Blogging Goals

Sunday, July 26, 2015

I am a big advocate of blogging in education, whatever the type may be. Blogging is an excellent way to archive and support learning. It promotes reflection, collaboration, inquiry, and digital conversation, as well as facilitates many other literacy skills along the way. However, what I truly love most about blogging is what I learn about my students. I have watched the quietest students in my class find their voice through blogging. It is something that is fascinating to watch as an educator, and what I deem to be one of the most powerful aspects of blogging. To see a student who is normally hesitant to share their thoughts or experiences face to face; but finds comfortability in blogging them. It allows me another way to build relationships with my students and learn more about them both personally and academically, and after all, isn't that what it's all about?

As I was reflecting and thinking about my plans for the upcoming school year, I realized that I have all these blogs for my classroom and students, but I do not have a blog for myself, to express my ideas and feelings as an educator. In my collection of blogs, I have a teacher blog which is geared towards parents and students, consisting of general information, updates, and sharing student work. I also have a classroom blog which I use to teach, model, and practice blogging with students before they get their own blogs, as well as post questions and ideas throughout the year that I want students responses and opinions on. However, I do not have one of my own. How can I ask my students to blog; to think, wonder, reflect, research, and write about topics they are interested in, when I don't do it myself? So here we go. This blog is going to be one of my own personal goals for the new school year. To compile, record, and share my learning journey and my love for all things education.

With that being said, I thought I would start by sharing some of my thoughts and goals about blogging for the upcoming school year.

I teach fifth grade and I try to infuse blogging into my instruction as much as possible. I feel it is an important tool to give students an outlet to voice their opinions, collaborate digitally, and showcase their learning. However, just like anything else it is something that needs to be taught and modeled. You cannot just throw students into blogging and expect them to be experts. Digital citizenship is key to teach before students begin blogging on their own. This year, especially with my students going 1:1 with Chromebooks, one of my goals is to really focus on teaching digital citizenship in a more comprehensive way and not just a one and done type deal. Common Sense Media has an awesome digital citizenship curriculum, which I used bits and pieces of last year. This year, I want to utilize these resources more effectively and provide students with the knowledge to be a responsible digital citizen and learn to use technology appropriately in the technology infused society around them. Another idea that is brewing is having my fifth graders act as digital citizenship models for the younger grades, and model and teach digital citizenship to them through engaging activities.

Another goal for the upcoming year, especially as it relates to my student's blogging is to have them share their blogs on more of a global level. I want to try and find other fifth grade classes to blog with somewhere else in the world and in addition to blog with them, also host Google Hangouts to learn more about them culturally and personally. I feel this would be an authentic digital learning experience for my students!

Looking at this blog post, I may want to add "shorten blog posts" to my list of future goals! :)
Regardless, I am excited for a new year of blogging!

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