Monday, January 18, 2010

Blogging Buddies Prove That There Is More Than One Way To Skin A Potato, (Well, At Least When It Comes To Teaching Students)

After watching the video We Like Our Blogging Buddies: The Write Stuff with Blogging Mentors, i realized that children using blogs in school can benefit in many different ways. I would say the most important part that I have "taken" away from the video is the fact that blogging helps children to improve their writing mechanics and language skills, not just their technology and computer skills.
During my experience as a child, the only way I learned skills about capitalising, using correct punctuation, etc was buy very critical teachers who simply criticized and scolded me when my punctuation was off. I think that having a blogging buddy to read over your students work and provide constructive criticism is not only a valuable educational resource, it also is building some important social skills. These kids are looking up to the mentors for advice, and what could be better for them than hands on writing back and fourth with someone they look up to. I know that I would have fared somewhat better if I had these resources as a child.

The idea of having someone other than me as a teacher doing some of the "correcting" sounds great to me. I think children will actually respond differently to someone who is closer to their own age,and who they somewhat look up to. In addition to this physchological aspect of learning these blog buddy mentors are helping with, the actual act of using computers and blogging is a great way to brush up on those mechanic skills. I believe this appeals to students like myself who are hands on learners, as we can be repetitively told how to do something, and will never get it until we do it our self. Using other hands on/physical activity like buddy blogging, instead of just writing with paper and pencil all the time to practice writing and mechanics will highly benefit students of this "hands on mechanical" nature, not to mention the above mentioned social skills that the student would never of gotten from practicing them by writing them over and over again on a piece of paper.

1 comment:

  1. I agree students need more opportunities like those showcased in this video to write and learn to improve in settings which are not as threatening as a in-school test can be. I wanted to do a writing mentors project like this in 1996 when I first started teaching 4th grade, and received a small mini-grant to get the first Internet connection for a computer at our school to do it. Unfortunately, the project was a little ahead of its time, we really struggled to find a way for students to send their writing for feedback from students at a local middle school in a timely way. Blogging has come a long way and can make lots of things possible for our students now.