I am probably preaching to the choir to many of the people who will be reading this post, but I'm going to preach anyway. If you are thinking about getting Kidblog started in your classroom, now is the perfect time. Here are some reasons:
- Unless your students become obsessed with posting videos, it's free.
- It's a new year, so it's a great time to start new things. If you love it, what a great thing to start in September with a new class. (If you hate it, there's only half a year left...)
- It's almost March, the month that many of us associate with daily slicing. Starting Kidblog now would give you enough time to work out kinks and possibly set up some collaboration with another classroom from a different part of the country. (How cool would that be for students?!?!)
- Blogging gives students organic opportunities to practice their keyboarding. Any student who is proficient on the keyboard will do better on the assessments that most of us will administer in the next few months. (I didn't want to mention high stakes assessments, but they are a reality...)
- Nothing teaches writing better than writing. We slicers know how motivating it is to have responses and comments. And, if we really think about it and analyze our posts, we know the sort of posts that generate a lot of responses. Students can learn this, too. They can learn how to write for an audience, in a way that gets people to pay attention. What an important skill for them to learn!
- You will get to know your students better than you already do. Many students will share emotions, fears, conflicts, and passions that are jam-packed days just don't provide time for us to get to know. One of our teachers shared her students' posts with me and I have all kinds of conversations to have with some of her students. Admittedly, these students are not mine, and maybe I would have known about some of the skiing adventures or riding obsessions if I saw these children every day. But days are packed in our classrooms, so we might not know as much about our students as we think we do.
- You will laugh. Students are funny, even when they don' be. One student wrote that another should "check her grammer." (I didn't comment that she should "check her spelling." I just had a chuckle that I'm passing along.)
For those of you who are already blogging with students, please share reasons to start. For those of you who are thinking about it, go for it!