Friday, September 9, 2011

Blogging and the Classroom

Using blogs as part of the classroom curriculum creates a motivating and collaborative tool for learning and mentoring. Blogs can provide students with an extra chance to practice reading and writing, share their thoughts and ideas, and communicate with their classmates. 

Blogs provide an excellent form of communication between teachers, students, and parents. They can be used to keep students and parents informed of what is going on inside the classroom. Teachers can post assignments, reminders, permission slips, and instructional tips for students and parents to read on their own time. Parents can get verification on certain aspects of the classroom environment without having to go in for a conference. 

Blogs are also a great way for students to interact with one another outside of the classroom walls. Teachers can create a "homework help" forum, where students can post questions to problems. Students can become peer mentors by giving advice to those who may need it. Blogs also provide a way for students to reflect on their questions. Inside the classroom, there can be pressure to say the right thing, in the right way, quickly. When students are blogging, they are given the opportunity to sit back and really think about what it is they would like to say. 

Blogs can give students another arena in which to practice their reading and writing skills. A blog is much more informal than most types of classroom writing, so students are provided with the chance to get really creative. Students can use a blog as a book review forum, where they can discuss thoughts and ideas about a story they are reading in class. Or, students can follow their favorite sports team or television show and write their opinion on the most recent game or episode. Students can relate their ideas in a safe, relaxed setting and really write about things that are important to them. 

NYS ESL standards addressed when blogging:

Standard 1: English for information and understanding refers to the competencies and knowledge
of English that students must obtain in order to communicate effectively in social and academic settings.

Standard 2:  English for literary response, enjoyment, and expression requires that students develop the
knowledge and skills in English to read and understand rich literature that ranges from classical to
contemporary, and includes works representing a variety of cultures.

Standard 4:  English for social and classroom interaction outlines strategies, both in and out of school,
that LEP/ELLs must master to communicate effectively in English. 


  1. I do agree with you that using blog to teach can greatly motivate students. By using their way to teach, teachers can increase students' interest in learning language. Also I think internet serve a very good tool for connecting not only teachers and students but also parents into one community. It is great that the three party can share their thoughts on one platform.

  2. I agree that blogs provide students with the opportunity to think about what they want to say and approach the material in a more reflective manner. Your comment reminds me of the issue with “wait time” in the classroom. Blogs could be a nice way to compensate for the pressure many students feel in the classroom context and allow them to enter the conversation in ways they typically would not.
    I also liked your point about blogs being informal. So many “informal” writing assignments given in the context of school seem inauthentic and forced. I expect a blog would feel a little more “real” to students.

  3. I like your idea of a homework help forum. It would be interesting to see what would work to motivate students to help one another- extra points? a feeling of helping out? a desire to make more friend? This type of activity could be very beneficial and could bring students closer socially as well as academically, but like any activity the teacher would have to set guidelines and then see how it goes.