How Blogs and Wikis Make Students Better Writers

Tech blogs

Tech blogs

Wikis, blogs, social networks and a whole lot more Web 2.0 tools are the most exciting thing to happen to education since public schools.Kids love them. They’re drawn in, want to get involved, thirst to share their thoughts. Here’s the interesting part to us teachers:  If students want anyone to read what they write, they have to do it correctly–and they’re willing to make this effort for a blog.

That’s right. There are rules to follow. You’d think people would tire of posting to oblivion. No readers. No comments. They’d give up and try something new. But they don’t. They buckle down and try to follow the unique rules inherent in blogs and wikis that, if followed, will draw readers. The effort is worth the reward, which seems to be the joy of gaining a following (it sure isn’t the money).

Check out One Cool Site by Timethief. She has post after post of suggestions for increasing the popularing of your blog. It covers mundane, ancient topics like grammar, pithiness of content, exciting headlines. Then scoot over to Problogger for more on the right way to write blogs (different ideas, same message).

As a teacher, I originally thought blogs (and social networks for that matter) were way too modern for rules. Look at texting. It’s developed an entire neologistic vocabulary, complete with spelling and new letters (i.e., emoticons). Boy was I wrong. My blog didn’t get read until I checked it for:

  • pithy content
  • correct spelling and grammar
  • appeal to my readers (a great lesson for students–make sure your voice fits your audience)
  • interaction with readers via  questions in the blog and answering comments when there were any
  • the three paragraph structure (just like students learn in school): first to attract search engines with a scintillating synopsis, second to appeal to my audience, third to tie everything down to a conclusion (and maybe leave them wanting more)
  • mistakes, redundancies, flow by proof reading. I had to verify point of view, confirm facts–just like when students write an essay or story

So get over it parents. These Web 2.0 tools are not going away, which is a good thing. They’re student-centered and pithy. They sneak in volumes of lessons on good writing, and are full of the five-second info kids love.


Categories: blogs, critical thinking, fifth grade, fourth grade, free tech resources, homeschool, internet, middle school technology, teacher resources, writing | Tags: , , , , , | 17 Comments

Post navigation

17 thoughts on “How Blogs and Wikis Make Students Better Writers

  1. Pingback: 10 Ways Twitter Makes You a Better Writer « Ask a Tech Teacher

  2. Very usefull!
    thank you very much.

  3. mscott277

    Everything you said is so true. This is such a fun way for kids to write and read.

  4. Hi there, I’ve been lurking around your weblog for about a month now. So I just decided to stop lurking and say hello 🙂

  5. Pingback: How Blogs and Wikis Make Students Better Writers « Ask a Tech Teacher « Social Computing Technology

  6. Pingback: Weekend Website #15: A Class Wiki « Ask a Tech Teacher

  7. Pingback: Weekend Website #23: Fourth Grade Class Wiki « Ask a Tech Teacher

  8. Pingback: #112: 10 Ways Twitter Makes You a Better Writer « Ask a Tech Teacher

  9. Pingback: One teacher’s thoughts on blogging… | GAPS Teacher Blog

  10. Sandra Costa

    Hi there, can you recommend where to create blogs for elementary students? Individual blogs! I thought of Edublogs or Kidblog but would like to know your opinion and any other suggestions.
    Sandra Costa

    • Hi Sandra. The one I hear most often from colleagues is Kidblog. Next is Edublogs and Classblogmeister. People seem to be happy with those.

  11. Everything you said is so true. This is such a fun way for kids to write and read.

What do you think? Leave a comment and I'll reply.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Website Powered by

%d bloggers like this: