Is classroom blogging worth the hard work?

For many teachers, classroom blogging is a struggle for a variety of reasons. Even if you have the know-how and the resources, to do it right isn’t such a simple endeavor. The question is, are the rewards worth the struggle?

What do you think?

After running PikiFriends for over 4 years I’ve seen countless examples of positive impacts of classroom blogging when it’s done right. It brings out the shy students. It motivates many students to communicate effectively. It provides so many opportunities for blended learning situations. It gives teachers chances to teach digital citizenship and online etiquette. The list goes on and on.

It’s hard work, but we teachers are no strangers to that!

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7 thoughts on “Is classroom blogging worth the hard work?

  1. Jeff, I know there are countless ways to blog in the classroom and many of them are necessary. What I don’t see is the evidence you see, at least not in my area. There is a lot of disingenuous talk with inadequate support in the classrooms for the adults and the students. I will follow your blog, because you appear to be someone who has some thoughts on the issue. I agree with your comment: “I’ve seen countless examples of positive impacts of classroom blogging when it’s done right. It brings out the shy students. It motivates many students to communicate effectively. It provides so many opportunities for blended learning situations. It gives teachers chances to teach digital citizenship and online etiquette.”

    Take care,

    Ivon

  2. Hi Jeff,
    Interesting blog. I have seen some limited success having students blog as part of their English course. This said, those who chose to blog did so for final culminating projects and had an inherent interest, not in blogging per se, but another topic. Top of the mind, these were sports, music and one student blogging about art. Outside of these few students interest has been less than stellar.

    The struggle to implement the use of blogs as part of the curriculum expectations for me include:

    Availability of computer labs – having to compete with other teachers to book them
    Being a rural school board some students do not have reliable access to the Internet
    Technological illiteracy – smart devices used as “toys” not the powerful “tools” they are
    Little interest by students – some classes have no interest in learning- period
    Challenge for me (particularly the time) to provide clear written instructions with expectations

    This being said, I would like to hear what other teachers have done to successfully implement blogging. I still see the inherent value from not only a technology stand point, but as a literacy tool.

    • There are so many variables affecting the success or lack of when classroom blogging, but I’ve definitely found that with a little practice it’s not that hard to guarantee success for the most part if you know what you’re doing. But outside variables such as the ones you mention can be game-enders. These are related to school facilities and attitudes of faculty and students. If there’s no, or problematic, infrastructure in the school then you have to wait until things improve (while nagging for more budget in that area!), but if admin or other faculty have an overall negative view toward incorporating tech into classes that can be the signal to find another school to work for!

      Students who have no interest in learning, what can we do about them? We all have them in our classes, and we do somersaults for them hoping to uncover the passions everyone has but of course it doesn’t always work. They need help, that’s for sure, and there’s nothing more satisfying than helping those types of students to break away from their negative opinions of school and learning. Technology could help to do that, but I believe they need to feel cared for, respected and challenged in interesting ways. They need mentors, real people. One interesting aspect of blogging with students however is the fact that it is humans communicating, and this can be exploited well if planned carefully.

  3. Hi Jeff, I have been blogging for a few years now. For me to blog it was opening up to my shyness and it is far easier for me to put my words into my blog than it is for me to do it face to face. I believe that children can benefit from blogging even if the teacher was the only one who is reading alone with parents of course. It builds a lot of courage to write about what ever it is they write about. I may be blogging but who is to say I am right or wrong in my process. I don’t get a lot of traffic but to me it is a relief center. Children too may need this kind of space. I encourage others to blog of all ages. We all can benefit from feedback in areas that are common to others and blogging does that. Collaboration helps the growth of others.

    • Emma, I agree with everything you say. I’ve seen how blogging has helped shy students so much many, many times. It doesn’t inspire everyone, but definitely is a wonderful activity for many. However it’s hard to set one up properly at school, which is the point I’m raising here. You mention parents, and I think it’s crucial that they are involved with their children’s online behaviors. Setting up a great blog for your child is a nice gift!

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