Saturday, 24 June 2017
Getting kids hyped about blogging: an update
A few weeks ago we looked at our blog stats and our global audiences. Since then, my learners have become more interested in sharing their learning on their blogs. I really wanted to capture and keep their enthusiasm, so I have made a display for the room.
My kids were really excited to see their blog views as well as the countries. I decided to encourage this attitude, as well as a little competition. I started off with just the '1000 club' - for students who have 1000 blog views or more. Since some of my students have only just got blogs, I decided to also include a '500 club'. I want my learners to feel proud of their blog views and celebrate their global audience.
I also wanted to encourage my learners to regularly post high quality blog posts. I decided to run a weekly competition, using a tally system. Every time a student posts a high quality blog post, they get one point. The top blogger of the week gets a prize. I have enlisted the help of 3 students to check the blog posts and record the points. My helpers check that the blog post clearly explains their learning, how they went and what they can do to improve. My helpers also check that the blog posts make sense. It has also been helpful to have helpers, as it can be hard to check every blog post before it is posted.
Even though I have just started using this blog display, my learners are already so keen to get sharing their learning. In fact, after explaining how the top bloggers competition works, something crazy happened. The bell went for morning tea, and no one moved. Every student stayed and completed their blog posts. And it kept happening throughout the week. Personally, I think a little extrinsic motivation can work wonders. When students write a blog post they are summarising, evaluating and reflecting on their learning. Even if they are motivated by the idea of a prize, they are still summarising, evaluating and reflecting on their learning, which I think is awesome.
I am hoping that my students enthusiasm towards blogging will continue. It is important that I continue to stress the importance of quality blog posts, where students summarise, evaluate and reflect. I would like my learners to write more detail in their blog posts that is more than "I need to try harder". I would like my learners to be more specific as this will help them to understand their next steps in learning.