I have just barely begun my adventure in student blogging. My students have created their blogs, customized them, joined the class, and created their first post.
For the first post I assigned a simple set of questions called “Where I Stand,” questions that ask students to examine their own likes/dislikes, beliefs, and positions.
I wanted to choose a relatively simple format for the first post because my main goal here is just to make sure that each student actually figures out how to make the post.
I read through several student blogs last night, and I found that my questions became clearer. Here’s a list that I have begun:
How much should I assign topics and how much should I allow them to choose? I’ve always been a proponent of student choice in writing, but I also know that when they are learning a new tool, the actual writing may have to take a back seat until students have a grasp of how to navigate the technology.
How will I develop this gradual release from teacher assigned topics to more freedom?
What are the best themes/colors to choose on a blog? I have already found that certain themes are difficult to read or appear less professional than I would like.
How can I teach my students to create a professional image on their blogs? Many students know how to use the internet for social and entertainment purposes, but I want them to think about crafting a more adult tone on their blogs.
What should I do about commenting? What is important to teach about commenting? Should I assign particular classmates to each student? Should I let them choose a certain number of classmates?
How can I teach and model internet civility for my students? This is my biggest question, I think, probably because this is one of the most significant issues facing internet communication in our society.
If any of you have ventured into the world of student blogging, I would love to hear your perspective on any of these questions! Or, what are your questions about student blogging?