education reform / fifth grade / language arts / teacher resources / writing

How Blogs Make Kids Better Writers

educational blogs

Edublogs--one of many classroom-minded blog services

If kids are inspired to write, they get better at writing. The trick is to make writing fun.

Blogs do that. The students get to interact with their favorite toy–a computer–and go online for legitimate purposes. They get to see their thoughts in print–what could be more appealing? Blogs and online forums are a teachers dream.

The problem is how teachers use this 21st Century tool. Like every good skill, blogging requires a few simple rules. These are similar to Other Writing, but not usually the most important techniques you’d teach. In blogging, they are near the top of what is required to be an effective blogger:

  1. Be concise in a blog. Readers don’t go to blogs to read a novel. They want something that will help them in, say, a minute (that seems to be the average time people spend on a post)
  2. Be pithy. Readers don’t want to waste even that sixty seconds. They may get tricked the first time by a snazzy title, but not again. So, students must put their thoughts together in a cogent and concise arrangement.
  3. Be knowledgeable. There are so many bloggers out there, students must come across as intelligent on their topic and smart enough to discuss it in that one minute the reader gives them. How do they do that?
    1. Watch grammar and spelling.
    2. Pick a topic they know about. If it’s an opinion, pick something they have ideas about.
    3. Don’t tear down the other guy’s opinion as a way to promote their own. This sort of mean-spiritedness turns people off.

For more great reasons why blogs are good for kids, visit Educational Blogging Wiki.

–reprinted with permission © Ask a Tech Teacher

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5 thoughts on “How Blogs Make Kids Better Writers

  1. Pingback: 2010 Nostalgia and the Wonderful World of Technology in Teaching | Education Link Roundup | A More Perfect Blog

  2. This is a great post. What better way to begin the online writing process for students in our classrooms today than with a blog. There are so many great ideas that can be discussed and used with them as experts on the subject. I can’t wait to implement classroom blogging in my practice and share this post with my colleagues. Thanks for the insights!

    • The exciting part about blogging–and Twitter and wikis–is students find writing fun. They want to do it. Students who have challenges with handwriting don’t face that impediment when keyboarding in the safety of their own home. Students who don’t get called on in class or who are afraid to speak in public have a neutral, non-threatening forum with blogging.

      You said it perfectly, Neil–they are experts in so many topics. This is how we all learn from each other. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • I’m @askatechteacher. I’ll have to fix that on my blog–thanks. Glad you like the post. As I chat with colleagues, I continue to be surprised that they see Twitter as socializing only, no thought to the skill required to hone a communication to 140 characters. It’s difficult! Pithy and cogent helps a lot and those are learned skills.

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