A Class Blog or Individual Student Blogs?


This post is in response to the week 5 Global2 Blog Challenge:– When is it appropriate to use class blogs as opposed to individual student blogs?

Class blogs can be used in several ways:-

  • As a starter process to blogging, allowing a teacher who may be new to blogging to gain confidence in a structured and easily moderated manner. Class blogs allow full control by the teacher.
  • Great for classes (especially the younger ones) to showcase their work, their projects, reflections etc
  • As a connecting and communicating point with other local/national/global classes, with parents and general community members
  • As a complete learning management system lesson tasks, instructions, plans, links, resources, embedded movies/digital media/podcasts etc

Individual student blogs allow(s)

  • Ownership
  • students to have a voice
  • them to share their learning using media that suits their learning style
  • the development of digital journals
  • customization or personalization of the space
  • allows for reflective type journals on a personal basis
  • storytelling on an individual basis
  • the development of e-portfolios
  • search engines to discover the student blog if tagged and categorized appropriately

Some of the benefits of presenting and showcasing student work through individual student blogs include the following:-

  • Empowers students
  • Encourages creativity
  • Allows individual reflection on learning
  • Enables personal reflections
  • increased engagement
  • Provides for an authentic audience ? increased motivation
  • Students can choose from a wide range of media for communciation

Following are some benefits of presenting and showcasing student work through class blogs:-

  • Allows the best of student work within a class to be showcased on one space.
  • Enables group work, peer mentoring, team work
  • Class blogs may be more receptive to a wider network and wider audience
  • Global classes of a similar nature can share learning with each other
  • Enables the parents to connect, view and compare outcomes of students
  • May encourage competition amongst students ? be challenged to a higher level when students can see the work of their peers.

My experiences with presenting and showcasing through class blogging or individual student blogging:-

  • I started with a class blog until I felt confident with blogging.
  • Personal ownership is always more engaging, motivating and the blogs can be customized to individual preferences.
  • My classes are secondary classes and mostly at the senior level, therefore the work that they complete is exercise driven and mostly not appealing to a broad audience.
  • Where does a teacher stand with intellectual property, creative commons, student ownership of creativity etc if work is placed on the class blog rather than individual blogs?

There is a place for both types of blogs and each take on different purposes, but individual blogs should be supported, developed and created wherever possible. What would you add to this question? Please leave a comment and your opinion.
Cross posted on my class blog

2 responses to “A Class Blog or Individual Student Blogs?

  1. Anne, Thank you for posting the differences so clearly. I will share this with my teacher-trainees, so they can read it from someone other than myself. I do have a question: how can we as teachers promote a class blog activity which reaches out to other classes? I have been trying to link my EFL students’ writing community to anyone interested in joining us without success for two weeks. My students are timid, and as adults, it is the first time they are posting on blogs. However, they would like to create a real writing community with…anyone? I have had several hundred hits on my blog in the past two weeks, but no writers.

    I know you can retweet and promote, but I’ve already promoted on twitter, facebook, ex-students, fellow teachers, and there are no writers, just people who congratulate…and lurk. iS THIS NORMAL?
    http://writingcu.wordpress.com/ Look at the Just a Peek posts. Ellen

  2. Ellen, I do not know the answer to your question, but yes it is ‘normal’! I have quite a few visitors to my blog as shown by the stats, but rarely do they stop and make a comment. Maybe they are time poor, dont know what to say or are just interested in lurking. I know I can be guilty of that too as I love to read others’ work but it takes time to stop and comment.
    I shall try and tweet out your work with the students as well, as I love what you are doing with them. I do not see myself as a writer as English was never a strong subject of mine, so I am often reluctant to write for formal posts! Some of your studentsare using such wonderful English imagery which many of our students would struggle with and they speak English as their first language. Just keep tweeting out, encourage your students to comment on each others blogs. All the best, Congratulations on your work with the students and keep on perservering!

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