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!
STUDENT BLOGGING & WRITING
Some ideas, tips and resources for student blogging.
- If you read nothing else, read these 3 posts:
- Why Teachers And Students Should Blog: 18 Benefits of Educational Blogging
- My blogging voyage, and how I do it (step by step) – Rayna Freeman on blogging with 5th grade students.
- Top 10 Tips For Student Blogging – Marina Rodriguez shares her experience blogging with 4th grade, dual-language students.
- 100+ Ideas and Prompts for Student Blogging – You’ll never run out of ideas if you keep this post handy.
- Blogging is the New Persuasive Essay – An older article, but great reasoning for starting students blogging early.
- Write The World – Provides interesting writing prompts and a platform for students to write. Educators can create writing groups for their students.
- Blogging with Students – Terrific series of tips from the folks at Edublogs. Lots of examples of student and classroom blogs.
- Empowering Students Through Blogging
- 6 tips to make the most of student blogging – Quick read with a good strategy for getting started with classroom blogging.
- How to Safely Connect Six year Olds to the World – Short podcast with Kathy Cassidy on classroom blogging with 1st grade. She’s been doing this for 12 years and knows how to make it work.
- 50 BLOG TOPICS AND PROMPTS FOR TEACHERS – Want to work on your blog writing skills but don’t know what to write about? These great blog prompts will help!
More Student Writing Ideas
- Student Blogging with Padlet – Padlet is an incredibly simple way for students to get started with writing publicly.
- Collabordependent Writing with Google Slides – Interesting way to use Google Slides for student writing projects.
- Cooperative Critical Writing – Meredith Akers presents a strategy for having students work collaboratively, think critically and provide peer feedback.
- Emoji Writing Prompt Generator with Google Sheets – Emojis can be fun writing prompts, string a bunch of them together and see what creative stories students come up with.
- Random Emoji Writing Prompts – Start with one emoji, start writing. Add another one, write some more, continue.
- Storybird – Use the “start with art” option, select an image and use that to start a short picture book, a refrigerator-poem or a long form book.
Examples of library and school oriented blogs to explore:
- Class Blog List – Lots of examples of class blogging projects, arranged by grade level.
- 50 Fabulous EdTech Blogs to Follow
- 23 Great Library Blogs – July 2015 article with a list of some great library blogs to serve as examples
- Huzzah! – School blogging project with links to many student blogs listed under “class blogs”
- Mrs. Cassidy’s Classroom Blog – Mrs. Cassidy has had Grade 1 students blogging for many years. (Mrs. Cassidy retired recently, but she’s left her blog in place, still a great resource!)
- Blog Case Study: Student Run Newspaper – Uses blogging software to produce a school newspaper.
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).
- 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.
- Choosing a Website for Your Video Blog
- How a teacher has his students vlog for meaningful student reflections
- HOW VLOGGING CAN INCREASE YOUR SPEAKING SKILLS
- 5 TEACHER VLOGGERS TO FOLLOW ON YOUTUBE
- A classroom vlogging project with elementary school students.
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.