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Blogging with students

Do you blog with your students?  I have a Weebly blog I use with students.  I have been using the blog for a few months now and it has been working out great!  The kids love it and it serves many purposes: 

  • a way to communicate with students and families - I post fun things we have done in the library, a weekly recap, student work, and book reviews.  Parents can see how many different things their kids are learning in library, which is always important!
  • a tool for teaching cybersafety and digital citizenship - I use the blog as a way to teach my cybersafety lessons.  I teach them what a blog is, how it can be used, and how to use a blog appropriately. Students learn how to speak with each other in a safe, online environment.  I don't have them publishing on the blog themselves and all comments are moderated before the are posted.  If I find someone tried to post an inappropriate comment, it is a great time to talk with that particular student about why it was not appropriate and how they could re-write their comment.  We also cover digital etiquette such as not typing in all capital letters, THINKing before we post, etc.  It's always great to talk about digital citizenship but the blog allows the kids to use what they learn in a real setting.
  • a place to curate student work - I use the blog to share student work.  Kids can see what other classes are working on, as can parents and other teachers.
  • generate discussion - students can write book reviews and discuss different books they're reading.  They either write them on a book review form or can share them with me in GoogleDocs.  I post the reviews and students discuss the books in the comments.  I also write reviews myself as I finish books so they can keep up with what I'm reading.