This year my students have had the opportunity to engage in educational blogging through the Kidblog platform. The purpose of our blog site is to communicate our ideas and opinions on educational topics among our classmates in an online environment. Students receive weekly blog prompts to respond to related to curricular content we are studying at the time. They also have the opportunity to write their own blog posts on educational topics of personal interest. Students enjoy this platform as they have a way of sharing their learning with their entire class instead of just their teacher. Often, students choose to write and respond to blog posts outside of class time. During our blogging experience, we have learned how to write an interesting blog post that elicits a response from its readers. We have also discussed how to provide feedback to our peers through the commenting feature.
What I appreciate most about blogging is that I am able to better understand what motivates my students and can provide timely feedback on their writing, which is not always possible when teaching in the classroom. I can then incorporate their interests into daily teaching activities, or provide further information such as hyperlinks and media. I love how engaging this activity has become for some of my quieter students. Our blogs add value to in-class discussions and can replace in-class journaling activities. Blogging is a great way to expose students to digital literacy skills, collaboration, critical thinking and online communication.
Chelsea O’Leary is a Grade 3 teacher at Hidden Valley School. She is an edtech specialist who has an interest in blogging and mobile technologies.