Blogging in The Classroom
As we continue through the 21st Century the use of “blogging” as a writing technique is increasing. There is an increase in blogs written by the general public, companies and especially celebrities! Although I am unfortunately not a celebrity, I have seen the advantages of blog writing since starting here and can’t stop myself from reading those from others. The main reasons for reading these blogs, for me, is inspiration and to see what is happening in the World, hoping that I myself have gained a few blog fans!
The importance of blog writing even seems to have found itself within the educational sector. Many schools have started blog writing in class, as part of their curriculum and there have been several benefits for the pupils as well as teachers.
Studies suggest that blog writing can improve pupils’ writing skills and build their confidence, not only as writers, but also as presenters as well. They are able to strengthen their opinions as individuals whilst gaining an awareness of what is happening around them. This writing technique can be used to make the younger generation more conscious of global issues and how these may impact them later in life, for example; global warming. Queue future politicians!
“Blogs encourage experimenting and risk taking as well as seriousness and play, fostering an increased awareness of public and private writing”
Another advantage that has been found to stem from blog writing in schools is the reduction of stress levels for the pupils and teachers. The writing manner of “blogging” is less formal and not as regimented as many other essay writing techniques in class. Although there is still a lesson in “writing structure”, the freedom to experiment and voice opinions creates a sense of relief for the pupils, making them less anxious about what they are discussing at the time.
Seeing the benefits of blog writing in classrooms, Michelle Lampinen, a teacher at Biotechnology High School in Freehold, has expressed what her favourite advantage is:
“Blogging is an invaluable way for me to get to know students better as people”
The personal touch that comes with blog writing creates a better relationship between pupil and teacher. Furthermore, the relationship between classmates also improves creating a happier class. Writing blogs allows pupils to understand the importance of hearing many voices. Everybody gets the chance to talk, even the ones who are more shy and quiet (like myself). This in turn means that everyone is able to learn more about each other as well as themselves.
Blog writing in class also teaches the pupils how to listen to others and respect other opinions. Opening discussion platforms will make everyone feel “heard” and “valued”. The wider audience that is created will set up a better future, where working as a team is becoming more paramount in the majority of job sectors. In higher education, presenting and essay writing becomes imperative in many subjects and blog writing is a great start to this process.
Blog writing is also beneficial to the teachers. Many have found that they are able to “educate by writing”. They are able to teach pupils about a certain subject or topic, for example “cyber safety”, by making them write about it. If the pupils are “Visual Learners”, based on the Fleming VAK/VARK model, they are more likely to take the information in by writing about it, which means they will learn more about that particular topic in general. Being a “spatial learner” I am learning more and more about the benefits of blog writing in class, just by writing this one. I definitely see where the advantages stem from!
Teachers are also empowered to be more supportive because they are “less tied to the bureaucracy”. The informality of blog writing strengthens the relationship between teacher and pupil as well as creating a more relaxed mood in the classroom. As the class is having fun writing and learning, a cheerful environment is created that reduces stress levels.
There are clear benefits that seem to stem from blog writing in class. Pupils’ writing skills can be increased and it is always refreshing to voice your opinions! With technology always evolving, this writing technique is not one to be missed for increasing IT skills from an early age. I am not surprised that schools are starting to use this technique in class, I would have liked to have had them myself!