Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Collaborative Project: Student Blogging

Collaborative Project: Student Blogging
My school - Souris Consolidated (Prince Edward Island, Canada)
I wrote a post last month about how I was just starting to get my students blogging. Since then, we are well on our way in our blogging adventures and most students are really enjoying it. Of course, there are students who don't enjoy writing, and blogging is no different for them. However, they do enjoy the freedom to play around with fonts and add photos to customize their blogs. They also enjoy the interaction with their classmates and feedback from myself, on improving their posts before publishing.

There were quite a few comments on that original post, from other teachers who were like me and wanted to have another class or two to blog with. It's almost like pen-pals, with a technological twist!

So, I've since decided to make this a collaborative project here on GTC. It's quite simple. If you have your students blogging and would like to set up something with another class, simply fill out your info on this spreadsheet Collaborative Project: Student Blogging. Have a look at the other teachers/classes who are seeking fellow students to blog with. If you find a teacher who matches what you are looking for - go ahead and email them and set something up between the two of you. Ta-da!

Here are two popular sites to choose from if you're new to student blogging. You may want to check the spreadsheet to see what most people are using!
Collaborative Project: Student Blogging

Collaborative Project: Student Blogging

Once your students are ready to team up with another class - the sky's the limit!

Collaborative Project: Student Blogging

-Students can simply read and comment on students' blogs in the other class

-Students could introduce themselves and get to know those in the other class in a "Get to know you" post - this would work best for us blogging newbies, most likely.

-Students in both classes could be given the same prompt (maybe even somewhat controversial ) to respond to and then read what their classmates/the other class had to say about the topic

-Students could all write about something unique to where they live if the blogging countries are quite different

-Students could also simply write about something of interest to them - everyone may have a different topic, and again, students must read and comment on each other's blogs.

-Students could post a picture symbolizing something important to them and have students comment, guessing what the picture represents

-Students could post a riddle and have students comment, making guesses at the answer

More blogging ideas for you and your students.

So, so many options!

 Feel free to connect with just one teacher or multiple, on the spreadsheet that we're compiling. We already have classes grades 1-8, in four different countries. Also, make a mental note to come back next school year (as it is getting close to the end for most of us) and see who's available to blog at that time. We're starting this LATE in the year. Imagine if we'd started it at the beginning of the school year! So many possibilities.

Even though we're just starting this now, I'm sure that the kids will still make connections, get to know each other and each other's writing voices and styles. They'll also become more comfortable with blogging as a writing format, and stronger writers in general! Writing is different when you know that there is a REAL audience - it just IS! I think that when students see that people are actually reading what they write and are commenting on it, they will be more engaged and inclined to raise the bar for their writing (that's my hope, anyway).

So, without further adieu, let the blogging begin!

If you've done this before, or are new - like me, please voice your comments, questions, concerns or potential blog post ideas below for us all to benefit from! We're here to help each other and to make the classes we teach as engaging for our students as possible. Let's harness our students' love and ever-growing aptitude for technology for our own gains - creating stronger, more purposeful writers!

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  1. This is a great idea. I just signed up. Even though it's almost the end of the year, I think it's still a worthwhile project to do from now until the end of June. Thanks for proposing it.

  2. Krystal MillsMay 2, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    Thanks Elisa! The thing is, that teachers have also signed up with eyes toward next year. I plan on incorporating blogs MUCH earlier in the school year next time around and now I already have classes to potentially blog with - and who knows who may sign up in the mean time!

    Thanks for participating! I hope that you find some blog buddies for your grade 5 and 6s!


  3. We have loved our blog this year - and it's so much fun to have linked with two classes (Heidi's class in Morocco and a class in Wales) I moderate SO many comments now!! I love some of your ideas, Krystal and am going to implement them right from the start in September. My class this year have asked what's going to happen next year when they move to a non-blogging class :( I think I'll keep them all on and just add in my new class - if I can't persuade next year's teacher to take on the project :)



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