Corre's Blog

Personal Professional Portfolio

Building Blogs To Be Proud Of.

Questioned Proposal

My students love their blog /e-portfolios, and I as there teacher, also love their blogs.
I see their blogs as a showpiece of their talents. It’s a place where they can express their creativity and share their passions with the world. I see them as something my students can build with pride and use as a tool later in their life.  It’s a way for them to keep track of their accomplishments and share all of their potential with others.

Each blog session I have planned for my students, I plan with this vision in my head and excitement in my heart.   However, the final product never seems to match the gradure expectations I set out with.

My original thought was  if I opened it up and allowed my students to blog about whatever they  were passionate about, I would see a spark in their creativity and their writing skills would shine. Much like their teacher, they had  tonnes of wonderful  things to share about these topics in conversations, but in writing, there enthusiasm faded away.
My school district has  been focusing on Critical thinking the last few years so I next turned to setting criteria for a great blog post, hoping that might help give my students the direction they needed.  The result this time was a bullet list in which they cross off each of the criteria.  These bullet lists have started us on a new journey of how to turn a  bullet list into a paragraph, a necessary but time consuming task.
I know  modelling can also be a very powerful tool so I tried showing them other blogs as a model and writing sample posts together as a class,  but I have yet to find the effective tool to get them writing with the passion that they are able to verbally share.

I know like anything worth teaching , blogging skills is a process, and I myself am still on this journey.   I am slowly becoming more comfortable with putting myself out there just as I know my students will as well. All of this will take time, time which I am willing to give them . But In an effort to make this process more enjoyable for everyone in my class, I am asking if anyone has any blogging lessons that they have tried with their students that captured the  potential in their students.? We would love to learn from others.

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2 thoughts on “Building Blogs To Be Proud Of.

  1. Hi Corre,

    Yes, blogging can be a chore, especially if it is forced. One of the most passionate arguments I have read about blogging comes from a post by Shelly Blake-Plock (a guy) on the blog Teach Paperless. Entitled Why Teachers Should Blog (http://teachpaperless.blogspot.com/2009/09/why-teachers-should-blog.html), the main argument can be summed up in one sentence: “Because to blog is to teach yourself what you think.” Powerful, indeed. I am not sure the age of your students, but if you can make this message clear, perhaps they will see its relevance and then put in the required effort.

    The second thing I have heard that might be of help is to try and use other mediums when ‘the text gets in the way’. By this I mean having students use either an audio recording (http://audioboo.fm) or a video of themselves (YouTube) or their screen (www.Screenr.com). If they have ‘tons of things to share in conversation’ then allow that conversation to happen. Yes, you can include text to describe or introduce that conversation, but harness the magic of their enthusiasm and both your creators and audience will thank you.

    Hope this helps. Ivan

    PS – If it helps at all, I was a reluctant blogger not too long ago. My first post describes as much: http://www.coetail.asia/ibeeckmans/2011/03/13/reluctantly-blogging/

  2. I loved the blog post Shelly Blake-Plock gives us a lot to think about as educators. I also decided to take your suggestion and we are trying video blog posts this week to see if this medium can help capture their enthusiasm. Thank you for your encouragement.

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