Blogging is such powerful learning material and students should blog.
Here are just few reasons
It is FUN! Fun!….. I hear your sceptical exclamation!! However, it is wonderful when students think they are having so much fun, they forget that they are actually learning. A favourite comment on one of my blog posts is: It’s great when kids get so caught up in things they forget they’re even learning… by jodhiay
authentic audience – no longer working for a teacher who checks and evalutes work but a potential global audience.
Increased motivation for writing – all students are happy to write and complete aspects of the post topic. Many will add to it in their own time.
Increased motivation for reading – my students will happily spend a lot of time browsing through fellow student posts and their global counterparts. Many have linked their friends onto their blogroll for quick access. Many make comments, albeit often in their own sms language.
Improved confidence levels – a lot of this comes through comments and global dots on their cluster maps. Students can share their strengths and upload areas of interest or units of work eg personal digital photography, their pets, hobbies etc Staff are given an often rare insight into what some students are good at. We find talents that were otherwise unknown and it allows us to work on those strengths. It allows staff to often gain insight to how students are feeling and thinking.
Pride in their work – My experience is that students want their blogs to look good in both terms of presentation and content. (Sample of a year 10 boy’s work)
Blogs allow text, multimedia, widgets, audio and images – all items that digital natives want to use
Increased proofreading and validation skills
Improved awareness of possible dangers that may confront them in the real world, whilst in a sheltered classroom environment
Ability to share – part of the conceptual revolution that we are entering. They can share with each other, staff, their parents, the community, and the globe.
Mutual learning between students and staff and students.
Parents with internet access can view their child’s work and writings – an important element in the parent partnership with the classroom. Grandparents from England have made comments on student posts. Parents have ‘adopted’ students who do not have internet access and ensured they have comments.
Blogs may be used for digital portfolios and all the benefits this entails
Work is permanently stored, easily accessed and valuable comparisons can be made over time for assessment and evaluation purposes
Students are digital natives - blogging is a natural element of this.
Gives students a chance to show responsibility and trustworthiness and engenders independence.
Prepares students for digital citizenship as they learn cybersafety and netiquette
Fosters peer to peer mentoring. Students are happy to share, learn from and teach their peers (and this, often not their usual social groups)
Allows student led professional development and one more……Students set the topics for posts – leads to deeper thinking activities.
21. Blogging demonstrates true commitment and passion to your industry that you really can’t fake long-term. Most won’t be able to sustain it over long periods of time with frequency, but those who do so are rewarded in spades and stand out from the crowd.
22. Old articles are valuable and still read years later, given infinite life by the engines. Old Tweets live in archive purgatory where a majority will never be seen again.
23. Remember, you’re essentially contributing to someone else’s network on Twitter – certainly there are returns, but make no mistake they profit from your attention. I know you might not have a problem with that because you gain something too, but it’s good to be conscious of that fact.
24. A compelling link in a blog entry will be clicked; links in Twitter are noise that in aggregate make up signal, but the reality is links in your stream aren’t the same as a post with a compelling link.
25. Secret everyone knows: most of Twitter is just linking to blogs and content on the open web. Being the end product people are actually interested in and focus their attention on is where your ideas will be studied carefully, not in the cacophony of Twitter.
26. You own your work in a self-hosted blog and are in total control over how it is presented.
27. Twitter is in a sense social sticky notes, or the SMS of the Internet (however you want to consider it). It’s snack-sized content. Are you or your business interesting enough to provide the full course? It’s telling who engages deeper vs. those who simply choose to engage 140 characters at a time.
28. Cumulative results over time from blogging, each post incrementally adds value to your site as a whole. Not necessarily true on Twitter.
29. Full analytics with a blog.
30. Multiple touch points to readership and interaction (email, RSS, on-site, etc.).
31. Plugins let you add pretty much anything you want, can even integrate microblogging within your blog itself.
32. Flexibility with layout.
33. 140 characters is often more than necessary – but also it is often less than necessary.
34. Everyone on Twitter is looking for the next big thing or most interesting piece of content to link to. Wouldn’t you rather be the big thing than merely another person pointing at it?
35. These are all just tools to share content and ideas, no more, no less. You need a cohesive strategy for all of them to drive conversions in one spot. A blog is the perfect place for that if you want focused attention and to build an interested community. What if any one network you don’t control falls out of favor or changes the rules? At the end of the day, self-hosted blog owners control the vertical and the horizontal, whereas on Twitter orany external network you’re at the whim of someone else.
36. I don’t even know why some people consider for a second that Twitter and FriendFeed will kill blogging, these ideas are pure linkbait and show a lack of understanding of the motivation of people on the open web.
37. Careful of how much time you devote to Twitter instead of contributing to your own channel. Spend the most time nurturing that – time spent in Twitter comes at the opportunity cost of fresh content to your blog. You can use Twitter and other micro networks to draw subscribers and interest, but the premier value is in working on your own material in a unique space.
38. RSS is alive and well – Steve Gillmor and the TC gang know how to write a great piece of linkbait, but that’s pretty much all it is. Remember, they are in the business of generating buzz, links and pageviews through opinion pieces that ruffle the feathers of tech bloggers, and they’re good at it. It’s entertainment value but I wouldn’t put too much stake in anything one person or site says, always look at the situation and landscape objectively.
39. You are in control of when your blog goes into maintenance mode – not so with Twitter or really any free service.
This is surely powerful learning!!................