Educational Blogging: the Current Picture - Tech Learning

Educational Blogging: the Current Picture

I’ve been reading Edublogger’s (www.theedublogger.com) report on educational blogging.
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I’ve been reading Edublogger’s (www.theedublogger.com) report on educational blogging. Published by Sue Waters, it relates to the picture as it was in 2016. It makes for interesting reading, and I urge you to read the full report. Here are a few of the findings and my thoughts on them.

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The majority of respondents told us they mainly used their blogs for: class blogs (31.5%), class blogs with individual student blogs (19.2%), and for student blogs (17%); many also had their own personal blog (15.7%).

The figure for class blogs is quite impressive, but I have to say that I’m a little surprised, and even disappointed, that more teachers aren’t blogging themselves. I think all teachers should blog. It’s a good way of reflecting on your practice.

Mind you, it has to be acknowledged that this survey into blogging focuses only on blogging. It may well be that many of the roughly 85 percent of teachers who say they don’t have their own personal blog do much of their thinking out loud on Facebook or Twitter. Also, the statistic of 15.7 percent relates to a personal blog; maybe a lot of teachers write blog posts elsewhere, such as on Medium.

Student class blogs were used for: assignments and class news (42.7%), [to] share information with families (37.3%), and [to] share links and resources (33.1%).

I think blogging is a great tool for undertaking assignments. If you encourage students to write a blog post every week over the course of a six-week project, both you and they have a record of what they learned, and how their project and their thinking developed. It’s a way of maintaining a project record without the associated boredom!

When I taught and my students did six-week projects, I had them write down at the end of each lesson what they accomplished and what they intended to do next. That also provided them with their homework. For example, if they intended to create a spreadsheet next lesson, the homework they set themselves might be to research and find the data required for populating the spreadsheet. If blogging had been around in those days, I’d have asked them to write up a blog post each time. That would have had the additional advantage of making it easy for parents and the principal to see what they’d been doing.

The report includes reasons to blog, and also blogs you ought to look at. I was delighted to see that one of them is Kathy Cassidy’s class blog. Kath has been doing wonderful things with five-and six-year-old students, which she wrote about in The Amazing Web 2.0 Projects Book.

There are also examples of students’ blogs, all of which are well-written, although it’s disappointing that there are so few cited (just five) and that a couple of them have not been updated for well over a year. And if you become tired of reading about blogging, the report includes videos. All in all, the educational blogging report is a good read and will give you lots of food for thought.

Terry Freedman is an independent educational ICT consultant with over 35 years of experience in education. He publishes the ICT in Education website and the newsletter “Digital Education.”

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I’ve been skimming through Silvia Tolisano’s series on student blogging. I emphasise “skimming” because she may have addressed the issues I raise below without my being aware of it. She places much store by a rubric developed by Clarence Fisher for the purpose of evaluating students’ blogging efforts.

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