Thing 2: Student Blogging & Writing

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CC flickr user sylviaduckworth</a?
CC flickr user sylviaduckworth

 

INTRODUCTION

Blogging is a huge opportunity for students to show what they’re thinking about and learning, give and receive peer feedback, and make connections with other students around the world. Other services like Google Docs and Google Slides also provide opportunities for students to share their work with the world.

Students can use public writing platforms for collaborative writing projects, research journals, student portfolios and more.

In some schools, students use blog software to create an ongoing student portfolio that follows them from year to year. Check out this video showcasing a schoolwide “blogfolios” project!

(Learning about Schoolwide WordPress Blogs with Andrea Hernandez)

STUDENT BLOGGING & WRITING

Some ideas, tips and resources for student blogging. 

More Student Writing Ideas

Examples of library and school oriented blogs to explore:

Chances are your organization or someone you work with has a blog already, ask around!

BLOGGING & WRITING TOOLS

In your first Cool Tools lesson, you set up your own blog with Edublogs or Blogger. Those are both great services for students too, particularly middle/high school students. For younger students, you might consider setting up a classroom account with a service that lets you setup and manage accounts for all your students.

  • EduBlogs, Individual and classroom accounts are free. The free My Class option includes features for creating & managing student blogs.  A Pro account for $39.95/year adds some features.
  • Weebly – Free educator option lets you create and manage up to 40 student accounts. Pro account allows for more students.
  • KidBlog ($54/year with a 30 day free trial).

More tools

  • Bulb – a free/fee option for creating digital porfolios
  • Google Apps – Google Sites, Google Slides, Google Docs – all options for online writing and digital portfolios.
  • Padlet – Simple to use, a bulletin board type of tool. Students can create their own for their own writing. Or create one for the class to respond to prompts individually. Free/fee.
  • TinyLetter and SubStack – Both of these free tools help you publish a simple email newsletter. Readers subscribe to receive the newsletter in their email. Archives of the newsletters are maintained on a website. Students might use this to create a classroom or club/activity newsletter. Educators could use to easily share resources with other educators. Or as a way to share information with parents. Simpler to set up than a blog.

Vlogging – Video Blogging 

One of our workshop participants mentioned that their students liked the idea of video blogging and they’re right! This is very popular and easy to do with so many video apps on mobile devices. Vlogging is a great way for students to practice speaking and presenting skills. To store videos, YouTube is a one popular platform. And many of the blogging platforms mentioned in this lesson will support video embeds. As for educational tools, Flipgrid is an easy to use video blogging tool.  A few more resources.

LEARNING ACTIVITY

Explore the resources that interest you and fit your classroom needs. For your blog post for this lesson:

  • Discuss the resources you explored in this lesson.
  • Do you see value in the use of blogging with your students?
  • How might you use blogs to enhance or transform a student writing project?
  • Other thoughts about student blogging?

*TURNING IN YOUR ASSIGNMENT

  • Write & publish your blog post.
  • Copy the URL (webpage address) for your post.
  • Return to your Google Classroom, find the assignment page for the lesson you just completed and follow the directions for turning in and sharing your work.

*Only for students participating in the workshop for PD credit hours through the Google Classroom.