When I think of blogging, I think of the kinds of blogs that my sister follows. The type where all they talk about is themselves and what they are doing. There was this one post that my sister read to me where a blogger said “Today I have decided to start wearing boots to school. I have long legs and by wearing these boots I am able to look shorter which helps with my figure. So excited!”. I am not trying to make fun of this blogger, but I have found that these blogs are only useful to followers that want to learn about the subject matter, or don’t mind listening to someone talk about themselves and never interact with their audience.
The idea of a blog for a classroom is so that the kids can interact with each other, the teacher, and even parents; if parents are allowed to access the blog. I like how Will Richardson described the way to start blogging in his book Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. He said to start off understanding how much access your students have to the internet then start small by posting assignments before having forums for students to have conversations with each other in. Students might not even be comfortable with blogging. There are steps that teachers can take to help get their students comfortable with blogging. Will Richardson uses these steps in his book:
1. Introduce students to blogging. Read some blogs with them during class. Have them read a blog post for homework.
2. Have the students interact on the teachers blog with other students.
3. If they are very comfortable with technology and mature enough to handle their own blog. Why not allow them to start their own?
When a teacher allows students to read blogs and even start their own, they must let children be aware of the dangers of having blogs or even reading blogs. Teachers must help students be safe. For example, students shouldn’t use their full name instead they should use their first name or even a fake name. By keeping their names private will keep them safe from any predators on the internet and will also help keep parents relaxed about their kids posting on the internet. A teacher should watch over their students blogs, make sure they are not posting details about their life and to comment when the teacher feels they should comment. Also a teacher, in my opinion, should never stop a child from writing more than they want to. A student should be allowed to explore their writing skills, even if it is on the internet.
I believe blogging is a resource that teachers should use in their classroom. By showing students how they can use the internet in an educational way, it allows them to realize that learning or writing doesn’t only have to be done with pencil and paper. It can be done with a mouse and keyboard as well.