George, I often read articles about students using social media in schools, but often finish with more questions than answers when it comes to actual implementation. I think your article, however, gives concrete examples and rationale for student blogging. Thank you for sharing your insight and vision for how this can empower kids to reflect on their learning.

  3. During the final years of my teaching I used blogs for every class. As you said, some students took to it, others, not so much. I agree it doesn’t matter. Past students have sometimes years later sent me links to their blogs when they are older and feel they have something more to say. The thing I love about introducing blogging to students is that it provides them with an empowering platform that they can use at any time in their life. It is part of the ‘lifelong learning’ that I wanted to provide as a teacher.

    I also like your phrase about ‘if I tag and categorise it properly’. I believe tagging and categorising to be a skill that could do with extra development in myself personally, but also for students. It is one of the subset of blogging skills that supports information management in this digital world we have entered.

    Thanks for this post.

  4. This ia great post! I’m a blogger myself and have definitely seen many benefits of regular blogging. It is a very productive and wise way to spend some of your time and very much recommended for all students!

  5. Ace

    A very important issue raised here .The reason I call it an issue is that ,being so beneficial and important to a student growth in this digital world ,it is still generally ignored by educational institutions .I am the head of my student union and I am working on this project to enable our students to blog .

  6. George wrote:

    To be honest, not every student will take to blogging the way that we envision as teachers, and to be honest, that is okay.

    – – – – – – – – –

    Hey Pal,

    Just wanted to offer a quick language revision to this line that I know YOU understand inherently but that many of your readers may struggle with.

    Convincing students to “take to blogging” isn’t what we’re after, right? We want them to “take to continually reflecting on what it is that they know and care about.”

    The blog is just the vehicle for making that reflection possible.

    I know that’s what you mean — you even say it about a dozen times in your post.

    But I worry that other people will read this as, “Blogs matter” instead of “Reflection matters.”

    Hope you’re well, by the way!



  7. Blogging is really taking off at my school in meaningful ways. Student-led conferences are taking place right now and a majority of the 3-5 grade students are using blogs to guide their parents through their learning.

    Last Friday, a 5th grader who was returning to Japan for school came to me wanting to gather her work from her blog to take with her. We couldn’t find a pen drive to export her data, so she and I took a laptop and walked down to the library where her mom was waiting, and we created a personal blog for her. After transferring the data and seeing it appear on the new blog, mother and daughter cheered, gave high fives and hugged each other. Her work, connections and reflections mattered to her and she wanted to hold onto all of it.

    This experience has strengthened my resolve, as a tech facilitator, to promote the five points that you stated in your post through blogging

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  10. […] you make a whole class blog or you make every students create their blog, both will result in a meaningful activity. Blogs represent a world of knowledge that students can learn from and this project will show them […]

  11. Michael Halder

    We need a way to get our thoughts out there. Apathy is the worst action we can take. Stay in touch and stay involved!

  12. Lori Tharp

    Thank you for this primer on blogging and 21st Century Literacies…. used this blog for the basis of my first blog! Look forward to future posts.

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