Blogging and the Writing Process
How does blogging integrate into the writing process?
Blogging allows students the opportunity to explore their ideas and reflections in a digital platform, with the benefits of an authentic audience. In addition to this, blogging can develop critical thinking, reflection and communication skills. With blogging, student engagement and level of writing may dramatically increase when students feel like there is "real" audience. Students can also explore topics that capture their interests in ways that include other forms of media, as well as respond to peers posts. In communicating in this platform, students are also able to learn first-hand skills in digital citizenship and how to communicate effectively on-line.
As demonstrated in the Digital Bookclub project, blogging can develop deeper or higher level thinking through reflection, response to literature or other learning from class or student projects. Blogging can act as a platform for literature discussion, motivating and engaging students more than ever before to discuss their reflections and connections to what they are reading.
Blogs can be used in a variety of cross-curricular ways while providing teachers with insight into student’ thoughts and connections. Teachers and peers can reply to posts by leaving comments and asking questions to explore and encourage deeper understanding. Students can also use blogs as a form of ongoing self-assessment. When a student posts their thoughts and reflections on their learning, a timeline of learning can be established. This over time can act as a timeline of what has been learned. Students will be able to later reflect on his or her growth, thereby allowing for more opportunities for self reflection.
Samples of Student Blog Post for Literature Circles
Blogging Curricular Connections
Although one can immediately see the connections blogging would have with the English Language Arts curriculum, it has definite cross-curricular applications as well. To determine how blogging fits into all areas of Saskatchewan curriculum, one should first start with the Cross-Curricular Competencies. The following are how the cross-curricular competencies can be applied to blogging.
Blogging encourages students to think and learn contextually. Blogging provides a framework for students to:
Apply prior knowledge, experiences, and the ideas of self and others in new contexts
Analyze connections or relationships within and/or among ideas, experiences
Explore concepts, situations, and experiences from several perspectives
Blogging also provides the framework for the development of a variety of literacies. As stated in the Cross-Curricular Competencies,
"Being literate involves applying interrelated knowledge, skills, and strategies to learn and communicate with others. Communication in a globalized world is increasingly multimodal. Communication and meaning making, therefore, require the use and understanding of multiple modes of representation."
When students are engaged in digital writing and creating, they have opportunities to examine these multiple modes of representing or sharing messages. These messages may be demonstrated in infographics, podcasts, videos or images. Blogging can act as a platform for sharing these creative works.
K-12 Goal: Construct knowledge related to various literacies
Evaluate the ideas and information found in a variety of sources (e.g., people, databases, natural and constructed environments)
Access and use appropriate technologies to investigate ideas and deepen understanding in all areas of study.
K-12 Goal: Explore and interpret the world using various literacies
Inquire and make sense of ideas and experiences using a variety of strategies, perspectives, resources, and technologies
Select and critically evaluate information sources and tools (including digital) based on the appropriateness to specific tasks
Use various literacies to challenge and question understandings and interpretations
Interpret qualitative and quantitative data (including personally collected data) found in textual, aural, and visual information gathered from various media sources
Use ideas and technologies in ways that contribute to creating new insight.
K-12 Goal: Express understanding and communicate meaning using various literacies
Create, compute, and communicate using a variety of materials, strategies, and technologies to express understanding of ideas and experiences
Respond responsibly and ethically to others using various literacies
Determine and use the languages, concepts, and processes that are particular to a discipline when developing ideas and presentations
Communicate ideas, experiences, and information in ways that are inclusive, understandable, and useful to others
Select and use appropriate technologies in order to communicate effectively and ethically
Blogging With Experts
The following are sample blog posts and responses from the UN Peacekeeper Blogging Project.