How to Get Your Students Started with Blogging
What do you think is the most important internet innovation since the world wide web became commonplace?
Social media platforms, maybe?
Or “the internet of things”?
For me, the answer is blogging.
Blogs might seem simple and even old-fashioned compared to some of the internet’s newer capabilities, but they undoubtedly represent an important turning point in the history of the internet.
Blogs were the first time that everyday people could add information to the web instead of just retrieving information.
For the first time in the internet’s history, anyone with a connection and computer could share their ideas with a global audience.
This ability is both powerful and empowering!
Today over 400 million blogs exist in the world and new blogs are being created every minute.
If you are a middle or high school teacher, consider getting your students in on the action as part of your next unit.
iAcademy recently rolled out a new course, Blogging for Beginners, to help teachers do just that.
Not only can students learn valuable technology skills through blogging, it’s also a great way to reinforce other academic and soft skills along the way.
Read on for some of the ways that blogging can build academic and professional skills that students will draw on for years to come.
Proofreading Your Work
It’s one thing to write something that your teacher is going to read and mark up for errors.
Putting your ideas out for an audience to read makes the stakes much higher.
Suddenly, students will find themselves wanting to double check their spelling and question every comma before they hit “post”.
This is great practice for writing in the professional world where attention to detail matters if you want to be taken seriously.
Finding Your Voice
For many students, the majority of writing they do takes place on the cramped keyboard of an iPhone.
Texting with your friends isn’t exactly the best place to discover your voice as a writer.
The longer, but still open-ended format of a blog is a great place to explore how you want to present yourself.
In Unit 2 of Blogging for Beginners, students will learn how to welcome readers to their blog and consider what first impressions they want to give.
Supporting Your Opinions
Teens tend to have strong opinions about all sorts of things, but don’t always express them in a logical and well-reasoned way.
Blogging is the perfect venue to practice doing just that.
As opposed to a heated verbal argument, writing an opinion blog post in Unit 6 of Blogging for Beginners requires students to slow down, organize their thoughts, and do some research.
These extra steps will help students support their opinions today, and prepare them to do so tomorrow as well.
Filtering Your Ideas
Sure, technically in a blog you can write about whatever you want whenever you want.
Most of the best blogs, though, have a common theme or topic.
Making a well-organized blog will require students to filter and evaluate their own ideas to determine which ones make the cut.
This is a valuable skill not just for blogging, but for everything from drafting a memo to planning an event.
In the course, students will complete activities to help them plan their blog and create word clouds to generate ideas.
Catering to Your Audience
While at first blogging might just feel like throwing ideas into the wind, soon students will find that their ideas actually get read.
Unit 2 of the course focuses on reading, writing, and responding to comments.
Learning how to infer tone and purpose in a comment will help students decide how to respond in the most appropriate way, a skill that will follow them into adulthood.
So, what are you waiting for?
Why not take a stab at blogging with your students and get them in on this powerful means of communication while also preparing them for their futures.