Blogging in 2nd Grade

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Blogging is something that is new to most educators. Something they have heard of but never thought they could incorporate. Most educators start a classroom blog that is used to start a cross-curricular reference or classroom communication tool. Others use it where the teacher writes the posts, and the students respond by commenting. However, there are many other uses for classroom blogs. In fact, blogs have been found to increase student learning and writing while motivating them to feel personal ownership of their words.

As a start to blogging, this blog will be used as a student communication, parent communication, and reference site. Blogging in second grade would be difficult to implement at the beginning of the year when they are still learning to form complete thoughts and opinions.My main focus at the start of the year will be using this blog as homework, classroom communication, and listing additional resources for students to use at home as extra practice.  Hani (2015) describes in her article Creating a Class Blog: A Strategy That Can Promote Collaboration, Motivation, and Improvement in Literacy, that these types of blogs strengthen the home and school connection. Teachers can inform parents about the blog and update them about what is happening in their child’s classroom. This will also give the struggling students the ability to review lesson aspects to ensure they are up to par, as well as challenge my higher students to use the information presented in another way.

Kathy Martin discusses in the video Spotlight on Technology: Blogging in the Classroom (Laureate Education, 2015) how blogging creates a classroom of 21st-century learners. Students should have a confident life implementing technology in their everyday lives. Therefore, by the middle of the school year, student’s writing journals will develop into blogging pages to improve their writing and digital literacy. 21st-century students are constantly connected and engaged on a regular basis. Davies (2014) states “the best learning happens when students are engaged and everyone participates” (pg. 23). Today students live in a world where everything they need can be done with a push of a button. When we offer the technology and the ability to use digital tools like blogging to work collaboratively and communicate with peers at a distance, we are supporting individual learning and the contribution of learning with others (ISTE, 2016). They are also using technology tools like classroom blogs to facilitate their own research and understanding. Even classroom teacher blogs can help students “understand and use technology systems” by exploring the website and using the applications effectively (ISTE, 2016, pg. 2). “Integrating technology helps students correlate both learning experiences to build a better understanding of fascination” (Davies, 2014, pg. 27). Blogs allow for individual thought, critical thinking, and exploration.

Even classroom teacher blogs can help students “understand and use technology systems” by exploring the website and using the applications effectively (ISTE, 2016, pg. 2). “Integrating technology helps students correlate both learning experiences to build a better understanding of fascination” (Davies, 2014, pg. 27). Blogs allow for individual thought, critical thinking, and exploration.

Students learn by example from the teacher- I do, we do, you do. As a teacher models the proper use of the classroom blog, the more the students are able to understand the appropriate way to go about a blog.Exhibiting the proper knowledge and skills of the digital age creates an understanding of what is expected of the students (ISTE, 2016, pg. 1). This classroom blog acts as a digital tool model, but as a teacher integrating technology, you model what a digital citizen is.  Teaching, integrating, and practicing safe use of digital information and respect for intellectual property is key (ISTE, 2016, pg. 2). Classroom blogs allow one to model what a good digital citizen is and how to integrate a blog into their life.

Blogging in school is beneficial for teachers and students. Using this blog will help my students stay motivated, collaborate, and develop digital literacy skills. It also acts as a student e-portfolio to showcase their accomplishments. Teachers are benefitted as a way to use less paper, and keep a strong parent communication bond. It may seem scary, but incorporating a technological tool such as blogging at an early age prepares the students for a more successful career.

Resources

Davies, A. (2014). Integrating E-Learning to Improve Learning Outcomes. Planning for Higher Education Journal42(4), 23–29.

Hani, M. (2015). Creating a Class Blog: A Strategy That Can Promote Collaboration, Motivation, and Improvement in Literacy. Reading Improvement, 51(1), 27-31.

ISTE. (n.d.-a). ISTE standards for students. Retrieved July 6, 2016,  from http://www.iste.org/standards/iste-standards/standards-for-students.

ISTE. (n.d.-b). Standards for teachers. Retrieved July 6, 2016, from http://www.iste.org/standards/iste-standards/standards-for-teachers.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2015c). Spotlight on technology: Blogging in the classroom [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

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