When I use technology in my classroom, it’s never just for the sake of using technology. I use technology when it will do a better job of achieving my learning goals than traditional methods. I have rigorous goals for my students and little time to achieve them. So we use computers (and iPads, iPods, etc.) only when they give us a greater return on investment.
That brings me to one really smart investment: blogs. Blogging is all about writing. To write a blog well, you need to be organized, include details, think about your audience, develop your voice, and edit for conventions. What makes blogging different from normal classroom writing? When students write blogs, they can share their writing with the world. Perhaps “the world” is limited to their parents, grandparents, and other family members. Perhaps “the world” really is the world, as in, everyone in the world can see what they write.
Blogging is writing with the volume turned up to 11. Students are more excited to write blog posts than practically anything else they write in the classroom. And so, as their teacher, I love having them blog so I can take full advantage of that drive in order to teach them to write well. Continue reading