To Blog or Not to Blog
Posted by Catherine Steel May 2014 A few years ago I didn't know what a blog was, let alone run one for my class and have my own personal blog too. Since starting work at my current school four years ago, the thought of not using the blog is unthinkable, but this is not the case for all educators. The Power of Blogging I am aware of teachers who don't know what a blog is, have never posted anything or have rarely used one. Could it be that they think it involves coding and that therefore puts them off? Is it the fact that they don't see the point as no one will read it anyway? Maybe they think that the children in their class are too young to understand and use a blog and so it won't be used? Whatever the reason, and I can only speak from personal experience, blogging has opened up a whole wealth of opportunities for me as an educator and for the children in class. Many schools have a blog site for children, parents and, of course, Ofsted to view, but the quality of blogs varies widely. Why Bother Then? Speaking from experience, I use the blog as a way to publish and celebrate children's work. I have found that if the children think that there is an audience they become excited to produce quality work for publication. This isn't always a piece of writing or a number sentence. Sometimes it's a slideshow about what they have been learning, a comment asking a question about the topic or a video. The whole concept of blogging for an audience is something that is at the heart of David Mitchell's Quadblogging. This connects four schools who take turns to comment on each other's blog sites, but the principle is still the same whether it be two or one hundred schools collaborating online! It's all about the blog being used for purpose. Children can blog within their own year group, to other classes or even across sites depending on the school set up. I was fortunate enough to work with Philip Webb recently, a literacy consultant in Bradford, who commented on a study that suggested that the reason boys typically find writing difficult is because 'it hurts'. For some children, boys in particular, typing comments on the blog about their learning encourages them to write. Not only does it remove the physical aspect of holding a pen or pencil, but it is electronic, which my boys enjoy.
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About Me Catherine Steel is currently a Y1 teacher at Bowling Park Primary School in Bradford Click the links below to see Catherine’s blog and Twitter feed
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The May 2014 issue of the UKED Magazine from UKedchat. Outdoor learning special.