I decided a couple of weeks ago that it would be good practice to get my classes blogging about what they have been learning each day. I have two Intermediate 2 Information Systems classes, one in S2 and one in S3 and they seemed the ideal candidates to test out class blogging. I was looking around for a format which would keep the pupils interested in the blog, but which did not require them each to be blogging every night. I asked my PLN on Twitter for some ideas, and @jonesieboy helpfully pointed me to this post on scribe posting.
To begin our blog, I chose the pupil who was to write the initial post. I explained how to access our blog, and asked the pupil to write a short reflective post about what they had learned that day as a homework exercise. The following day, we started the lesson with a review of what the pupil had blogged. The class then had the opportunity to discuss the post for accuracy and completeness, and identify any misconceptions. The pupil who wrote the post was then given the opportunity to select the next blogger, and thereafter the process was repeated. Taking this approach means that every pupil has involvement with, and ownership of, our class blog, but the responsibility for writing the post only falls to an individual every 2-3 weeks
The two class blogs are hosted on WordPress:
Both blogs are still in their infancy, and there are definitely things we can learn to improve the quality of the posts. However, I have been really impressed by the enthusiasm of the pupils when it has become their turn to write a post. Please feel free to leave a comment on our blog – it certainly motivates the pupils when this happens!
In summary, I think the benefits of blogging in this way are
- pupils are working collaboratively to produce a reflective text
- review of the latest blog post is a great way to start a lesson
- parents are able to view what their children are learning
- misconceptions can be addressed and tackled as a class (and via additional blog comments)
- offers reflective writing opportunities
- by the end of the course, the class blog will be a great revision resource
- meets Curriculum for Excellence literacy across learning experiences and outcomes
The one downside I have found is that WordPress is currently blocked for pupils in our authority. This means that pupils can write the blog post from home, but to review it in class it has to go through me. I have requested that WordPress is unblocked, and I am confident it will be. I am hoping that this will encourage pupils to add comments to blog posts and further extend their value.