This year, after several year of reflection on my part, the grade six class will be using student blogs. Blogs are journal-like webpages in which students create and post text and media content. While I had begun learning about student blogging five years ago, my concerns about safety and the management of the blogs had kept me from using this in the classroom. Now, using the kidblogs platform, students will be able to create a blog with a private audience that I administer, and which will be closed at the end of the school year.
Blogging allows us to enhance the literacy program while addressing skills and needs of the 21st century classroom. Blogs can be used:
- as platforms for expanding the writing program and providing authentic audiences for their writing
- to motivate writers, as a way of promoting discussion, and as a way of learning from their classmates
- to improve communication by helping them consider their audience and learn to express themselves formally and informally
- to harness the impact of technology to improve the quality of student writing, both at the technical and content level
- to learn how to interact positively, prosocially, in a digital forum
- to solicit feedback and promote interaction in a safe, closed community
- to allow parents and family members, near and far, to comment and interact with their child's work
- to learn to use technology safely, and to learn to protect their privacy
- to help students establish a positive digital footprint
With my guidance, the students will also establish a code of conduct for participating in the blogging project, and will examine ways in which on-line interaction (social media and other) has consequences in the 'real' world. We will discuss the changing nature of technology, and discussions of privacy, sharing, and cyberbullying will be part of the project.
I am very excited about this new project, and know that the students will be motivated by this new platform. We invite you to become part of our learning community, and hope that you will also be an active participant in this process.
As always, if you have questions or concerns, I am will be happy to discuss this further with you or provide you with additional information. Please contact me for a username and password to be able to view and comment on the blogs.