During the summer, when I was planning my curriculum for the upcoming school year, I immediately wanted to tackle blogging. The foundation of everything I do as a school librarian is literacy; what better way to approach this than through a fun tech-based lens? I wanted to do it across the board–grades three through six. During my first few minutes of every class, when I introduced blogging to my students and told them they were to create their own blogs, I instantly saw a mix of excitement and trepidation looking back at me. This in and of itself said it all. Children want to learn these “adult” technological skills, but may need some guidance to do so.
At first, I wanted to use a website (like WordPress) to streamline the blogging process with my students, but unfortunately, because of “heavy traffic from our server,” they all crashed or froze. I was disappointed to see that even the education geared blogging websites did not do well when twenty-some-odd students tried to create accounts. So it was onto plan b! Since we were a Google district, and all of my students had their own Chromebooks, I decided to simplify things and use Google Sites for our classroom blogging needs. And although it’s not exactly the aesthetic I was envisioning back in the summer, it is getting the job done and allowing my students to create their blogs.
I plan to have this be something they will revisit time and again for the rest of the school year. They are starting out slow by completing a creative writing prompt as their first posts, and personalizing “the look” of their blogs. But in the future, I will ask them to upload their projects and various other works. The goal is for them to have a “blog portfolio” of sorts in June that they can look back on to see all they’ve accomplished in their library class.
It doesn’t matter what subject area or grade you teach; blogging can be applied and incorporated with every classroom. Try it out for yourselves!