Today Chloe Gardner, (@ChloeMuriel) led the 15 minute forum on how we have been developing the use of the student blog and the impact it has had on student learning and engagement.
Our student blog was set up by Chloe and the Student Leadership Team at the end of September. Since then it has grown and grown and has been used by a wide range of students who have been blogging about their learning experiences in a range of subject areas – as well as outside lessons. We have also become involved in the Quadblogging initiative run by David Mitchell (@DeputyMitchell and the BlogDipping project led by Julia Skinner (@theheadsoffice). Two excellent projects that have given our student blog an amazing amount of exposure around the world.
The benefits of student blogging that we have seen here at DHS were:
- It encourages students to take pride in their work.
- It engages students that might otherwise be difficult to reach.
- It encourages independence – students are in control about what they write in the blog, so it also encourages them to reflect on their learning.
- As they have been trusted to write a blog, it gives them a sense of responsibility – a good leadership skill.
- It allows parents into the classroom (in a virtual sense!) – they can see what the students have been learning about in lessons.
- Students love the comments from their peers and other adults. They find the feedback on their work invaluable. Especially when it comes from far away e.g. USA. These comments are so important to the students – a blog without viewers and comments is like a shop without any customers!
- It develops their literacy skills – as they have to think about how they will make their writing fit for purpose.
- Great for peer learning – within the same school, but also different countries. Our Geography department is looking to blog about their work and then produce some resources for a school in Thailand. The Thai students will then complete the work, via the blog, and our students will assess it. Inter-continental peer assessment!
- The Business studies students have been able to post their ideas for businesses etc up on the blog and then get feedback from adults in the industry. A great way of putting their learning into the context of the real world.
To date, our student blog has been a great success, but we want it to continue to grow. So we are keen for more departments within the school to get involved, as well as other schools from around the world – so please get in touch.