Blogging has become a growing trend in schools, even in elementary schools. Today’s students — and, increasingly, teachers — are tech-savvy, and they want an interactive and engaging classroom experience (Wong, 2014). Many elementary school teachers are finding that blogging is an effective way for students to use technology to communicate with their classmates and their teachers. Blogging addresses the first component of ISTE Standard 2: Identify digital tools that can be used to help students interact, collaborate, and publish.
Blogging is essentially just online journaling and is a simple way for students to communicate new information, news, ideas, comments or opinions to their teacher and their classmates. Teachers will need to give their students some basic structure and directions for their blog assignments of course, but letting students show their creativity in their blogs is also important.
Blogging is also an effective way to help students improve their writing. Blogs, because of their ease of use, and because of the context of news and editorial column writing, have become a highly effective way to help students to become better writers. Research has long shown that students write more, write in greater detail, and take greater care with spelling, grammar, and punctuation, when they are writing to an authentic audience over the Internet (Jackson, 2012).
There are many web-based blogging programs available for teachers to use, but two programs in particular seem well-suited for elementary school students. The Blogmeister program is free, easy to use and gives the teacher control of publishing the student entries. Another easy alternative is KidzBlog, an affordable, secure, and simple solution for the elementary teacher wanting to blog on just one classroom computer (Jackson, 2012).
The ongoing issue with incorporating digital technology like blogging in an elementary school physical education class, however, is where and when will the students have access to computers with the limited time available in a physical education class? One way a physical education teacher could get around this issue is to work with the students’ classroom teacher to incorporate a physical education post with a regular classroom blogging assignment. For example, the physical education teacher can have the students write about their favorite physical education class game or activity. Or their favorite sport or exercise. A blog post like this would allow the students to use technology to communicate with their physical education teacher and their physical education classmates.
Jackson, L (2012), Blogging? It’s Elementary Dear Watson! Educationworld.com. Retrieved from http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech/tech217.shtml.