Blogging has quickly become a trend among all age groups, but it is growing faster among youth than any other age group. Although a new tactic, teachers have begun to use blogs in the classroom as a tool for either administrative purposes or for facilitating education.
Some schools use Blackboard technology or a similar portal that serves as the common ground on the Web between the students and the teachers. Blogs can be used similarly to add features and tools for communication and learning. The ideas below describe how blogs can be used in the classroom setting:
Announcements and Parent Involvement
A teacher may use the blog as a one-way communication tool by posting information and notifications to it instead of sending out print-outs or emails to every individual in the class. The idea can even be extended to incorporate parents as members of the audience.
A blog is useful for extending class discussions to the Web. In this case, the teacher generally starts a discussion, and students can post their comments and views, which allows the topic to be discussed both inside and outside the classroom. This tactic is great for students who may not be comfortable speaking in class or those who do not get a chance to air their views during the class hours.
A teacher may also use the idea of requiring each student to keep his or her own personal blog, which the teacher links to from a central community page or blog. Each student can submit assignments, homeworks and other publications on the blog, which the teacher can then browse and review.
For details about using blogs in the classroom, read Blogging Techniques for the K-12 Classroom from the Encyclopedia of Educational Technology . And, be sure to include cybersafety content as part of the classroom learning. Refer to Safe Blogging and our Blogging information for safety pointers.
There are also some downsides to using a blog in a school environment. Not every class subject has content that would require a blog. Blogging can sometimes be a slow form of communication, and if a quick response is required, email serves the purpose better. The structure of blogs does not provide confidentiality and not all assignments are appropriate for it. Thus, a teacher needs to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating blogging before making a decision.