10 reasons why children should be blogging
There are usually two camps of people when it comes to blogging in school – those who love it and those who hate it. It’s a bit like marmite.
Here are ten reasons why I think blogging can benefit your pupils. I am sure there are plenty more but here are a few that might help you to think about dipping your toes into the world of blogging with your class.
1) Real writing for a real audience
Blogging can extend the audience that your pupil’s write for beyond your classroom walls. Writing a blog that can be seen by more than their own class teacher can help give a real sense of purpose to children’s writing and therefore increase their motivation and enthusiasm to write.
2) Blogging removes barriers
Blogging can be approached from so many ways it can suit all sorts of learning styles which means that blogging is great for your gifted and talented children as well as those with special needs. Screens can be so easily adapted for those with specific learning difficulties and translators used for those new to English therefore, blogging can be an inclusive activity that can support and encourage writing at all levels.
3) Blogging builds a bridge between home and school
A blogging tool that enables the children to blog at home with their parents is a great way to help parents to support and encourage their children’s learning. Pupil’s can easily share and involve parents in their schoolwork and in their ideas and thinking in general through showing the blogs they are working on in school. In turn this can initiate valuable dialogues with between children and their parents about all sorts of topics. Blogs as home learning can also give a different strategy for engaging your pupil’s in their home learning each week.
4) Blogging increases motivation
As pupils reach us in Early Years they are already experts in handling and using a range of technological devices these days. Blogging is an excellent way to combine what they already know and love with writing in order to foster a love of writing itself.
5) Blogging increases confidence
Positive feedback can boost a child’s confidence and enable them to see:
- how good they really are,
- how much others appreciate their efforts and
- the impact the written word can have on others.
Blogging that enables others to comment and respond can provide plentiful opportunities for the writer to receive recognition and therefore increase their confidence to write more, which leads nicely to the next point….
6) Blogging fosters peer-to-peer support
The interaction between peers that blogs enable can stimulate relevant feedback and mentoring between pupils. Pupil’s can learn how to give constructive feedback and helpful praise to their friends and how to receive similar from others and use it to improve their work.
7) Blogging supports a growth mindset philosophy
When blogging children can feel unsure of putting their writing out there in public initially, hence the huge sense of achievement that can come from giving it a go and receiving comments and genuine interest in what they have to say. Those initial stages of learning to blog, if handled well, can be an excellent illustration to pupils of the ‘I can’t yet’ and open to challenge mindset that we want them all to have.
8) Blogging enable pupil led learning
Blogging can be organised by the teacher in many different ways and each class teacher will know how best to tackle the activity. However, the impact of pupil led blogging can be significant. When led by pupils, blogging can lead to deeper thinking and higher engagement. It is an excellent forum in which pupils can be given the independence to set the agenda of their learning. This in turn is both empowering and can lead to greater progress as we well know.
9)Blogging is open to all ages
Many people ask me at what age I think children should start blogging. My simple answer to that is that you are never too young or too old to blog. Good blogging tools will allow even very young pupils to blog. Blogging can be done in groups with a teacher and/or with the use imagery as the predominant part of their blogging rather than text. Blogging does not always have to be copious amounts of text to engage others. A picture speaks a thousand words for younger children and eventually adding a simple caption is the first step on the road towards writing their own blogs, as they grow more able to. There is also nothing wrong with just posting images …look at the popularity Instagram for example for telling our stories and sharing our experiences! The most important thing is that, whatever the age, we teach our pupils how to blog safely.
10) Blogging helps teach ESafety skills
The age, ability, interest experience of the pupil for me is no deterrent for blogging – it is their safety that is always paramount in any form of online activity that we engage them in. As teachers we should have this in the forefront of our mind in all areas of computing when we work with our pupils. Blogging, in my opinion, provides a great forum for teaching children online safety skills and demonstrating how we should write, comment and interact safely and kindly in public. When I think of esafety I always compare it to the equivalent of my youth – the road outside my house, which was where I played and interacted at my pupils age. My parents did not just let me go outside one day to play without having first spent years educating me about road safety and strangers, often inadvertently, through songs, their actions, stories etc. For me blogging in school can be one of those ways we can help children learn the little things that will help protect them when they eventually venture into the World Wide Web to socially interact alone, if they are not already doing so, just like our parents taught us Stranger Danger.
So there are 10 reasons why you should get blogging with your pupils. Most importantly of all, children love to blog on the whole and that in itself is a great reason to give it a try.