Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How to convince students to share their ideas on a blog

Seated Woman with Blog, after Picasso by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Is a blog a good or a bad thing for sharing ideas with your classmates? Lets deal with the good stuff first. Blogs are a great way to share information - websites, photos, videos, the latest gossip, and of course your ideas, and what you are learning in class. Here are some examples of blogs to get you thinking.

It can be interesting to find out more about the people sitting opposite you in class - what they are interested in and what they believe in. So it is a good way to get to know each other better. You will probably be pleasantly surprised to read about others' hidden talents. It is a good way to see things from different angles and reading what others have written helps you to do this. And to state the obvious, blogging really can help your writing, and your learning especially when your classmates give you helpful hints.

Posting on a blog can also help you to express the ideas you might be too shy to say out loud. It is good practice for learning to express your ideas too. It is really cool when someone reads what you have written and leaves you a comment. Just knowing others are interested in your thoughts is a real confidence booster.And of course, it is a great way for your teachers to give you feedback about your work, and to challenge you to think.

Sure it can be scary when you start to think that others will read what you have written, but it can also be addictive seeing how many people are reading your posts, and who is leaving comments.  The more you do it the easier it is and the better you get at doing it.

The main thing to remember is to be respectful to each other when leaving comments, and it is a great way to show that you are interested in their work. By posting to a blog and sharing what you are learning, you are hopefully going to have fun and do some learning at the same time. So you can learn from each other if you share your work with the class as well as the teachers, and if your blog is open on the web you might even get some interesting people looking at your work.

It is also possible to set up a mobile blog where you can send texts, images and video directly to your blog....but that is another story, and one for you to explore. When you get really good at blogging you might even be able to attract advertising and make some money - lots of people do....but that is something for after class.

So what are you waiting for - lets get started.

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