For many, blogging is seen as the preserve of tech-savvy teens and twentysomethings, used as a vehicle for exerting opinions and encouraging high-brow debate. Or, as a personal journal, published online and free for anyone in the world to read.
Well, both those definitions are true – but as a teacher you can use blogs in a much more effective way within your school.
Introducing blogging to your students allows them the freedom to express their feelings, interact with their peers – and develop their personality, too. Plus, if they blog in Moodle, it can be done in a controlled environment where you can see what each student is blogging, and their work is not exposed to the outside world.
With setting up and creating blogs possible within Moodle, we’ve listed four ideas that will get your students blogging creatively, constructively and enthusiastically.
Get them writing about something they like
This is the best place to start. Giving your students the freedom to write about something they have a passion for will mean they’ll instantly be enthusiastic about writing a blog post. From the off, they will be engaged with the activity, and it will encourage reflection and expression – and along the way, your students’ written English skills will be improving!
Set a topic for them
Alternatively – or, maybe, as a follow-up task, give your students a specific topic to start blogging about.
Setting a topic, whilst not providing that instant spark of enthusiasm in your students like giving them a topic they know and love, will encourage them to research what they’re writing about. So, they’ll be learning about something new – and sharing it with their peers.
Encourage/set up a blog rating system
Encourage your students’ competitive sides by creating a rating system. As your students blog in Moodle, ask them to read blogs written by their peers – and comment on them, giving a rating for the blog post they’ve just read.
This is a great way to provoke discussion amongst your students, and not only will they be learning from their peers, they’ll be wanting to write better blog posts each time.
Arrange a blog swap
The next step on from your students rating each other’s blog posts would be to organise a blog swap. This is a great way to build relationships with other schools – and develop your students’ communication skills.
For sharing student blogs across schools, you’d need to have access to each other’s Moodles, share a learning platform, or, alternatively, set up your blogs on your school’s website.
Again, this could work in the same way as the blog sharing and rating system amongst your own students, but it takes your students out of their comfort zones, and means, with their blog posts being read by another school, they’ll even more inclined to write the best blog posts possible!
For more information about how to blog in Moodle, watch the video here. If you’d like help with setting up student blogs in Moodle, or would like to talk to us about a new learning platform for your school, get in touch here.