A Reflection on the Benefits of Classroom Blogging

I updated this post in March 2013.

In August, 2017, I wrote a comprehensive post on The Edublogger about ten benefits of blogging.

Most of you will know how passionate I am about blogging in the classroom. Since I started blogging with my students in 2008, I have come to realise how enormous the benefits are.

The diagram below summarises the most powerful benefits I’ve found from blogging:

  • Improved Literacy Skills: I wrote about the improvement in my students’ literacy skills in this post. Not only were skills improved, but engagement levels increased. Reluctant writers wanted to write for a purpose and students were using blogs to purposefully communicate and converse with others.
  • Authentic Audience: In the traditional classroom, the only audience of student work was the teacher and sometimes classmates and parents. Blogs provide a much larger audience for student work and an avenue for feedback and self-improvement through commenting.
  • Sense of Classroom Community: Creating a class blog requires teamwork and collaboration. Students and teachers learn and share their learning together. A real sense of classroom community can be developed through blogging and establishing a class identity.
  • Global Connections: I have found this to be one of the most exciting benefits of blogging. Blogging can help flatten the classroom walls and we have got to know many classes across five continents who we call our “blogging buddies”. The benefits of these connections are priceless. A sense of understanding and tolerance develops and students can learn a lot about the world in which they live. We’ve used blogs to undertake global collaborative projects such as Collaboration Corner and the Uganadan Global Project.
  • ICT Skills: Blogging assists students to become more ICT literate which is an important 21st century skill. Through blogging, we’re able to incidentally discuss many ICT skills such as keyboard shortcuts, researching online and troubleshooting.
  • Home- School Partnerships: I have received many comments from parents and families who love using the class blog as a “window into our classroom”. Through commenting, families can be a part of what is happening in our classroom and have real time access to their child’s education.
  • Appropriate Online Behaviours: Everyone will agree that teaching students to be safe online is an important issue. You can’t just do one off lessons on cyber safety. Cyber safety is not a separate subject. Through being heavily involved in blogging, my Grade Two class has opportunities almost every day to discuss cyber safety issues and appropriate online behaviours in an authentic setting.
  • Confidence: I have found that students really take pride in their work that goes on the blog and want to do their best for their impending audience. Students can gain self-confidence from being part of a class blog and demonstrating their achievements.

Overall, blogging is a platform for everything. It is a fantastic place to start for teachers and students who want to learn about technology. Additionally, there are so many wonderful Web 2.0 tools out there which have so much more value when you can embed them in a blog.

Have you witnessed any of these benefits in your classroom?

What other benefits can students and teachers get out of blogging?

37 Comment

  1. Marty says: Reply

    I have read a lot about blogging in school and can easily see the benefits. I have read very little, however, on how best to implement blogging in a classroom, especially if you have just a couple of computers and a class of 20 or more.
    Additionally, how do you work with second graders on blogs when they are just learning to write and have NO keyboarding skills. It take 30 minutes just to type a single sentence!

    I want them to blog, but can’t figure out how!

    1. @ Marty,

      Thanks for your comment.

      I have blogged with class sizes of 21-26 students and I have never had more than five computers. It is a rare day that all five of those computers are working properly! If you want to do something, you’ll do it. You can’t let lack of 1:1 hold you back!

      Be creative, have a few students work on the blog each day or compose comments/posts as small groups or a whole class. You need to find out the best way you can do it.

      Yes, the students might be slow at typing but if you don‘t do blogging, are they going to get any better? I have found blogging a great way to talk about keyboarding in an authentic setting and a good way to provide regular practice opportunities. Throughout the course of last year I witnessed some students improve their keyboarding skills unbelievably. By the end of the year, I had a couple of kids tapping away almost as fast as me!

      Some kids are always going to be slow but even if they produce a one sentence comment, that’s okay. Alternatively, I often get the “good typists” help them type their thoughts if we’re short on time.

      Hope that helps!

      Kathleen

  2. Kelly Jordan says: Reply

    Blogging was of course a big part of the 2KM/2KJ classroom last year, and I am looking forward to our combined class blog this year.

    I think you’ve highlighted all of the major benefits students gain from blogging, and I really feel our 2010 students were more worldy, tolerant, compassionate and insightful due to our blogging experiences.

    I think that the students who earn their own blog gain a lot of individual benefits, including:
    * pride and self worth – they worked hard through commenting to earn a blog which is a huge achievement for a Grade Two student
    * discipline – they need to work hard to post regularly and reply to all comments
    * writing in different genres – students can post about anything they wish, so their blog may contain recounts of events, procedures (like recipes), persuasive texts etc.

    It is great to reflect on what our students achieve through the world of blogging!

    Kelly

    1. @ Kelly, thanks for your comment.

      Thanks for highlighting the benefits of individual student blogs. I definitely agree with all that. As I’ve blogged about before, we both believe student blogs needs to be earned in the younger year levels but what our student bloggers got out of the process was just amazing!

      I hope we can have the same successes this year!

  3. Celia says: Reply

    Kathleen,
    A great summary and I am a convinced. Whilst not in a classroom, I suppport staff who are experimenting with blogging and your example and resources have been very valuable in this journey.

    We are thinking of having a Parent evening to help raise the profile of blogging amongst our parents. Have you done anything like this? Any suggestions? Mrs Yollis’s Class has some good videos we might use – do we have any Australian resources? (apart from your wonderful material of course)
    Thanks

    Celia

    1. @ Celia, so glad this post could be of help to you.

      We have a general Parent Info Evening every year and this year I’m thinking I want to make a lot of it about blogging. I would definitely use some of Linda Yollis’ videos.

      I can’t say I’ve made anything like videos but it is definitely an idea for the future and if I do make something I’m sure to put it on the blog! If you think of any good resources to use please let me know!

      I’m looking forward to showing my 2011 parents some of the highlights and benefits of blogging, such as the ones I described on this post.

      Good luck,
      Kathleen

  4. junior2m says: Reply

    Hi Kathleen,

    Thanks for the post. Last year was my first year of blogging and I was suprised just how much my children benefited. I whole heartedly agree with what you have said.
    I have also found that it enabled me to reiterate what had been learnt in the classroom that day. For example- after writing snapshots in class I posted a goggle doc on our blog where children could have another turn at writing snapshots about a selected picture at home. To my suprise almost all my students went home and wrote another snapshot that night. To them it wasn’t the same as ‘working in class’ just becasue it was on the blog.
    It also provides a great platform for student work, and an incentive for students to produce work to a high standrard knowing that it will be see by so many.

    I’m looking forward to starting the blog with my new students this year. I am sure I will get a similar response.

    Samara

    1. @ Samara,

      Thanks for your comment.

      That’s a great point about being able to reiterate what you do in class. Certainly another benefit of blogging.

      I love getting posts on as soon as I can because I know it is so much more valuable for the students to be able to go home, look at the blog and talk about what they did at school with their parents.

      I love the Google Doc idea and I might borrow that sometime!

      Hope you’re enjoying the hols,
      Kathleen

    2. Connie Gauvin says: Reply

      Hello Samara, ‘just now checking into using blogging in my classroom. Our K-8 school has just “gone Google” and besides all of the vast resources and new learning involved, we have a school blog. Do you use such or your own classroom’s blog?

  5. I have seen all of these benefits as well. One thing that I love about blogging as a teacher is the added opportunity I have to get to know each of my students as individuals. Blogging provides me so much insight into what passions my students have, what they are afraid of, what they are proud about-adding to that strong classroom community.

    1. Mrs Morris says: Reply

      @ Kelly, that’s true – it’s so important to really know your students and blogging definitely helps with this. I love the classroom community that develops through blogging!

  6. […] Benefits of Classroom Blogging February 7th, 2011 | Author: Michael George Posted by Kathleen Morris (McGeady) on Monday, January 17th 2011 http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/2011/01/17/a-reflection-on-the-benefits-of-blogging/ […]

  7. […] http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/2011/01/17/a-reflection-on-the-benefits-of-blogging/ Comments (0) Create a free edublog to get your own comment avatar (and […]

  8. […] Integrating Technology in the classroom […]

  9. Christine Parsons says: Reply

    Thank you for sharing the benefits of classroom blogging. I plan to begin blogging with my class this year, and I can’t wait for my students to reap all these benefits and more.

    1. Mrs Kathleen Morris says: Reply

      @ Christine – good luck! I’m sure you’ll love blogging 🙂

  10. […] Want to know more about how blogging benefits the classroom check out this site: http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/2011/01/17/a-reflection-on-the-benefits-of-blogging/ […]

  11. […] voice, creating enthusiasm, engagement and empowerment. Edublogs lists 10 ways to use blogs, and Kathleen Morris outlines the benefits of blogs through the concept map below and her […]

  12. […] Benefits of Blogging […]

  13. Liz says: Reply

    I really wanted to start Twittering with the kids at school but I am told we are not allowed to have access. I love the idea of blogging but what will the education department let me have access to at school. The local network improvement officer says ” that’s what the Ultranet is for” but it is soooo hard to use during a fifteen minute look around I had to put my login and password in five times. HELP!!!

    1. Mrs Kathleen Morris says: Reply

      Hi Liz,

      Twitter is blocked by default at DEECD schools as far as I know. I asked to have it unblocked a couple of years ago. It is simple for the technician to just add it to the whitelist.

      As far as the Ultranet is concerned, if I restricted myself to just connecting with Victorian teachers, I’d be missing out on a LOT. This post about blogging and the Ultranet highlights some of those points. I know you agree with me though. The Ultranet may be useful for some things, but I don’t think broad collaboration is one of them.

      Many people are still very sceptical of Twitter as “just another social networking site”. I am often having to sell the value to fellow educators. I’ve written a few posts on Twitter which you can find here.

      Are you on Twitter yourself? I don’t use Twitter much with my students but I find it is the best form of PD that I can get. And that impacts my students every day. Even though I can use Twitter at school, I spend most of my time on it at home. Obviously, I don’t get time to check it much at school. You may already be using Twitter a lot as an educator – sorry for not knowing who you are on Twitter! If you’re not though, that would be a good place to start.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help. I guess you have to try to sell the benefits of Twitter to the powers that be!

      Good luck and please let me know how you get on.

      Kathleen

      1. Liz says: Reply

        Wow! You got back to me so quickly, thanks. I totally agree with what you send in your Ultranet blogging piece. So you got Twitter whitelisted at your school? I would love to I began twittering with the kids @magpieprimary, they were getting to the stage where they were asking to write a ‘twitter report’ on something that was happening @ school that they wanted to share with our followers (parents), at the moment I am just adding things myself that I think might be interesting for our followers. I will definitely pursue that now. I also feel inspired to get an authentic, global blog happening also, thanks!

        1. Mrs Kathleen Morris says: Reply

          Hi Liz,

          Yep Twitter is whitelisted. Each school makes their own decision about that. I’ve done PD for my staff on Twitter before. Only a couple have kept using it but at least they know the educational benefits from my PDs. So whitelisting it wasn’t questioned luckily.

          I’m sure your kids will love it so I’m crossing my fingers for you! 🙂

          Kathleen

  14. […] Morris has written some great posts about blogging. See here, here and here for some of her useful blog posts and […]

  15. […] First, they are considered (and I believe that too) great educative tools to promote participation, share opinions, provide additional resources in an appropriate order and sequence, and extent learning. Feel free to check this couple of blog entries to find out more:33 ways to use blogs in your classroom and in the educational setting and  A Reflection on the Benefits of Class Blogging. […]

  16. […] might also want to read Blogging in the Classroom: Why your students should write online and also a Reflection on the benefits of Classroom Blogging by primary school teacher who has been blogging since […]

  17. […] My first trial posting ^_^ […]

  18. Mrs Matthys says: Reply

    Dear Kathleen,
    I agree with all the benefits you have listed regarding blogging. Your Primary Tech article is a great source of support for others who are just begnning. Reading people’s comments and your responses certainly assists all of our learning.
    Thank you.

    Marisa

    1. Mrs Kathleen Morris says: Reply

      Hi Marisa,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate your kind words.

      Happy blogging!

      Kathleen

  19. […] Kathleen Morris sites 8 majors benefits to engaging students in blogging in the classroom. http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/2011/01/17/a-reflection-on-the-benefits-of-blogging/  […]

  20. […] Where to create and start your very own blog. To explain the benefits of Blogging i used the diagram below which represents the benefits extremely well. I touched upon each point and linked each to a real educational context. To gain a more in-depth understanding of the points made above, head here: http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/2011/01/17/a-reflection-on-the-benefits-of-blogging/ […]

  21. […] a-reflection-on-the-benefits-of-blogging/ […]

  22. Erin says: Reply

    Hi Kathleen,
    May I use this post on my classroom blog?

    Thank you,

    1. Mrs Kathleen Morris says: Reply

      Hi Erin,

      Feel free to use the diagram with attribution and a link to my site. If you’d like your readers to look at the whole post, please just send them to my blog (ie. please don’t reproduce the actual post) .

      Additionally, you’ll find an updated version of this post here http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/2013/03/08/the-benefits-of-educational-blogging/

      Good luck!
      Kathleen

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