Student Blogging

Student Blogging Benefits

How Blogging in Schools Builds Better Writers

In most places, school starts back up in a few weeks.

For some teachers, that means thinking about how to help your students develop their writing and reading comprehension skills in the year ahead. For others, it means finding ways to help students retain and use concepts they learn in science, art, history, and math.

Having your students write for, read, and critique a class blog is an easy and engaging way to help them become stronger writers, more astute readers, and more adept at working with the knowledge they learn in class.

If you’re not already familiar with blogging and have never set up a blog before, this post will walk you through the why and how of using student blogs in your classroom.

Create Your Blog

How does blogging help students? Let us count the ways…

The ability to write clearly is one of the most in-demand skills among employers, and it’s important for acing college entrance essays, scholarship applications, and pretty much every email your students will ever send. Blogging can help your students become better writers through:

  • Carefully selecting topic ideas that will appeal to their readers.
  • Finding reliable sources for their blog posts.
  • Drafting and revising their blog posts.
  • Reviewing other students’ posts and offering constructive feedback.
  • Listening to, processing and using feedback from other students.
  • Practicing, practicing, practicing.

Everyone can benefit from being a better communicator, but strong writing skills are especially important for student journalists whose intended careers center on writing. They’re also highly valuable for kids who are interested in STEM careers. Engineers and scientists have to keep clear, concise, and accurate journals during college and in the workplace. And writing clearly is critical to success in business, where so much communication happens via email.

Writing and reading blogs also helps students develop other skills, like distinguishing between fact and opinion, identifying trustworthy sources of information, and following online rules and codes of ethics. In any subject, a blog run by students can reinforce information and open up discussions that move learning forward.

Unlike writing with a pen and paper, which can seem tedious to kids who are used to texting and using email, typing out a blog post feels familiar and comfortable to students who’ve only known a world with computers and smartphones. Students whose families are on the analog side of the digital divide need hands-on experience with digital communication tools as well as writing practice in order to succeed.

General blogging for grades 3-12

There are blog lesson plans for students in all but the earliest grades. Scholastic offers blogging lesson plans for grades 3-5 that include blogging rules, defining what a blog is, writing blog entries, and evaluating blogs written by others using a rubric that covers grammar, topicality, originality, and tone.

For older students, ReadWriteThink has a blogging strategy guide and a long list of related resources for middle school and high school student blogs. Among them are a grade 6-8 five-part lesson plan series on career exploration through online research and blogging and an ongoing lesson plan for high school students that focuses on writing evaluation in blog format.

You can create a classroom blog to reinforce knowledge and build skills in just about any subject. For example, yearbook, school newspaper, and AV club teachers can explore these student journalism blogging lesson plans from the American Society of News Editors.

 

How to set up student blogging for your classroom

Another advantage of class blogging is that it’s easy to set up. It’s a good idea to review your school’s technology and privacy policies and to touch base with your administrators before you begin. Then you – or you and your students – can choose and register a domain name for your class blog. You canreview some best practices for choosing a domain name for your blog here,

Once you have that domain name, or URL, you’re ready to choose your web hosting plan. (What exactly is web hosting? Find out here.) Your host will store your classroom blog’s text and other media on its servers,  and provide security for your site. Ideally, your web host will offer a WordPress option that makes it easy to choose a theme to design your blog and plug-ins to add extra functions like social media sharing tools. Find out which type of web hosting best matches your needs here.

After that, you can develop a blog writing, editing, and posting schedule that fits your curriculum and classroom goals. You may want to use a single username for all posts to protect your students’ privacy, or let them choose their own individual screen names so they have a sense of ownership over their posts as well as some privacy online. Once the blog is up and running, be sure to share the URL with parents so they can keep up with what’s happening in the classroom and discuss it at home.

 

Does your classroom or school already have class blogs? Share your favorite examples in the comments!

34 Reasons to Blog

 

If you want your own domain (dot com etc) go here.

Blogging is great fun and here are 34 good reasons to blog. I have never earned any money from blogging and I don’t expect to. But others have. I blog because it gives me a voice on the Internet. I have over 6k subscribers. It is very creative I design my blog and it pleases me. It is not difficult and provides you with a permanent record. Also it is free. You can be up and running in 30 minutes. Read the 34 reasons. Not all will apply but you have good solid reasons to start a blog.

Here are the first 5 reasons to blog:

1. It helps you learn new things

Blogging is about sharing what you see, or want to see, in the world. It’s about teaching or sharing what you know and what you, too, are learning. When you start a blog, you’ll find yourself always learning new things about your areas of interest so you can keep sharing without running dry of ideas.

Think of it this way: when you set out to wash clothes, your objective is to clean the clothes, not your hands, but it’s your hands which become clean first.

2. It makes you think clearer

The ability to think clearly and generate ideas is one of life’s most critical skills, yet one of the things you don’t get taught in school. Blogging fills that void, helping you grow your thinking muscles exponentially.

You’ll learn to reflect deeply on your life, your relationships and your society; engage with others intellectually, appreciate the strengths in arguments and point out the flaws in them; appreciate the tiny distinctions between what, why and how; the nexus and disparity between excuses and justifications, and so on.

3. It helps you write better

Many things have boosted my writing proficiency over the years: essay contests, tapping from mentors, reading books, etc. But none of them has challenged me so consistently as blogging.

Here’s why: writing mastery comes with constant practice and blogging is just about that. In his epic book, On Writing, Stephen King discusses how once he didn’t write for several weeks due to an accident, and how when he started to write again, his words weren’t flowing well.

That’s how inconsistency weakens your writing muscle, and that’s why blogging, which keeps you writing regularly, helps you write better.

4. It builds your confidence

I used to be a timid introvert. Until I started blogging.

Blogging helps you learn to voice your opinions, dare to be wrong and stop being so scared to make mistakes. With blogging, you learn to recognize and build your strength, and also admit and improve on your weaknesses. With conversations happening on your blog, you learn to hear flattery without being carried away and take criticisms without losing your cool.

5. It helps you speak more coherently

A great speech starts with a sound script. The more you learn and share ideas about your areas of interests on your blog, the more comfortable you get discussing them verbally.

And over time, you grow confidence to face an audience and manage your nervousness on your subjects of interest. Soon, this diffuses to other verbal conversations.

More at :

https://howtostartablogonline.net/why-blog/

REMEMBER if you have a blog you are increasing your digital literacy this can be added to your CV. Blogging is a marketable skill as WordPress powers 27% of the internet. It is a valuable skill to have. Often on an application form you have web address well now you can have one.

If you are ready to give it a go it costs nothing except 30 mins of your time:

OK you have come here because you don’t need the “Why” of http://OlderCitizens.wordpress.com. This site is a stripped down version. Watch a video once, then the second time pause the video and follow instructions. You can watch all videos first there is a lot of overlap.

Watch all videos full screen, don’t click on any links until you have watched the associated video. (You may have to turn up your volume) All links open a new tab.

Start:

    1. Go to WordPress.com.
    2. Think of a name and register it. yourname@WordPress.com is a good start. Take some time over this. You may have a nickname you go by or an interest in something special to you. When you tell people your blog address how does it sound? Try and make it unique and memorable. I have about 15 blogs for different things including my name so you can have more than one. But take your time and choose a good name that tells people who you are.
    3. Change the theme, Themes: Twenty Sixteen is a good theme and I recommend it. Go to http://thenameofyourblog.wordpress.com/wp-admin – Appearance then Themes and if its not there type in twenty in the search box. All the twenty family will come up they are all good. You can play till you get one you like. There are hundreds of free themes and you can change your theme very easily. So choose a theme that suits your mood. It may take several attempts to decide but you can change your theme anytime. ( The forward slash = / is under the question mark )
    4. Add a post.


Your first post, go to thenameofyourblog.wordpress.com/wp-admin:

  1. Open up the dashboard at /wp-admin
  2. Practice using the post editor
  3. Making a post (If you can use a word processor this is easy)



    1. Insert an image and a video.
    2. Keep all your images in your image folder

      The video below is worth a watch it recaps and adds some detail I missed.

 

That’s all you need to get started. Here is a reward for your sweat:

I have set up a forum on http://forum.oldercitizens.org/ where you can ask questions and discuss anything. It is monitored daily.

Now you can go back to http://OlderCitizens.wordpress.com or go have a look at http://OlderCitizens.com

Was this helpful? Need more? Fill out the form if you have a minute…..