The latest edition of Learning and Leading with Technology (March/April 2009, Vol 36 No. 6) includes an article about blogging by Rachel Peters, a nationally board certified teacher. The article, "Hooked on Classroom Blogging", explains how she used a blog to communicate with her American students as she took an Earthwatch-invited trip to Vietnam to study butterflies.
Her experience offers some helpful tips to those who are new to blogging. In addition to pointing out the importance of using "quizzes and rewards" as a way to gain student interest in reading her blog, she also provides a list of ten reasons why educators should blog. Her list includes the following:
1. It's free. There's no charge for most accounts, and most don't even have advertising.
2. It's a quick and simple way to share ideas, photos, and thoughts.
3. You don't need paperwork because you're not using the district's server.
4. Students can access it anywhere they can log on to the Internet.
5. You can use it in place of your weekly newsletter.
6. If kids are going there, they're reading. Reading is good!
7. If kids are posting, they're thinking and writing. This is good, too!
8. You can use it as your class Web page, adding links to sites your students will access during the school year.
9. Older posts are archived and easy to access.
10. You can use it to build community. Your students can get to know you outside of the classroom.
What about you? How do you use blogging as an educational tool?