Lots of us start off a class blog with great intentions! We start strong, with heaps of posts and lots of time allocated to reading and writing comments, but it somehow trails off, snowed under by all the other new and exciting things that inevitably appear throughout the year. Sound familiar to anyone?
I’ve had the same problem this year. The blog became a bit unloved for a while, and if it is not an integral part of the classroom, and does not serve a useful purpose, why have it at all?
In a push to improve learning by making my class blog more meaningful and integrated into what we do, I’ve been trying out using blogging as a very quick reflection tool. Usually for the reflection on a lesson I will pose some questions (usually related to our learning intention and success criteria) for students to answer, in order for both them and myself to be able to gauge their learning in the session. I am trying out using the class blog to supplement the reflection time. I have been finishing tasks just a couple of minutes earlier than usual, and then asking the same questions I normally would, but noting down responses as a blog post. Students will add knowledge, information and skills they think are important to what we have just worked on until we have a blog post with fully formed ideas and a cohesive explanation of our learning.
The benefits of this:
- Students need to be able to articulate what they have learnt to a level that can be published for others to read.
- The blog becomes a holder of information that students can go back to and use as a reference.
- Families have an opportunity to see frequent updates about learning, which opens up both online and face-to-face dialogue about learning and invites parents and others into the learning experience.
- It provides me with a very clear indication of class understanding of a concept or skill.
Here are some examples from my class blog that the grade has written recently: