Edublogs, a popular student blogging service, recently published the findings of their annual survey to gather feedback from teachers, students, and school administrators about their use of educational blogs. This year 688 people completed the survey, down from 777 last year, but up from the 587 two years ago. Sue Waters wrote a detailed report of the survey’s findings. There are a few items from the survey that jumped out to me. The use of tablets is on the decline. Only half of the respondents indicated that they work or learn in a 1:1 environment. Almost half of all student blogs are private.
Tablet use on the decline
Based on my observations at conferences and the conversations that I have had with school leaders over the last year, this is not surprising. In short, the rise of affordable Chromebooks combined with some of the peculiarities/frustrations of trying to type on tablets makes Chromebooks and other affordable laptops a better choice for blogging.
Only half of respondents in 1:1 environments
If you haven’t started a classroom blog because you don’t have dedicated laptops for each student to use, this survey proves that you don’t need 1:1 to use blogs in your classroom. You might need to give students more time to complete a blogging activity and or plan it a little differently than those in 1:1 environments, but you can still use blogging effectively in your practice. Strategies for classroom blogging are covered in detail in Blogs & Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders.
Half of student blogs are private
I have mixed feelings about this statistic. On one hand I recognize the need to protect student privacy and making a blog private is one way to do that (as is teaching students not to reveal personally identifying information/ sensitive information). On the other hand, making the blogs private limits the opportunity for students to have their work shared with a global audience. Unfortunately, the survey results don’t include explanations from respondents in regards to why they made their students’ blogs private.
If you haven’t tried blogging with your students or you want to try again, take a look at my comparison of classroom blogging tools.
Join Blogs & Social Media for Teachers & School Leaders to learn how to make blogging a successful part of your practice.