Blogging has become a useful way for pupils to develop a web-presence, generate a social reaction and encourage participation in activities they may otherwise shy away from.
There’s no getting away from the fact that schools are assessed on outcomes. Children go to school to learn stuff and the only way to find out if this has happened is to test it, whether this is by asking a question or sitting an exam. There are many reasons beyond tests and levels as to why schools are important but unless you prove the children are learning something, it turns out the people at the top don’t like it that much.
The world of education research can sometimes be a bit hit or miss, but there is evidence that blogging can significantly improve pupil attainment.
The experience of David Mitchell and his colleagues is that pupils took it upon themselves to write blog posts, children who had little interest in writing and were perceived as low achievers have proven themselves to be creative and enthusiastic. Pupils responded to the collaborative nature of this platform and the social interaction that it supports.
‘SATs levels in writing shot from 9% Level 5 in July 2009 [before starting blog] to 60% Level 5 in July 2010 [after starting blog]’. Which is 6.6 points progress in a year. (David Mitchell)
In addition to the impact has on pupil achievement, blogging can also be a useful tool for assessment. Blog posts allow for a chronological and easily searchable record of pupils’ work, and the use of comments on blog posts is a great opportunity for both peer assessment and reflective assessment as pupils can look back and reference how they have improved and met targets set.
Blogging allows pupils to access school from home. This doesn’t mean that staff need to spend all their downtime waiting to approve pupil blog posts, but it does open a new channel of communication between school and home. As well as pupils accessing their work from home, it also enables parents and carers to engage with what is happening at school.