This past week in my grade 9 “Online Presence” course, I shared this professional blog with my students to give them an idea of what a blog can look like outside of the classroom. After guiding them through the different pages of my blog, we had a discussion as to what the purpose of my blog was (to share my teaching with other), my audience (teachers), and the style of my blog (academic). From here, I invited my students to look at my blog on their own to see if they could either find ideas for their blog or provide suggestions for me on how to improve my work – unfortunately, I did not receive any suggestions… yet.
After they were done perusing my work, I asked them to write a reflection blog on their work to date. I posed the following three questions to them:
- What are you proud of?
- What are your strengthens as a blogger?
- What would you do differently?
Once the posts started coming in, the responses I received were encouraging. Here are a few quotes from their work:
- “I started off thinking of it as a boring and worthless idea, but as I started posting more blogs, I had a significant change in perspective, and looked at blogging as a chance and opportunity to express my personal thoughts and opinions to share with others.” – Grade 9 student.
- “Getting feedback from fellow students. and being able to customize my own blog to suits me better.” – Grade 9 student.
- “What i really like about my blog is the theme design. i chose it to matches my personality. Another thing i like about this blog is that i can see a lot of my friends post and other peoples interest. And maybe i’m not that close to a classmate but as they post things on their blogs i can learn a lot more abut them especially what they like or enjoy.” – Grade 9 student.
- “I hope that I can get some advice. It can be on my writing, blog design, etc it would be very helpful” – Grade 9 student.
Overall, many of the students wrote about how they like that the blog can be personalized and customized, while also commenting on how they need to improve the quality by working on their grammar. Hopefully, this new avenue of journaling will continue my students to improve upon the quality of work. I am sure that because their writing is more “public” and that they are able to receive feedback from their peers is helping encourage them along the way!