This summer think about starting a family blog. It’s a terrific communication project as well as a collaborative learning opportunity for everyone — kids, parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles.
Last year I taught a short online blogging course to parents at my school. My Start a Family Blog class, hosted on a WordPress blog, is still available. The posts will guide interested families through the basics of starting a blog for relatives and friends.
Over at some novel ideas, a blog authored by librarian Stacy Nockowitz would be bloggers will find a comprehensive and richlist of resource links to help get started. She organizes her links into categories:
Blogs About Blogging
Also included at the bottom of the resource page is a cool glossary of blogging terms.
Over the course of a school year I often chat with adults about their digital kids. Most parents are enthusiastic, perhaps even astounded about the digital changes that occur every day in their lives. Yet, they also admit to feeling confused, worried, and even a bit befuddled. Often I find parents reflecting on how committed parents — who understand the importance of these digital changes — are supposed to keep track of the constantly changing digital landscape?
As a 22 year veteran in the educational technology world, I like to sift through articles, seek out references and discover resources that can help people — especially the parents of my students — understand more about the digital world. I read articles, watch videos, listen to stories, and keep an eye out for interesting research. It makes sense to share them on a blog. When I think about a post, I ask the question, “If I were a parent of a digital kid, what might I want to learn about?”
How would digital literacy and behavior improve if more families saw blogging as a way to communicate, connect with extended family members, and teach their children the basics about global communication? Would they be thrilled that their children had a big head start developing digital citizenship skills? Would they be delighted at all of the writing taking place and take pride as they watched children develop stronger writing skills?
Blogging is safe and easily managed. While we’ve all heard the scary stories, such as people going online and writing mean comments or nasty rumors that go public or even viral — in truth just about all blogging is safe and fun. Blogging teaches people to write, revise, write more, and publish for a community of readers.
Imagine, for a moment, if a family with two children, age five and seven, along with a bunch of relatives, starts a blog.
Family members, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins write, post, and comment. Parents are editors and managers, at least at the beginning, modeling and demonstrating how to use technology (social media) appropriately. Gradually family members share responsibilities. Continue reading “If Every Family Had a Blog…”→