Blogging is an excellent way to allow pupils to share their writing with a real audience outside the walls of the classroom environment.
Before pupils begin using their blog, they need to be instructed on how to write a blog entry and how to write a comment. First the teacher models how to write a blog entry/comment. Next the teacher and pupils write a blog post/comment together (shared writing). Finally pupils (individually or in pairs) write their own blog post/comment (independent writing). Once pupils are familiar with the format of a blog post and comments, their blog can be used in a variety of different subjects.
Quadblogging/Partner blogging: This involves four schools (quadblogging) or two schools (partner blogging). Each week there is a focus school, this school/class posts to their blog and the other school(s) read this schools blog and comments. Each week the focus school changes. It is important that all posts and comments are approved (especially with younger pupils). 100 Word Challenge: Pupils are given a sentence starter (e.g. Suddenly the door open and …) and need to write 100 based on the sentence starter. Assessment: Pupils blog about a topic they have learnt about (e.g. History: Egyptians, Geography: Farming in Ireland etc.) Language: Pupils could use a blog to pratise written pieces in a second language. Homework: Written homework tasks can be posted to the blog.
Home/School: Once a class blog has been set up a link can be sent to parents so they can view and comment on pupils’ blogs. This can motivate pupils as they have a real world audience.
There are lots of blogging apps and sites available to us: http://www.shoutmeloud.com/ Kidblog allows teachers to use their site for free for a 3o day period. Microblogging apps such as Twitter are a useful for younger pupils and pupils with special educational needs as less text is required.