Blogging lets you and your students have written discussions and online communications. These discussions can be private or publicly available and can be archived for future use. Blogging can be used to form a discussion forum, post short current events articles, invite students' thoughts, foster communication among multiple classes, serve as a log of student progress on a research assignment, post photos and homework assignments online, and much more.
To get started, first choose your platform. There are a lot of options available, and we have found that these have been very successful.
- Blogger - Google’s popular and free blogging tool, is one of the quickest and easiest to use. In workshops we often have teachers blogging in less than ten minutes!
- Edublogs - Focused on creating a blogging platform for students and teachers, Edublogs offers free WordPress blogs as well as the option to purchase expanded services.
- Google Sites - Though not a traditional blog, Google Sites (free with any Google account) has blogging-type functionality as well as other great features.
Once you are all set up, these classroom examples may help you get started with your students.
- Life of a Hobo: Interdisciplinary Blogging Activity (Middle School, High School)
This creative writing/historical simulation activity calls on students to research the plight of homeless teenagers during the Great Depression and then create their own fictionalized account of a day in the life of a hobo.
- I-Search Literature Project: Reflective Journaling (High School)
The I-Search is an independent literature research project where students keep a daily log of their interactions with the works and authors they are researching.
- Role-Playing: What Would You Bring to Walden? (High School)
This role-playing activity was designed by a teacher who had only been blogging with his students for about two weeks! In this activity, teacher Chris Bagg shows his American Literature students the list of items that Henry David Thoreau brought with him to Walden Pond, and he then asks them to compile their own lists. The student work that emerges is a delightful combination of the insightful and the hilarious.
- 9/11: Are We Safer Five Years Later? (High School)
Tom gave this blogging assignment on the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, which coincided with the first week of school.