This year I am supporting almost 100 students (from 2 schools) who are participating in the Student Blogging Challenge organised by Sue Wyatt @tasteach. This is the fourth challenge that I have been involved in but definitely the largest for me. The challenge involves a series of 10 weekly tasks, posted on the blog which encourage interactivity as well as allowing students to respond in many different ways. The students are supported by their teachers as well as a volunteer mentor who visits their blog at least twice to encourage their efforts. We are in the preparation stages and although all have been in classes with class blogs, I have students who represent the full gamut of experience with personal blogging:
- those who have never blogged before
- those who have had Kidblogs but are now learning a new platform (Global2)
- those who have participated in the Challenge before and are having another go
Setting up new blogs for most students using the MyClass feature was straightforward but time consuming and then registering them all with the challenge followed. I believe that participation in this challenge has the following benefits:
- active participation in a worldwide event and connecting with other learners
- providing an instant audience for their writing
- practise in adopting cybersafe behaviours
- developing technical blogging skills including dealing with HTML code, adding widgets, pages/posts etc
- exposure to on-line learning opportunities
There is a beautiful element of excitement building amongst the students and comments are already flying between keen bloggers. As is normal in any group of students, there appears to be a few for whom this experience will ignite a fire and those who will just go through the motions. I am proud to see that a student who participated in the challenge in 2012 is still blogging after leaving our school and beginning high school so I believe we have evidence that it is worthwhile.
I wonder what this year will see. Here are the Class Blog Sites with links to all the student blogs.