Bang for Blogs

Post by: Pim Arora
At ISB, all middle and high school students have WordPress blogs.  In the elementary school, upper elementary students also use WordPress, while younger students utilize private blogs as an online portfolio.  This format allows parents to see their child’s development over the course of the year.  The school places an emphasis on students using blogs creatively to showcase their learning. However, we also want to ensure that they are using these online tools safely. The ISB Publications Protocol outlines privacy policies and blogging expectations for both students and teachers.

In the middle school, blogs are a great way for students and teachers to connect. It can serve as the hub of the class.

Teachers can use a blog to provide clarification on assignments, as a place for students to submit work, as a way to communicate updates or reminders for parents and students, and as a place for students to peer review work. This Edudemic  article details additional ways teachers can use blogging in their classrooms. Just recently, a student in our 8th grade student tagged an author in her blog and the author responded to the student’s post. This was a great surprise to the class and a awesome example to the other students to get active on their blogs.

As students move into high school, they may want to use the blog to “brand” themselves or as a place to showcase their work.  Blogs can be a repository for many things: writing, art, music, and/or multimedia presentations.  Online portfolios like this can be helpful when applying to colleges or universities.  Access to a student’s blog allows admissions representatives to get a much more comprehensive view of the student. Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 14.17.00 After a student leaves ISB, he/she can migrate their work from the WordPress blog to a new platform to ensure ongoing access.

Blogs aren’t just for students. In addition to the ways that teachers can use blogs in the classroom, there are many other personal and professional ways to utilize blogging. Just as students can use a blog to showcase their work when applying to university, teachers can also use blogs when recruiting.  By uploading sample assignments, classroom videos and other artifacts, teachers are able to provide potential employers with a realistic view of their teaching style and expertise.  Blogging is also an easy way to connect with like-minded individuals or learn more about the latest innovations in your field. Finally, a personal blog is a super way for expats to document their adventures and share these experiences with far flung friends and family.
Some tips for blogging include:

  • Blog as yourself or take on a consistent character
  • Blog responsibly, this a live publication
  • Blog regularly
  • Share your blog on social media
  • Use correct grammar in your creative writing
  • Know your audience

References to popular student and teacher blogs:

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