Does blogging increase student learning?
We know that blogging is popular among many high schoolers and college students as a sort of online diary consisting of various articles and sometimes photos. Bloggers have the ability to create content and leave comments or links to topics to other relevant information on the web. But what about blogging in the elementary classroom? By taking a fresh look at this method of writing and learning, teachers, students and parents alike may be able to see the benefits that it offers. Fourth grade classrooms in New York and Missouri have already taken to blogging to allow students to create a conversation about today's news stories.
However, blogging in the classroom has received some criticism from speculators. One problem plaguing the blogosphere is the idea of safety. Not all blogs are safe and secure. However, according to EducationWorld.com, there have been several blogs created specifically for the classroom. Blogmeister, developed by David Warlick, is a completely free blogging tool that allows the teacher to set up the blog and student accounts where students can then add their own entries. The teacher then approves those posts before they are published. KidzBlog is another secure solution for the elementary classroom. Kids can write entries and even illustrate them with simple drawing tools. With password protection, students cannot write or go online until they have the teacher's permission. But what about the impact this system of learning has on the classroom?
Increase student responsibility
This method of individualized learning prompts students to post daily or weekly written assignments, which teaches them responsibility and forces them to manage their time and complete each post in a timely manner.
Develops and improves writing techniques
According to a study by the Association for Childhood Education International, blogging created a new audience for students to write for, helping them to improve their writing skills and even increase their level of confidence. The process of blogging helped students to think outside of strict writing conventions to develop their own entries that contain expression, humor and playfulness. Students can also learn from each other in this environment by getting the chance to read everyone's posts.
The Electronic Journal for the Integration of Technology in Education also noted that blogs can extend writing time beyond the classroom and traditional school schedule. Students will be developing their writing skills both inside and outside the classroom.
Decreases paper use
Blogs often contain relevant information that is readily available to students at all times. Information that is usually printed on paper and handed out can now exist in the virtual world. Things like rubrics, assignments, study guides, syllabuses and announcements will no longer have to be printed out.
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