Earlier today someone wrote the following in response to my post featuring a good example of a teacher and student blog,
“Franklly (sic) I don’t want to blog with my students. I want to talk with them face to face in class.”
While I appreciate that the person who wrote that comment on Facebook wants to emphasize the relationship she’s trying to develop with her students, she’s also overlooking the benefits of having a classroom blog. In short, it’s not an “either or” proposition. You can have a classroom blog and develop face-to-face conversations with your students.
1. Being authors on a blog gives students the opportunity to share their thoughts with you, their classmates, and their parents on a longer timeline than is typically feasible during a school day. Not every student is going to be able to quickly articulate his or her thoughts during a face-to-face conversation with his or her teacher. Having a place to write down his or her expanded thoughts after a conversation is one of the best benefits of inviting students to be authors on a blog.
2. Parents are privy to the comments and question that their children raise in regards to school. Parents often complain that their kids come home from school and say,”nothing” in response to the question, “what did you do in school today?”
3. Authoring a classroom blog can be a great way to create a record of what you and your students do in your classroom. By the end of the school year it can be hard to recall what you did in which week earlier in the school year. The blog’s archive makes it easy to look back at the year.
4. Authoring a classroom blog provides students with a real-world audience for their work. Connect with another classroom or two to become blogging buddies. Students in each class then have an audience for their work that extends beyond the typical confines of a paper-based writing assignment or face-to-face classroom conversation.
5. A classroom blog can provide parents and students with a calendar or upcoming events and assignments.
This summer I am teaching an online course about blogs and social media for teachers. The course begins in July. Learn more about it on this page.