After blogging for over 8 years, I discovered more benefits than I ever could have imagined. So many positives have resulted for me, my students, and our learning community.
Back in 2011 I started a blog on Blogger to take advantage of the ability to streamline my curriculum and support my students’ independent learning skills. After setting up my classroom blog, I set up a variety of other blogs, a professional blog being one of them.
I naively moved forward thinking I was just going to make classroom management. I had no idea the impact it would have on the home to school connection with parents and the learning experience of my students.
Creating a teacher blog has been an amazing adventure.
This post shares 18 benefits of blogging for teachers and students.
Before we dive into the benefits of building your blog for teaching, let’s consider why blogging serves as an anchor or teaching and learning in today’s classroom.
First of all, creating a blog isn’t just a trendy tool. It has the power to serve you any way you want it to. You are the artist. A blog is your canvas. It is your piece of online real estate and you can build whatever you want on it.
Simple put, a blog is a website. The only difference is a website is static, filled with content that doesn’t change that often. Whereas a blog is updated regularly and it has the power to engage readers by allowing them to comment. Both are built on a content management system, my favorite being WordPress.
Let’s dive into the benefits of blogging in the classroom, so you can decide if you’re ready to build your blog today.
19 Benefits Of Educational Blogging
Below I share my personal insights of the benefits of blogging for teachers and students.
Note: You’re welcome to use this poster or PDF for your own classroom or blog. If you publish it online, just link back to this post!
If you’re like I was 8 years ago, you’re thinking about starting a classroom blog. Perhaps you want to learn how to blog to expand your influence beyond the classroom through blogging.
Read on to find out more about the benefits of educational blogging.
1) Controlling and Owning Your Content
You can publish your content online in many places. Your artifacts, insights and resources can live on a myriad of social media platforms. Each have their own benefits. But, without your own blog you’re building your digital home on rented land. If you don’t own the space you have limited control. Ultimately, you can be a victim to changing algorithms and parameters set by the powers that be. The best way to keep your content safe is by building your own blog.
Tip: self hosting your blog on WordPress is the best way to establish safety for your online real estate.
2) Creates Your Online Hub
Think of your blog as a container for every piece of your professional – and personal – creative content. You have the power to shift your ideas and artifacts in one place, making them easily accessible today and in the future.
You can house documents, lessons, videos, podcasts, infographics, links, and so much more. Your virtual file cabinet is contained, safe, and searchable.
As your blog grows year after year, you can track your thoughts, continue developing curriculum, and create a useful tool for you an your students.
Use your blog as an evidence of student learning and your professional development. You have the choice on how you want to utilize your own blog.
3) Strengthen Student Literacy
I’ve noticed a shift in students’ level of involvement in the reading and writing process because of blogging. This isn’t to say the change happened quickly. I had to learn how to maximize the process of student involvement.
(Graphic of how to incorporate students into the process)
Along with literacy improving, so did their level of engagement. There’s an amazing shift of accountability when students realize their communication will be on the web. It defines purpose and deepens the value of communication.
Tip: allow students to explore through a variety of experiences online. Create opportunities for a broad range of contribution possibilities to welcome even the most reluctant writers: graphics, slideshows, videos, and audios are all ways to experience literacy in its many forms.
4) Digital Literacy
The definition of literacy is changing. With the 21st Century comes the need of learning a wide variety of skills. These skills include learning the art of curation, research, visual literacy, and so much more!!!
And then there are essential skills like problem solving, critical thinking, synthesizing information, and cultural awareness.
Goodness knows, there are only so many hours in the day, and getting it all done can seem daunting. How do we get it all done? A well organized blogging system is a perfect solution that has the potential to merge both traditional and new aged teaching and learning skills.
5) Application in All Content Areas
Sure, I’m bias about teaching traditional literacy with a classroom blog because I teach ELA. However, blog are appropriate for all content areas. There’s a place for impactful blogs in math, science, social studies, physical education, art education, and even extra curricular initiatives.
Authentic learning can happen in any content area. Valuable discussion can be intimidate by incorporating resources that span the globe.
Post questions, prompts or reflections for any area of study.
With a little investigation teachers can find a plethora of resources and tools to embed in their classroom blogs to support student learning.
6) Develops Creativity
Blogging allows for a new avenue of creative expression and creative expansion. This is one of the greatest assets of blogging. Exploration, implantation and problem solving are integral to the blogging process.
Blogging allows you to be creative! This is one of the things I have always loved about the blogging process.
There’s also an element of design expression. Custom themes, layouts, designs, … it’s a form of art in the new age.
Keep in mind, you’re the artist and the blog is your canvas. You have the power to create an environment as you choose.
7) Strengthens the Home to School Connection
Your blog, however you choose to structure it, is a window into your classroom. Parents gain access to what your teaching and how you teach. Students are able to gain access to resources you share when they’re away from the classroom.
Your blog content can serve as a conversation started between students and parents at home without your intervention.
Part of our roles as teachers is keep parents involved and blogging can do this without the need of one on one conversation, an efficient time saver, as I’ve found.
8) Develops Digital Citizenship
One lesson on digital citizenship isn’t enough to make a lasting impact on students. Teaching students to interact with a sense of accountability is the result of creating a culture of learning with the digital learner in mind.
Blogging, when shared with students, raises the collective consciousness of your students. This isn’t to say they should be left to their own devices online. They need specific boundaries and definitive guidance in the processes of a digital community.
Blogging with your students allows you to establish yourself as a digital mentor of sorts. Provide guidance as you facilitate students’ contribution to your online community. This is essential to your blogging success.
9) Develops a Digital Footprints
You can’t consider digital citizenship without considering the impact of a digital footprint. Too often, the concept of a digital footprint is discussed with trepidation because of the negative connotation.
A digital footprint is simply described as traces of what people do online.
As a digital citizenship mentor to my students, I strive to establish a positive perspective on the benefits of maintaining integrity. It’s important to let students know they need to protect themselves while they learn how to empower themselves and establish a positive digital footprint on the world.
If you choose to build your classroom blog where students contribute. Keep in mind, you will need to get permission for them to participate.
10) Develops Social Skills and Confidence
The common belief is that social media stifle students’ ability to communicate. I like to think about the new generation, GenZ. They are true digital natives. Their identities are not accentuates by their digital resources, but rather defined by them.They need every opportunity to incorporate opportunities to learn how to balance their personal lives with their digital lives.
With the opportunity to blog, many students can practice their skills of communication, develop empathy, and the art of communication. When they learn it online, they can transfer their skills to their off line reality.
Helping students make progress in these areas requires explicit instruction of how to communicate in constructive ways. Students need to be taught how to communicate with politeness and respect along with teaching them the art of questioning for productive conversation.
12) Develops Thinking
It’s no secret, writing to learn is powerful. Many bloggers experience that beautiful phenomenon of the writing process that clarifies their thinking, helps it evolve, and forces you to analyze it.
Personally, I find the process enlightening. When I sit at the keyboard and hammer out ideas, I raise myself to a new level of understanding. Students will experience the same with practice.
The vague becomes clear and ideas begets ideas. That intellectual evolution of thought is a priceless experience that changes the brain and supports the independent learning process.
13) Encourages Reflections
Students are inundated with information and new concepts. They need the chance to digest information and reflection is just the way to allow them to do this.
Blogging is a powerful way to help our learners process information and reflect on what they’ve learned.
This way what they learn becomes more personal. With the help of free response, prompts, or explicit guidance students can synthesize information in meaningful ways when interacting on a blog.
14) Creates Classroom Community
21st century skills include collaboration and team work, two skills needed when blogging. Blogging strengthens verbal communication in the creative process.
The common goals and experiences create shared experiences. It naturally creates a class identity.
It’s great when students as each other for guidance. “How did you do that?” Becomes a powerful question. It gives students the change to become teacher.
There’s no need for the teacher to be the expert all the time. Just as the student can become the teacher, the teacher can become the student.
establishing a class identity.
A class blog can be a great way to create a class identity whether it’s the name or a mascot.
In the traditional classroom, the only audience for student work was the teacher and sometimes classmates and parents.
Blogs provide a much larger audience for student work. They also offer an avenue for feedback and self-improvement through commenting.
I’ve found students really take pride in the work that goes on the blog and want to do their best for their impending audience. Motivation seems to increase when students are writing for a purpose.
As Dan Pink says, students need autonomy, mastery, and purpose to feel motivated.
16) Having a Voice
When publishing online, as opposed to writing in the analogue way, students have the chance to have their voices heard. What a wasted opportunity to not tap into that!
Students can write about their passions, concerns, their learning, and more. They can start to feel empowered about making a difference in the world and they can help others understand them.
Of course, this links back to the area of confidence as well. There’s an element of “risk” to put your thoughts out there but with support, this can really be a benefit for students.
All of the above applies to teachers who blog too!
17) Global Connections
I have found this to be one of the most exciting benefits of blogging. Blogging can help flatten the classroom walls and offer priceless experiences for students and teachers.
A sense of understanding and tolerance can develop and students can learn a lot about the world in which they live.
If you’re interested in global collaboration, I’ve compiled a list of tips which might help you get started.
18) Purposeful, Productive, and Fun!
We know students (and teachers) can spend a lot of time playing around with things online. Whether it’s looking at social media, watching videos, gaming, or going on a trail of link clicking, there can be a lot of wasted time.
We all need downtime occasionally, but why not tap into this interest by doing something purposeful and productive online? Blogging allows you to socialise, consume content, create content and have fun while learning and making a difference.
Since I began teaching in 1991, I haven’t come across a program that provides as many benefits to students as a well-run classroom blogging program.
This doesn’t mean blogging is better than other digital tools, and applications. It’s just that almost everything can be integrated into blogging.
It’s also important to remember that a blog is simply a tool. It’s the application that counts.
The benefits for teachers who put themselves out there as bloggers are plentiful too. I hear many people talk about the importance of teachers being “readers” so they’re role models for their students, but what about writers? And learners? And members of personal learning networks?
Blogging can provide a really diverse learning experience for teachers and students. It might not be for everyone, and it takes a lot of work to do it well but once you dive in, you’ll reap the rewards!
If you’re interested in learning more about blogging, check out my page which links to lots of posts on this subject.
Have you witnessed any of these benefits in your classroom?
What other benefits can students and teachers get out of blogging?
Scroll down to find the comment box. I’d love to hear from you!
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