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Making K12 Student Blogging a Reality

Now that your K12 learning environment is in full swing, why not encourage your students to take to the blogosphere with one of these great student-oriented blogging services!

The amount of online educational tools that are available to the K12 are impressive. However, many of these tools and services are geared towards actively engaging schools, their administrators, their staff, and, of course, the learning tools offered by all of those parties.

Although things like teacher pages, discussion forums, newsletters and safe social networks all help foster an environment that is conducive towards increased student engagement, none of these tools really place the students in the position of content creators over content consumers.

What’s one of the easiest ways to turn a student in an online content-creator? Get them blogging.

For those who do not know, a blog (short for ‘web log’) is a site where users can post articles, videos, or images that interest them or their viewers. Blogging is an online activity that has increased in popularity year over year, proof that it is a communication medium that is here to stay.

While the notion of having K12 students create and manage their own blogs poses logical Internet safety concerns, the benefits are notable. We here at SharpSchool wanted to look at some of the key names in Student blog services and compare them.

So, why should teachers encourage students to blog? Well, here are a few reasons why blogging within your classroom is beneficial to your students.

  1. You’re creating a green environment within your classroom. Having your students hand in essays and assignments via their blogs mean that there is no paper being used.
  2. Allows students to view their peers work and give feedback, ask questions or provide links to sources that they may find interesting. Students can even give parent’s access to the blogs of their children’s sites to stay up to date on their children’s progress.
  3. Some blog sites, allow entire schools and districts to be able to view the works of its students, thus making it easy for students to be resourceful among them and collaborate within their communities.

Blogging is a very easy way to integrate the digital world into your curriculum. Many teachers may fear this method of online integration. Why?  Let’s face it, the internet isn’t the safest place in the world. But what if I told you that many companies and developers have been working hard to create various online communities where students would be able to communicate online with fellow classmates to get a feel for social media without the risk of meeting strangers. Within these closed online blog communities, students will be able to have their own blog (of course being 100% managed by the teacher) and customize their online work space. This gives the students a feel of independence, and a safe place where they are able to express thoughts, feelings, and questions in their own creative way (i.e. written, video, image, etc.).

K-12 Developers like us here at SharpSchool are all about facilitating an increase in student blogging, and have built entire student-friendly blog systems to make it a reality. Managing multiple student accounts you may have, erasing any content from any student at any time,  accessing and managing your students’ blogs from mobile devices and remote locations – these are the kinds of functionality that can make student blogging a great way to build student web confidence while doing so in a safe, legally-compliant environment.

If you’re interested in getting your class, school or district engaged with student blogging? Here’s a comparison between 5 leaders in the K12-friendly blogosphere for you to consider:

 

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    SharpSchool was founded in 2001 with the goal of helping schools improve communication and student learning. We have helped over 3,000 schools & districts meet the evolving needs of 21st century learners. The SharpSchool community is full of educators who are passionate about K-12 educational technology. We are not just a software provider. We are your trusted partner in this exciting time of ed-tech revolution.

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