My students love to tweet. They share photos on Instagram. They know all the cool viral videos on YouTube. They are expert digital collaborators, connecting with others to discuss topics near and dear to their hearts. That’s why I had them start blogging this year. It’s a work in progress, and I’ll do it much differently next year than I did in this inaugural year. After a year of experience and absorption of as many student blogging articles/chat comments/podcasts as possible, here are 20 things to consider: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. [RELATED: 6 reasons why I’m starting a teacher blog — and why you should, too] 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. What are your experiences and lessons learned from using student blogs? (For notifications of new Ditch That Textbook content and helpful links, “like” Ditch That Textbook on Facebook and follow @jmattmiller on Twitter!) Related Why I blog -- and why EVERY teacher should November 13, 2014 In "Teaching" March 17, 2014 In "Ed Tech"
Student Blogging Do’s and Don'ts*updated 3/2014 with additional resources If you want to create a prolific writer you need two things- first you need an authentic audience, second you need motivation. When I was in college my wife and I were dating. I was motivated to write, I had an audience. Ever since I became a high school teacher I wanted students to engage in real writing. I encouraged my district to buy discussion forum software over eleven years ago even though just a few of us used it. Click here to go check it out When I first decided to start the blogging project I had to think of a framing mechanism, some way to tie the whole project together. Bill Simmons, a writer for ESPN, comparing Kobe Bryant to becoming a heel in professional wrestling. One of my favorite Grantland articles comparing NBA owners to art collectors to explain why NBA owners were being stupid and selfish during the NBA lockout. So I decided I’d have my students write about what they love. So how did I get them started? Nerd culture Food Gaming
Student Bloggingby Pernille Ripp Three years ago I started blogging with my 4th grade students on a whim. I knew three things at the start: I wanted to get them connected with each other; I wanted to give them a voice, and I knew I had to change the way they wrote. So I started blogging with them – fumbling my way through the how to and the when to. What I had no way of knowing was how blogging would change the way I taught, how blogging would give my students a way to speak to the world, and how blogs would make it possible for them to create lasting global connections with other children. Blogging has since become an integral part of my classroom. So when I meet with any teacher who wonders how to lower the walls of their classroom and create more authentic learning opportunities, my first advice is to get students blogging. If they’re interested, I share these steps. 10 + 1 Steps to Meaningful Student Blogging 1. You have to reflect on why it is you want to have students blog. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Blogging Ideas for StudentsMany of you know that, in addition to coaching, one of my biggest passions is homeschooling. (In fact, one of my clients told me recently that I am homeschooling adults, which delighted me.) Our 12-year-old son, Max, keeps a blog and learning journal for the past few years. He enjoys doing it—for the most part—and I believe there are so many benefits to writing regularly and engaging with the material in a thoughtful manner. I’ve cobbled together some ideas for fun blog posts to use with your own students, whether you are teaching at home or in a regular school setting. These are great for kids but can work for adults looking for blogging topics. Deleted Scenes Have your students write a deleted scene from their favorite book or movie. Adaptation Take a book and adapt it for the stage or film. Movie versus Book It’s always an engaging task for students to compare books to the movies based on them. Thumbs Up or Down These can be reviews on a book, documentary, play or field trip. Inside Scoop