How I Use It
If I were to implement this in my classroom, I would encourage students to write weekly blogs showcasing writing development. Each week, I would give different prompts, eliciting a variety of responses and inducing creative thought processes. While some prompts would be creative (short stories, poetry, etc.), others would involve discussions about the lessons of that particular week, as well as tailoring some prompts to more specialized student interests. To promote collaboration, I would have students form small groups and comment on their group members' posts. Here, they could ask meaningful questions, elaborate on academic discussions, and respectful challenge their peers.
Since I strive to teach English, I would also have students create blog posts on the literature that we read, creating potential theses and outlines for future papers. If students document thoughts, feelings, and lit. devices /while/ they read instead of frantically trying to find common themes after the conclusion of the novel, they will be able to complete writing assignments more confidently and efficiently.
In addition to using blogging to promote the development of writing skills, I would also argue that students should be able to have some input about class structure and material. I would encourage them to write suggestions, respectful critiques, and comments about my class.
I think that this resource is an optimal teaching tool for encouraging the writing development of young students. While formal papers and assignments may intimidate students and stunt their confidence and creativity, this blog format is a low-pressure landscape for students to showcase their skills, express themselves, and communicate with their peers. I also think that the variety the blogs offer—different colors, structures, and multimedia (the inclusion of images, external links, etc.)—enriches student creativity.
I also think that it is promising that Edublogs monitors content to prevent hateful language. Though creative and academic spaces shouldn't be censored to a degree that restricts self expression, students should feel secure in the knowledge that they will be safe on Edublogs. Also, the feature that allows students to be linked to their classmates in an umbrella "class" tab is extremely helpful. This tool is nicely organized, well-planned, and accessible!