HOW TO ENGAGE YOUR STUDENTS IN BLOGGING / WRITING IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS

Some years ago, Kelly Sutton (the guy who started Hack College), posted an article about his own college blogging experience. The title should be a clear message – Want a Job? Start a Blog. A blog has a million and one advantages-but that would make for a rather lengthy article! So, I’d like to bring you eight reasons why you should consider your students blogging (writing).

Playing of games, TV and other activities that does not develop children mentally are eating deep into our children this days, this must be discourage. Parents and school managers have a role to play here.

WHAT IS BLOG?
A blog is a frequently updated online personal journal or diary.

It is a place to express yourself to the world (school when using School Software Pro). A place to share your thoughts and your passions. Really, it’s anything you want it to be. Blog is a short form for the word weblog and the two words may be used interchangeably.

It is a place to express yourself to the world (school when using MSMS). A place to share your thoughts and your passions. Really, it’s anything you want it to be. Blog is a short form for the word weblog and the two words may be used interchangeably.

Benefits of Blogging in the Classroom

Today there are so many new technologies including mobile phone and many of those can and are being used in classrooms all around the world and Nigeria. One of the most recent technologies is blogging and there are many advantages to blogging in the classroom. It is a great interactive tool that teachers and students can both use. It keeps students engaged and is a fun way to organize information.

Motivation and Participation

The first advantage of blogging in the classroom is that it encourages participation from students. Often times in a classroom, some students might not feel comfortable giving their opinions in class, so this is a great way for students to still participate and discuss without having to feel embarrassed. Some students might also be more opinionated and passionate if they are commenting on a blog rather than speaking in class. Students will also be more engaged in this type of tool because it is interactive and everyone can add to blogs. Most children love going on the computer or internet and providing information or asking for information from students seems much more interesting through a blog than any other way.

Transform Yourself into a Solution Finder

In my opinion there are two types of people in this world. There are Solution Finders, and then there’s everyone else. To explain what a Solution Finder is, let me describe to you the people who are the exact opposite.

A good lot of these people don’t stop at just asking for the answer – often they want someone else to hold their hand.

Different Viewpoints

Another great advantage is that the class will be getting many different viewpoints of topics and issues because everyone can participate. The whole class and teacher will be able to view everyone’s opinions and can also comment on them. It’s an easy way to have a large discussion and also view other classmate’s work.

Improving Reading and Writing Skills

A third advantage to blogging in the classroom is that students can log in from different locations than just in the classroom or with the teacher. Students can visit blogs anytime and from any computer with Internet access. This is beneficial because students would be able to work at home as well as at school. If they wanted to put more thought into an assignment or reflection, but didn’t have enough time at school, they could finish at home. Speaking of reflecting, students can write reflections on any reading they’ve done or on classroom discussions through a blog. They can reflect on their own work or on another classmates. General improvement on reading and writing skills is also a huge benefit to classroom blogging. Because students will be reading and writing so often, they will be getting a lot of experience and practice.

Research

Another big part of blogging is researching and reporting out. Students can do research online and report their findings on the blog. This way, everyone can see each other’s work and research. Also, students would be able to record progress on group projects. This brings me to the last and probably most important benefit of classroom blogging, communication.

Communication

Blogging in the classroom is extremely beneficial for communication between students and the teacher. Communication between students is a big benefit of blogging. Students will learn and experience collaborating with each other and what it means to work as a team. This is a valuable lifelong skill that is very important for students to learn. As far as communication with the teacher, they can post almost anything he or she needs to announce to students. For example, if teachers assign some sort of research project and students don’t know where they can get information, the teacher can create links on the page for students to find resources. Blogging also requires students and the teacher to indicate more specific thoughts and questions. In order for people to understand and know exactly what someone is talking about, things need to be as specific as possible because it is all online.

Solidify Your Knowledge Though Teaching

It’s not a well-guarded secret that the human brain is pretty lousy at retaining the information it learns.

If you input some facts into a computer and save them, it always remembers them. If you use a digital camera to take a picture, that picture will stay stored on the camera’s memory.

Yet, the human brain – the most powerful and complex computer in the universe – tends to forget a lot of what is put into it.

Want to hack your brain to remember more? Teach others.


Best Too
l To Use

tool is any physical item that can be used to achieve a goal, especially if the item is not consumed in the process (Wiki). Schools should use Easy-to-Use and Affordable School Software Pro all in one school software as a tool to achieve these and many more benefits I did not mention.

School Software Pro Blog Module performs these functions:

  • Create blog
  • View other blogs
  • Filter blogs based on available filter
  • Search for specific blog using search facility
  • View all the activities in the blog
  • Comment and rate blogs
  • Ban abusive blog posts, comments

Conclusion
Benefits of Blogging or Writing among our young once is enormous. Parents should expect such platform from their children’s schools and school managers/ teachers should work hard to inculcate

the culture of blogging among their students.

Special thanks to Thomas Frank and Anna Pitts for their contributions.

References

Ajith, Initials. (2009, June 14)
Benefits of Blogging in the Classroom (n.d.). Retrieved November 22, 2010
Blogging in the Classroom. (2008). In Change Agency. Retrieved November 28, 2010
Himanshu, Initials. (2009, November 5).

Chris Braid