100 reasons why educators should use blogs


For students:

1. Blogs are fun! Many of your students likely already keep a personal blog. Using a blog in the classroom will help students relate to the lesson.

2. They help students develop and hone their writing skills.

3. They model forms and standards of writing for students. Show them what good writing looks like vs. bad writing. Talk about style, tone, and usage. Blogs are an oasis of free writing samples.

4. Blogs can stand in as online student journals for a variety of classroom modules.

5. Blogs can increase the sense of community and camaraderie amongst classmates.

6. They can be used to help students understand appropriate online sources. Show students how to evaluate blogs for their authority, credibility and usefulness.

7. When used for group work, they can foster collaboration and team-building skills.

8. They can help promote and develop reading skills.

9. They provide another outlet for different styles of learning. Blogs help students who learn through hands-on work and are more verbally oriented.

10. Blogs can be used to encourage discussion anytime — whether in or outside of class.

11. Students can use blogs to develop online portfolios of their work.

12. In large classes, blogs can be used to create smaller groups and to form more cohesive units even while in class.

13. Most students now are digital natives. Blogs engage them by presenting material in a way that is familiar and comfortable.

14. Students have a larger audience when they blog. If the blog is public, they are potentially writing for a global audience. This knowledge may empower them and their work.

15. Blogs allow for self-directed learning. If they are assigned as independent or homework projects, students can work on them when they feel inspired to do so.

16. They allow for multimedia interaction. Students can post pictures, videos, links, and more.

17. Students can hone their editing skills by critiquing the work of others.

18. Parents can view their child’s work and progress as shown on a blog.

19. Blogs can model rules of behavior for online interaction, teaching students online etiquette.

20. Students can take pride in their work since blog creation reflects their independent efforts.

21. Working online fosters a sense of global interaction. Students can be taught to understand the dangers and the benefits of interacting online and producing work online.

22. As an independent project, blogs allow students to showcase their independence and sense of responsibility.

23. Blogs save paper.

24. Blogs provide a virtual announcement board for important messages about homework, assignments, deadlines, and more.

25. Students can communicate with their teachers and other students through a blog. This is especially helpful for shy students who might not otherwise reach out.

26. Teachers can communicate with parents directly and as a group through blogs.

27. They provide an outlet for students who are shy.

28. Blogs give students the chance to express their creativity in academic ways.

29. Students can work on collaborative writing projects through blogs.

30. They prepare students for online social networking.

31. Blogs help students understand how to build an online presence.

32. They help increase student confidence levels by giving them self-directed projects.

33. Work is permanently stored on a blog. Students can review their work — theoretically — for years to come. Blog space can be obtained for free, and so long as the teacher doesn’t remove the content, it will remain there.

34. Students can determine the topic of posts on blogs, making them more inspired and excited to participate.

35. If blogs are used as reading material, students can choose the type and style of blog that appeals to them, making them more excited about reading.

36. Blogs can teach students the proper use of citation — especially of hyperlinks.

37. Blogs can be used to teach students about plagiarism. There are numerous examples of how easy online content makes it to plagiarize.

38. Students can express their own opinions — and, therefore, their identities — through blogs. It gives them more freedom than traditional academic outlets.

39. They offer supplemental reading or exercises for a particular course of study. Students can use them to gain a deeper understanding of a subject.

40. Students can hone their analytical skills through critique of blogs or development of their own.

41. They give students an outlet for ideas or comments that may have occurred to them after an in-class discussion has ended.

42. Blogs will help students widen their vocabulary.

43. Blogs will help students improve their grammar.

44. Students will be able to improve their persuasive writing skills, specifically.

45. Blogs can help students establish themselves as “experts” on a given topic.

46. Blogs give students a space for process-based learning. They don’t have to include the finished project. They can be there for drafts, free writing and more.

47. Students can use blogs as a space to brainstorm ideas and get feedback on their ideas from other classmates.

48. Teachers have a wide variety of reading materials and writing samples instantly available during class.

49. Many authoritative agencies and authors maintain blogs about their subject interest. These offer valuable tools and insights for classroom discussion.

50. Blogs are relevant!

For teachers:

51. Blogs offer a community of experts to offer advise, share tips, and commiserate over experiences.

52. Teachers can build their professional learning network through blogs by connecting with other experts and learning about new tools in their field.

53. Blogs can highlight professional experience and build the reputation of an educator.

54. Blogs can be used as a forum to vet classroom ideas — including lesson plans, activities, and curriculum.

55. Teachers can learn more about Web 2.0 tools and become more comfortable and familiar with them through the practice of writing a blog.

56. Blogs can serve as a sounding board to vent frustrations in the classroom or in the working environment.

57. Education news and trends can be gleaned from reading blogs.

58. Blogs highlight valuable resources that educators can use both in and out of the classroom.

59. Blogs help you meet people you wouldn’t otherwise be able to meet.

60. They increase accountability for the teacher and the school by making the classroom process more transparent.

61. The increased transparency will build trust and rapport with parents and the community.

62. Blogs can teach educators about online etiquette.

63. Blogs prepare educators for other forms of social networking.

64. They make teachers aware of current events and trends that are important to students — especially pop culture.

65. Blogs help educators remain flexible and adaptable. They are a new medium/technology for many, and learning how to maintain one requires learning new skills.

66. They allow educators to initiate discussions that are meaningful and relevant to them.

67. Blogs offer a sense of community among educators — or even among those within a particular institution.

68. Blogs give teachers a forum to share unconventional ideas that may not have had a hearing in more traditional outlets.

69. Educators can use blogs to publish works that may have been rejected by traditional publishers.

70. Private blogs can offer a useful space for reflection and process-based work.

71. Just like students, educators can use blogs to improve their writing skills.

72. Blogs can be used to facilitate classroom discussion.

73. Teachers can post questions or assign a discussion thread through a blog.

74. Blogs can be used to host classroom competitions.

75. Teachers can highlight a “student of the week” or “student of the month” on a blog, giving the student more exposure and the award more prestige.

76. Prizes and other special mentions can be advertised through a blog.

77. A school or college can use a blog as a community roundtable — highlighting events, hosting discussions, and posting useful information.

78. Blogs can offer a space for teachers to post additional comments or questions that may have been overlooked during a lesson — or only considered after class ended.

79. Writing a blog gives educators a way to relate to students.

80. Blogs offer a space for teachers to be more creative with their content.

81. Personal blogs — or professional blogs that include personal information about the teacher — give students a way to get to know the teacher better.

82. Blogs give teachers more autonomy, allowing them more possibilities for their lessons, including podcasts, videos, photos and more.

83. Blogs serve as a professional calling card. Teachers can use them to supplement an application or a push for a promotion.

84. Blogs can help teachers build up a reputation within a subject area that is not their area of specialty. For instance, if an English teacher wants to do more work with history, he or she can write and publish research through a blog to build up credentials in that subject area.

85. Blogging can motivate teachers to do more. If a blog has a following, then the writer will feel compelled to update often with valuable content.

86. If the content is compelling enough — or has enough professional value — blogs can help teachers get noticed and potentially land a book deal.

87. Publishing content to the Web makes you more aware of the quality of your product (be they lesson plans, articles for journals, etc.).

88. Blogs provide a space for educators to share articles or other papers before publication in order to get feedback or even editing help.

89. Blogs can provide a record of what was done in class. Can’t remember how you handled this section last year? Check your blog.

90. Blogs can be used to track attendance if students are required to participate in daily discussions, etc.

91. Blogs foster objectivity if teachers use them to grade student participation. There is a physical record of the breadth and depth of the content that students contribute — rather than trying to remember what they said in class or how often they raised their hands.

92. Blogs give teachers more time. Sometimes, not everything can be fit into the lesson plan, and homework can’t stand in for instruction. Teachers can use blogs to post further instruction, additional supporting materials, and more.

93. Blogs give teachers another way to connect with students. Inspirational notes, words of encouragement, and advice can all be shared with students through a blog.

94. Teachers can model professional behavior online for students through blogs.

95. Teachers can use blogs to teach students about other cultures, and to connect students with their peers in other countries.

96. Teachers can use classroom or professional blogs to supplement their evaluation materials. They are a handy written record of yearly activity.

97. Blogs can be used to make last minute or emergency announcements to students or parents.

98. Blogs offer you the freedom to say what you want — but still not without consequences:)

99. Blogs offer unique opportunities for assessment and evaluation of students.

100. Everyone else is doing it. Really. If you’re not blogging, it almost seems as if you’re behind the times and aren’t tuned it to what’s relevant to students and to other educators.

Posted on 08/20/10 | by maria magher | in Education, Technology | 1 Comment »

One Comment on “100 reasons why educators should use blogs”

  1. Matt Hurst Says:

    This is a great list, Maria. Thanks! I like to use KidBlog.org for my students (or Weebly Education for more advanced websites/blogs). I prefer WordPress over my second choice, Blogger, for teacher blogs, although novice teachers may want to use Weebly. You can read more about my recommendations and tutorials on my blog: http://MullOverThings.com
    Happy blogging!

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