Educators are always striving for students to make text to text/self/world connections. When journaling, this includes pages of laborious description to describe the reference. Blogging, and the wondrous resources online, allows students to simply create a link to support their connections and descriptions. If a picture is worth a thousand words, how valuable are websites like YouTube, flicker, and TED? Students can then spend more time analyzing and elaborating on the value of the connection rather than making the connection itself.
An active audience, the sense that someone is reading your writing changes writing dynamically. What better way to teach students about the writing and publication process than actually publishing their own works online? Students are ecstatic when others leave comments on their blogs. It validates their opinions, and gives them a greater sense of community.
3. Digital Citizenship
Finally, blogging provides classes with a platform to discuss their online etiquette. It’s imperative that when participating in discussions and this community, that they realize the necessity to protect their personal information as well as the information of others. Some teens give blogging a bad impression by “flame baiting” – antagonizing others with profanity and excessive insults. This is caused when the bully does not acknowledge the impact of their words and that there’s actual people reading their works. A good guide for students is a simple principle: if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t post it online. This conversation can also extend to the proper ways to cite resources, etc..
These reasons not only make Blogging a viable classroom activity, it also prepares students for their futures in a practical manner. Your students are online anyways; these conversations are happening. Participating in these discussions and guiding students in online interactions will make you an effective, and memorable educator.