Helping Students Find Their Voice: Start Blogging
Think about when you were in school. You wrote a paper or an essay and spent an enormous amount of time on it. You poured hours and hours into your thoughts and reflections. But who read it? Maybe an interested parent and your teacher. Maybe you even shared your writing with a friend or perhaps read it out loud to your class. But that's where it most likely ended. Likely to stay motivated? (Probably not.) Blogging changes the landscape; the audience can become broader and is not limited in scope. Blogging provides a new medium for voice and a platform for wider readership. Blogs encourage writers and responders to develop critical thinking, analytical, and communication skills. Understanding that words can have a more global impact, students recognize the value of clarity and are encouraged to hone the craft of writing.
Many educators and teachers have recognized that blogs can provide a wonderful global learning community and can facilitate writers for 21st-century. They understand that blogs encourage students to write for authentic audiences and are now setting up personal classroom blogging sites. Classroom blogs allow students to communicate and collaborate and have ongoing discussions in real time. Students become responsive to one another and develop voice. When students write and share blog post, it gives them an instant sense of accomplishment. Visual elements can even be added to post and can enhance students writing. Blogs allow students to include photos, quotes, links, music, and videos to customize everything. Blogging allows for creating a public space where student work can be "published".
Kidblog is a free user friendly blogging site designed for K-12 teachers, that provides for a student friendly publishing experience. This blogging tool will help students safely navigate the digital world's increasingly social landscape. Kidblog was built by teachers, for teachers, so that students can get the most out of the writing process. Teachers set up and design their own secure blogging communities and become moderators and content curators in the classroom. Students can also set up their own unique blogging space and can easily navigate between theirs and the teachers. The site can be password protected and can accessed from anywhere. Teachers are using Kidblog to create classroom discussions, learn digital citizenship, practice writing skills, create e-portfolios, reflect on learning and formally assess writing. A Kidblog App is also available for down loading in the App Store on iTunes.