I was most intrigued by the concept of blogging in the classroom. Blogging is something I've done for a while. I used to blog about my travels and adventures. Then I blogged a lot about my adoption process. I still occasionally use my blog to express opinions and give updates on our life. Blogging is really easy and blogger is pretty self explanatory. I hadn't, however, considered blogging with my students.
Since starting the class I've been intrigued with the idea of using media and technology to increase my students' interest in literacy activities. My students can definitely be described as reluctant readers and writers. Writing is especially a struggle for them. And why wouldn't it be? They write a piece, hand it in to me, I read it, grade it and put it in a folder. Why would they pour their hearts and souls or even minimal effort into that? What's the purpose? Where's the motivation?
As I read about A'idah (Vasudevan, DeJaynes, Schmier, 2010, pp. 29-30) I had visions of my kids blogging about things they are actually interested in. If the goal is to learn to write a topic sentence and supporting details, why can't they write about a movie they saw or their favorite rapper instead of a "boring" topic from a book? Maybe if their writing was out there for their parents, teachers, administrators, and the public to see, they would be more motivated and more interested in producing quality work.
Students can learn a lot of techniques from blogging. Many of my students are proficient texters. They rely heavily on their phones to correct spelling and capitalization. While they can text, they struggle to type on a keyboard. With today's technology, almost all jobs require at least basic keyboard and computer skills. If they gain enough skills, they can also learn HTML, photo embedding and editing, video embedding, music uploading, linking and all kinds of other skills (Vasudevan, et al., 2010, pp. 29-30). If they don't advance that far, they can still learn to express opinions and write well.
I was so impressed with the idea that I've started a classroom blog. We have a long way to go until the students gain the skills they need to blog really well but they are excited to take their turns writing on the blog and to have their pieces heard and appreciated.
Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2013). A new literacies reader. New York: Peter Lang.