"Blogging has the power to unleash learning, reflection, and communication.”
In this age of 21st century technology, we are all given the potential means to allow our voices to be heard by an audience vastly larger than any time before. With access to the internet, some keystrokes, and a few clicks of the mouse, we all have the opportunity to share our own thoughts and ideas. This is a powerful tool, however, in education may unfortunately be overlooked. Student blogging enables students to demonstrate and practice this significant communicative tool. In this week's blog, I will reflect on the art of using student blogging in the classroom.
I read Rusul Alrubail’s blog post “Blogging for English-Language Learners”, which was posted on the excellent and informative site, Edutopia. While her focus in this blog emphasized utilization for EL students, it most certainly can be ascribed to all students at all age levels. Along with the quote above, Alrubail also begins by stating “blogging for English-language learners (ELLs) can tap into students' and teachers' utmost communicative potential and help expand and widen learning opportunities.” I think this, indeed, reflects on the true ideal of blogging as an essential communicative tool, one students can use to develop language in a more genuine way than merely repetitive classroom practice. Blogs give students the chance to use their own voice to communicate with audiences beyond the classroom. It gives them a relative and personal way to reflect and share. She identifies many different benefits (as stated above), which can be seen in her infographic.
Along with the benefits and proper utilization of student blogging, she explains how a teacher might be able to start using blogging with their students in the classroom. She identifies many different purposes for using blogging in the classroom:
- Sharing images, links, and resources
- Vocabulary and grammar activities
- Paragraph writing
All of these are great ways your students have the opportunity to use blogging for themselves. As students of ESL-509, we can most certainly relate to the first three (discussion, response and reflection) purposes, as this is what I am doing currently ! We are opening ourselves up to the many different perspectives of others while contributing our own perspective. Your students can do much the same thing with the content they are learning in the classroom. Blogs also lend themselves to educating students in proper grammar, writing and paragraph development, because students are publishing something that potentially could be read by more than the classroom teacher. This helps students self-reflect on their writing and put their best work forward.
Blogs are a great way to share our stories, our learning and our beliefs, while reaching an audience far bigger than we could image. If this is something you are interested in using in your classroom, I strongly encourage you to give Rusul Alrubail’s blog post “Blogging for English-Language Learners” a read. Now is the time to unleash the power of blogs in your classroom.