I am a huge fan of blogging. Blogging offers a perfect opportunity for students to reflect, to practice writing, to share about topics that they care about, and to engage in conversations through comments. Blogging within the educational context allows for an organic tie-in of needed digital citizenship skills acquisition and Common Core requirements for writing across the curriculum. It also encourages students to find their personal writing voices and to make global connections through comments that may be received from around the world.
I had the pleasure of working closely with Spanish Teacher Anita Rossell and her Spanish for Native Speakers class during the 2013-2014 on a number of projects in the library. During the first semester of the 2013-2014 school year, we collaborated to help the students do research and create digital timelines for a project in which they selected a famous Hispanic person and created a timeline for this individual. They also created a personal timeline, which they compared with the famous person timeline. They learned how to use Google Drive to share documents with classmates and their teacher. In January 2014, Señora Rossell wanted the students to start creating digital portfolios. At my suggestion, we decided, instead, to have them create blogs. While digital portfolios document students’ work, the blogs could do this along with also having the students reflect on that work and demonstrate growth through the built-in chronological sequence of the blogging format. Once we launched our blogging project, the students completed a number of posting assignments, and, in the course of doing so, they:
- developed digital citizenship skills, including learning about online privacy and safety, online etiquette, respect for intellectual property, and building a positive digital footprint
- writing skills and personal expression, both formal and informal, in Spanish and in English
- commenting skills, learning to write meaningful comments that compliment, make suggestions, and/or ask questions
- technology skills, such as how to design a site, how to embed images, videos, and links, and more.
You can see links to the great blogs created last year on this page on the library website.
This year, Señora Rossell is teaching an AP Spanish Literature/Language class, and most of the students in that class are continuing from last year’s Spanish for Native Speakers class. During the last two weeks, the class visited the library several times to begin extending the blogging project into this school year. And, this year, we established a class blog that will contain the class assignments and links to all the student blogs. We also plan to have the students contribute some of the posts to this blog. I am very excited about working with Señora Rossell and her students again this year and plan to help them make some global connections with other bloggers they can engage in conversations with through the comments feature.
Here are screenshots of just a couple of student blog examples:
I am so proud of their hard work! Be sure to visit the links on the class blog for more.
Please consider reading some of these great blogs and adding your own comments! I know the students will appreciate your doing so.
I am also in the process of developing a plan to promote blogging to other teachers and students at Mira Costa and beyond this year. You can check out my Google Teacher Academy action plan for a preview of what I am working on. Stand by for more information to come!