By Kevin Nicolls
We’re living in a digital world. Technology has redefined business operations, fundamental marketing strategies and how we interact with each other. It is also changing the way we approach education.
This is creating more opportunities and enhanced learning for students. Which brings me to the question, “Should students be blogging?”
A better question is, “Why not?” Writing has countless benefits. Most notably, writing helps build critical thinking and cognitive skills. Blogging is another tool to facilitate regular writing.
If you aren’t sold yet, here are 5 more reasons:
There is something validating about seeing your work published. As an adult and accomplished professional, I still get a small surge of pride every time I see my words online.
Imagine how powerful that can be for your child.
Students have an overwhelming sense of gratification once their blogs go live. It reinforces the fact that they have a voice. They can accomplish their goals. They are legitimate writers. This confidence fuels their drive to continue writing, which is our ultimate goal.
Fosters Creativity & Collaboration
With a blog, your student can write about anything. This gives them an opportunity to explore what interests, inspires or intrigues them. Perhaps it is the World Soccer Championships. Maybe they want to learn anything and everything about volcanoes. Let their imaginations loose!
Now take their interest one step further. Encourage them to reach out to professionals living out their passions. Interview a college soccer coach. Ask a volcanologist (it’s a real profession, I promise) what is the most exciting thing they have witnessed on the job. Many professionals would be happy to help a student with their blog.
Of course, make sure to oversee their engagement, especially when reaching out to interview people.
Technology is becoming increasingly more important in today’s jobs. Knowing how to use platforms like WordPress or Blogger are key marketable skills. Having students manage their own blogs gives them a unique jumpstart on keeping up to date with popular digital tools.
One of the coolest features is the ability to see how students grow as writers. By default, blogs create archives of their work. Check in every few months to measure progress. How does today’s work differ from their first blog?
Fosters Online Safety & Privacy
The combination of technology and education has created quite a stir. In the middle of this debate is the question of students using the Internet. Students are creating online profiles younger and younger. It’s important to instill safe practices.
While having a blog on its own won’t teach online safety, but it gives you an opportunity to facilitate the conversation. What personal information is ok to write about? What information should never be shared? Do you understand how privacy settings work?
Edublogs is a great platform to utilize for this particular reason. They have a free blog option specifically designed to keep students safe online. In addition, their filters have been custom designed to keep the conversations friendly.
The tools at students’ fingertips are endless! From apps to online quizzes to dedicated math channels on YouTube, it’s a whole new world. If you are looking for more ways that technology has revolutionized education, check out Coronado Pathways Charter School.
Kevin Nicolls is the director of Coronado Pathways Charter School and a lifelong education professional. The school strives to find the conversion point between technology and traditional teaching to provide a personalized learning experiences for students.
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