Each and everyone has already heard about blogs and blogging, am I right? But how many of those people really know how to blog, what are the standards, what are the benefits of blogs in people’s life, or even how blogging can be introduced in classrooms? Not much hein!? I, personally, didn’t know much about blogging only couple of weeks ago! Actually, I was putting my sources at the bottom of my articles and giving my texts an academic look, pretty embarrassing isn’t it? Okay, maybe not that much! Anyways, the point is not there! Today, my point is that there is not enough people aware of all the benefits of using blogs in educational and academic environments so let’s try to see together how blogs can be integrated into high school or even elementary school syllabus!
First, let’s take a look at some of the major benefits of using blogs in classrooms:
1. It gives an audience to the students and their works
Like I mentioned in one of my previous blogs, when I was a student, the thing I hated the most was to write a text, do research or build a project just for the purpose of the course and to get a good grade. In my opinion, writing a text just because the teacher needs material to give you your score gives boring texts! This is where Blogs become interesting! with blogs, students know that other people (at least their colleagues) can go and check their blog, so not only the teacher is reading it.
2. It helps developing more than just one skill at the time
Because Blogs require the use of ICTs (Information and Communication Tools), integrating blogging in classes gives the opportunity to the students to develop those ICTs while working on their French or their English or even on a science or maths project. Moreover, what is interesting about blogs is that we can find articles about each and every subjects, and so, written by people from 8 to 88 years old! With a range of articles that big, it’s easy for students to find articles that can help them build their own which, indirectly, imporve their ability to analyze texts and pull out only what they need.
3. It gives the opportunity to students to get more independent
While they are working on their blog, students can work at their own rhythm have the entire responsibility of their own blog. By giving them this responsibility, the teachers help their students get more mature and more independent. Students have a specific amount of time to do their blog, they can finish it at home most of the time, so they have to manage their time more than if they where sitting at their desk in front of a piece a paper.
Of course, having students blog is not just useful. Indeed, like mentioned ehow, blogs can be difficult for the teachers to grade and each teacher must build his or her own rubric that can fit his or her blog assignment which can, for some teachers extra work they don’t want to go into. Another bad point of using blog assignments is that the teachers cannot really control the time they give to their students to do their assignment, text, research, and etc.
Now that we’ve taken a look at the pros and the cons of using blogs in classroom let’s end this blog with possible uses of blogs in the classroom! When I surfed on wikispaces I found that blogs could be used as group discussions or platforms where the entire group can share ideas, develop project together and etc. Blogs can also be used as writing assignment or even reading assignments when students have to go and find ideas or information on others’ blogs. Another interesting use of blogs in the classroom is the possibility of doing long term projects whether in team or alone about any subjects!
Wow you’re ready to integrate blogs in your classroom now (or yourself)! Oops I forgot to give you some blog sites! Here is a short list of different softwares. Have fun!