Skip to main content

3 reasons your students should start a blog

WEDNESDAY, MAY 20, 2015 10:38 AM

If you perform an Internet search for any topic, you'll surely find numerous blogs editorializing about it. Blogs are ubiquitous on the Web today, running the gamut in subject matter from sports to politics to entertainment, and everything in between. While blogs can't often be used in school as a reliable source for research, they can be educational in another way - as a platform for students to write and publish their own works. Students can gain valuable experience from blogging, including these three lessons:

1. To learn more about writing opinion/argumentative texts
Per the Common Core State Standards in English/language arts, beginning in kindergarten, students learn to write three types of texts, including opinion papers. As they move through elementary, middle and high schools, these opinion texts develop into argumentative papers with clear organization and opinions supported by facts. Blogs, which are almost always opinion-based, are the perfect platform for this type of writing. In fact, the digital medium will allow students to link to online sources, thus learning how to distinguish between reliable websites and those (like Wikipedia, for instance) that may not be accurate.

2. To publish their own writing using technology
Technology is now an integral part of education from elementary school onward. So, learning to utilize technology in various ways is essential. In fact, the Common Core requires students to begin typing their writing in third grade, and to produce writing using technology with the help of their teachers. Using a digital platform to produce writing means two things: First, students will have the opportunity to include other media, such as videos, photos, charts and more for complex and in-depth blogs. Second, they'll have a wider audience than just their teacher - anyone in the world can access an online blog, allowing them to gain what's called an "authentic audience." This has the added benefit of teaching students about what should and should not be posted online.

3. To gain experience from a collaborative writing tool
Finally, students can use blogs to critique one another's writing and receive constructive criticism from their peers. This lesson in using collaboration to strengthen and develop writing also appears in the CCSS. Have students read the blogs of others in the class, and leave comments (say, two nice comments and one constructive comment). Then, using the comments they've received, students will be able to revise and re-publish their own blogs to create a final product of which they can be proud.