My 5th graders have been blogging for about 2 weeks now. As much as I understand and read about this generation of digital kids, they still amaze me. I use the Blogmeister software which has been a great and easy way to manage my student blog entries. Today I came into school to find 34 blog articles waiting for review. That is 34 out of my 130 students who blogged on their own time after school. It’s been fun to watch the students writing improve as they get the hang of exactly what should be written on a blog. What to write, how to write, and when to write. In two weeks time they have learned more about writing to a worldly audience then I have.
I had a teacher come in today and tell me that a parent stopped her in the hallway to say how wonderful the blog has been for her son. He comes home every night and writes the happenings about the school day, or another part of the story that he is working on. The parent loves that she can check her sons blog, and keeps track of what’s going on in his head. She’s even responded to her son with questions and encouragement. She said that she use to fight with her son about writing during his free time, now he asks if he can.
All we have done is give a digital kid digital tools. Now that he has tools that he knows how to us, and enjoys using writing has become an enjoyable subject.
The great part for me is, this teacher is now really getting into the blogging world, and looking for ways to incorporate the blogs even more into her classroom. I’ve had some great conversations lately with teachers, librarians, other technology teachers about ways they might use blogs.
What I love about the blogs is the teachable moments it has created. Today thanks to David Warlick’s post on 2 Cents Worth. I started the conversations with the 5th graders about being a journalist to a worldly audience. What does that mean and what their responsibilities are as a journalist. I just wish I was able to see my students more then the allotted 45 minutes every 6 days. Technology needs more attention then 45 minutes, but with the pressure that teachers are under these days, 45 minutes is truly all they can spare until the mindset is changed that technology is learning not just another subject.