Blogs had a great potential for students learning when tasks are developed to align with course objectives. A blog allows anyone (from pre-primary to post-graduates) to publish information online. Pupils use technology constantly so why not use this in our favor? Let’s see some their advantages!
- Writing skills improvement: students (and people in general) write better if they know that someone is going to read what they are creating. Blogs allow us to write to an authentic audience, even bigger than we could think. Our articles can be read all over the world and this creates great expectations. Students pay more attention to grammar, spelling, and punctuation because they know it. Teachers, friends, family, other people around the world can see our creations.
- Anytime, anywhere: there are not frontiers. Internet accesses allow pupils to engage with other students and teachers instantly, so they have the chance to discuss questions as they arise providing significant learning. Furthermore, we can access to this knowledge whenever we want. It is always available.
- Reflection time: as we have this availability we also have plenty of time to sit down, write and reflect on what we have learned while learning to create an emotional connection to that information. Instead of putting contents into our brains (as if into a bin) we can relax, think about our learning and establish meaningful connections.
- A place for everyone: if we think about it, we can always remember the typical shy boy/girl who sat at the other side of the classroom, as if hiding himself from the teacher. Blogs break this kind of barrier allowing students to communicate their inner thoughts and maybe we get astonish when a student who never wants to participate in our activities, writes in our blog and expresses himself/herself. This is a great opportunity to know them more and a starting point to practice social skills.
- Creativity: a blog is a great tool for improving our creativity and personal iniciative. As part of our reflection we can create things using other tools (videos, podcasts, pictures…).
- People learning from other people: we can share our ideas, feelings, questions, experiences… to others. Students can add to and edit content written by each other. They can communicate and receive feedback almost instantaneously. They are no longer confined to a class groupings or techers within a classroom. Maybe a student from New Zealand can solve our doubts. Our audience: the entire world. This may result in a net of interconnected knowledge with no geographical borders.
- Parents’ availability: each year more and more parents are not available to attend the school meetings because they work full-time. Blogs helps them to see what their children are doing in class, so they can bridge the gap in the home school connection.
- Motivation: all these reasons motivate our students a lot. Using ICT in class generates expectations and a great feeling of innovation. Our pupils have fun with this kind of activities while learning without even noticing.
- Interconnected knowledge: art, technological skills, writing skills, maths, geography, foreign languages… we can work on every subject and even integrating them.
Do you know more advantages of blogging for teaching? Then make a comment. I would really appreciate it.
María Pérez Navarro.