Technology is constantly evolving and schools are struggling to keep up with new I.C.T developments; and the cost of new I.C.T equipment is one of the reasons for this.
Nevertheless the internet has unlocked hundreds of avenues for schools to pursue; from Social Media and email to an endless source for resources and shared ideas. As already discussed in previous blog posts, Twitter and blogging is being utilised by teachers to improve pedagogy across the globe. Can this same effect be seen in education if young people start blogging?
David Mitchell (@deputymitchell), a Deputy Head teacher from Bolton, introduced blogging to pupils at Heathfield CPS when he first arrived. A school with low literacy rates and poor end of KS2 results that have been transformed, and David puts it down to blogging.
- Attainment raised from 9% <level 5 in 2009 to 60% <level 5 in 2010.
- Pupils achieved 2 years of progress in 12 months in 2010.
- SEN pupils made 3 years of progress in 12 months in 2010.
- On top of this, is has improved pupils social interactions with family, peers and teachers.
The Power of an Audience
There is a mountain of problems educators are trying to overcome, ‘pupils attitude’, ‘not cool to learn’ and ‘behaviour issues’ only cover a small part of this. So how can blogging help turn this mountain into a hill?
- Blogging can help engage students, parents and teachers
- Make learning cool
- Raise standards
- Breed competition
- Motivates pupils
- Innovative use of I.C.T
Blogging will create an audience for your pupils to perform, to boast about their school work to an international community – not just an interaction between pupil and teacher anymore.
A secure educational blogging site is www.edublogs.org
A teacher from America has listed a number of benefits of student blogging:
Authenticity authentic writing for authentic audiences
Affordability blogging is free
Builds confidence as students shine, share & respond
Carries across the curriculum
Collaborative discussions as students respond to & learn from one another
Communication skills writing for an audience necessitates & builds effective communication skills
Connections between students & classes, between home & school
Develops higher order thinking skills (as students write, read, reflect & respond)
Digital Age learning about, creating and leaving positive digital footprints
Digital Citizenship students learn about proper etiquette & cybersafety
Editing skills undertaken in manageable, bite sized chunks
Improves typing skills
Motivates independent writers & readers
Organic (not static)
Responsibility provides an authentic opportunity to teach & monitor both
Student driven teacher facilitated
Technology Introduces, interjects & integrates technology into all subject areas
Writing skills skills include writing for meaning, organization, sentence structure, spelling, grammar, etc.
Here are some examples of some student blogs.
Learning Support @ EWS, The Elizabeth Woodville School, Northampton – work in progress.