15 Ways to Use Blogs in Class
Whether you are a blogging veteran or just learning the ropes, here are some great ideas to get you started using blogs in fun and creative ways in your classroom.
All of these examples came from the course "Introducing Blogs", a self-paced learning tutorial found inside of SimpleK12's Teacher Learning Community. To learn more about blogging, you can take this course, or view other tutorials about blogging here.
1.) Tracking Blog
Have your students keep a blog that tracks their progress through a project. This could be a blog in which each entry is the summary of a chapter of a book they are reading, or it could be a blog that tracks their observations of an on-going science experiment or project.
2.) Sports Blog
Students can use a blog to write about their participation in sports. This might include entries about a specific sporting event in which they participated (such as a football game). It could also be a blog that follows their progress as they work toward a specific goal, such as weight training or long-distance running.
3.) Collaborative Blog
Have students write responses to each other's blog posts. This may be a class blog with student responses to an open-ended question. Students can earn credit not only for posting their own thoughts, but also for posting a thoughtful response to a classmate's post.
4.) Create a Word Wall
Create a bulletin board in your classroom on which you can write blog terms and their definitions. Allow students to add to the wall and have them create cartoons illustrating each word.
5.) Study the Evolution of Language
In your language arts class, list the terms associated with blogs and then discuss the advent of new words in a language as technological advances create the need. Break students into groups and ask them to "invent" their own word and describe what it refers to and why they think it should be added to the dictionary.
6.) Play a Matching Game
Write out all the words associated with blogs, each on a separate notecard. Then write all the associated definitions, each on a separate notecard. Mix them all up and then hand out a card to each student. Then allow them to all stand up and find the person whose term or definition is their term or definition's mate.
7.) Collaborate on a Classroom Rule List
Together with your students, create a list of rules and guidelines for accessing the Internet and using blogs. Make sure to include rules about personal information, copying with permission, and following the school’s Acceptable Use Policy.
8.) Research Your School’s Acceptable Use Policy
Spend some time researching your school and school district’s Acceptable Use Policies. If there are two separate policies, compare the policies, and share the information with your students and their parents. Be sure to note any information specific to blogs and Internet use.
9.) Create a Copyright Blog With References
Create a blog that discusses copyright laws that can be used by your students. If possible, quote specific laws and lawmakers, and then give credit to those authors. If your students are old enough, consider a group project in which they help you create the blog.
10.) Have a Blog Host Hunt
Create a Blog Host Hunt by having students research a number of different blog hosts. Give them a list of features and have them compare the sites and what features they offer. You could also separate students into groups and have each group search for blog host sites that cater to specific users or groups, then compare features that may be specific to the blog site audience.
11.) Design a Classroom Blog
Go to one of the educational blog hosting sites and sign up for an account. Along with your students, select a template and design your own classroom blog site. Password-protect the site and ask the students and their parents to give you feedback on the site design.
12.) Use Features to Contact Students Around the World
Design a classroom blog with your students and create tags for your blog. Contact other teachers and students through some of the education-centered blog sites. Do a search using the tags you created for your own blog, then add a guest map and encourage other students from around the world to visit your blog.
13.) Blog a Debate
Create a classroom blog about an issue that can be debated among your students. Post a few questions, comments, or viewpoints about the issue, and encourage your students to take a position and post their arguments using the comment feature.
14.) Set Up an Online Book Club
Set up an online book club of a book that your class is reading. Invite students, parents, and teachers to participate. Each week, post several questions about the book for discussion. Act as the moderator and request that each student post at least one comment throughout the duration of the discussion.
15.) Invite a Special Guest to a Classroom Blog
Set up a blog in a specific subject that your class is learning. Research and invite a guest expert on the subject to participate in a discussion with your students and to answer their questions on your blog. Give a set amount of time that the blogging should take place, such as over a two-week period or a semester.