This year I have stepped out of my comfort zone to embrace blogging. While I have always been pretty savvy with social media, blogging is something pretty new to me. Last year, my school switched to a blogging platform for parent communication (rather than using Google Classroom, as we did in the previous years). I started to dip my toes into blogging on the OJCS Grade 1 blog… but it was mainly simple posts with reminders for parents or little insights/sneak peeks into what we were doing in class.
After the BLC conference in July, I started my own professional blog (check out my first post for insight into how I was inspired to start). I have tried to use this blog to reflect on my professional growth and learning journey through this school year with my Grade 2 students… I have really enjoyed using this blogging platform and I feel like each time I post I am getting better and better… maybe? You know what they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day (or in my case.. 4 months almost to the day since I created this blog).
This fall, we (me and my Grade 2 students) all jumped out of comfort zones and jumped right into the Edublog’s Student Blogging Challenge. We have enjoyed completing tasks while learning about blogging, avatars, commenting, using images from online, using music online/in public, and most recently, emojis! Working as a class to create the content for these blog posts has really intrigued a handful of my students to want to write their own blog posts.
I have worked with 2 students to create “Guest Blogger” posts on our Grade 2 blog; one student blogged about his experiences using social media to save fish that were left in a draining creek and my other student blogged about his experience designing a variety of different tennis rackets out of toy straws. The first student post (about the fish) was a huge spur of the moment decision for me. His father had tagged me in the series of tweets and we direct messaged a bit about how my student was using social media as a tool to connect and help the fish (at 7 years old!! I KNOW!! that was definitely a MAJOR proud teacher moment). I suddenly thought to myself ‘wow, wouldn’t it be incredible for this student to document what he did?’ …so I messaged the student (via his dad’s twitter) and asked if he wanted to write a blog post about it! He was thrilled; so that’s what we did. The second post was just a no-brainer… this student was creating and building on his free time during the weekend and he wanted to share his designs with me… I said, why not share them on the blog? BOOM. Second student post.
The process has been fairly simple; the student speaks and I scribe/type. The student blogger has full control in order to pick where the picture(s) go, what font to use, and what colour the font is.
Now that this “Guest Blogging” or “Student Blogging” is picking up in my classroom, I am starting to think more critically about how I should be doing it. Is there a right way and wrong way? Are there guidelines I should be following?
I’ll be digging into A Guide To Documenting Learning by Silvia Tolisano and Janet Hale to search for some of these answers…
…but I encourage you to please leave a comment or share your experiences below if you have worked with young students on blogging!