Posted in 21st Century Learning, blogging, digital learning, educating digital natives, parents and technology, web 2.0, writing

If You Really Want Your Digital Kid to Write Well – Start a Family Blog

After reading a January 5, 2013 post on Edudemic, How and Why Teachers Should Blog, I want to share a blogging experience at my school.

I have the honor of working with a small group of amazing third-grade teachers — my colleagues — and last summer they decided to begin blogging with their students. This past fall each of the teachers set up a classroom blog at KidBlog. This student-oriented blogging site is designed to offer maximum privacy to young writers, but it also offers the opportunity for more access — and more readers — if desired. Interestingly, while the three classroom blogs are all similar, each has slight variations that reflect the personalities of the kids and the ideas of the teacher.

Visit KidBlog!
Visit KidBlog!

After orienting their students to the idea of blogging — discussing appropriate tone, privacy, and respect — the teachers let the children write. Third graders have learned to read one another’s work and make comments and suggestions. Sometimes they share complete stories, and at other times they write more spontaneously.

During that first week or two, I was amazed by the quantity of student posts and the number of genuine and thoughtful responses from their classmates. In those first days the children wrote stories, shared experiences and ideas about school, and asked questions of one another, but they also branched out into all sorts of other topics.

The teachers are the blog moderators so all student writing gets submitted and read before it’s uploaded. Sometimes, not often, a teacher needs to flag a post and chat with a young writer about one issue or another, but these are critical conversations for the children to have with adults.

It’s exciting each time I check the blogs because our third graders are intrigued by the idea of writing for an audience, and their enthusiasm is contagious.

Many teachers start classroom blogs say there’s no doubt about it — kids bloggers often become better writers.

Family blogs are a great way for extended families to share information. Some time back I wrote If Every Family Had a Blog. Also, check out my Start-a-Family-Blog Class — I taught this course by starting a blog. Each lesson was a post.

When children start blogging under the tutelage of teachers who “get” 21st Century learning, exciting things happen. But give home blogging a try, too.

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