Asking middle school students to write (and share) book recommendations isn’t new. It gives them the opportunity to write about literature they have enjoyed, be inspired to check out books that their peers have loved, and demonstrate their growing reading and writing skills for their teacher.
But move those book recommendations to the students’ own blogs, and suddenly they are learning a whole hard drive’s worth of new skills. As my students created their own blogs and crafted book reviews for their first blog posts, I wandered around the room, amazed at the myriad skills they were learning. Here’s a list, probably incomplete:
- creating online accounts (emails, usernames, passwords)
- confirming online accounts via email
- “edit” = “make changes to”
- adding pages to a website
- writing an “about the author” blurb
- using images and text to personalize a blog/website/post
- finding copyright-free images on Google, pics4learning, etc.
- choosing images that represent (symbolize) ideas in a post
- inserting copyright-free images into a blog/website
- writing an original title for a blog post
- saving a draft before going “live”
- changing blog settings to “approve comments,” giving them control over what appears on their blogs
- changing a blog’s style: fonts, themes, colors, images
- formatting columns in a post
- formatting text around images
- inserting links in a blog post
- adding linked buttons in a blog post
- proofreading and correcting a draft before publishing
- and finally, publishing a post and viewing it “live”
Next class we will talk about how to post appropriate, academic comments on a blog. And wouldn’t it be nice if all online users had the same lesson?
Are your students blogging? What benefits do you see?