Teachers are introducing students to blogging as early as elementary school. Some educators who advocate for blogging as a learning tool suggest that it motivates students to want to write. At an early age, students feel less pressure in blogging and it is an outlet for brainstorming ideas before writing a formal paper. In addition, students take their blogging assignments more seriously. They are more apt to use correct grammar and express their ideas in a logical way because they know that other people are going to read and assess their writing style and ideas.
At a later stage in education, blogging presents an outlet to collaborate with others about new ideas. Students are able to both give and receive feedback on their writing and ideas. This presents students with the opportunity to gain the opinions of others and focus their thoughts before engaging in a formal writing assignment. It also gives the writer new knowledge about the aspects of their writing that may be unclear to the reader and ideas that could be explained in a different way.
Blogging is also helpful for students to practice expressing their ideas through writing. We are all accustomed to voicing our opinions in class. Blogging forces us to articulate our ideas in a new way and back up our arguments with solid evidence. Another aspect of blogging is knowing your audience. Audience awareness is an important aspect of writing and blogs allow students to experiment and learn about the appropriate writing style for different audiences.
The lack of confidentiality in blogging may cause students to hold back their opinions. Students may fear criticism from classmates or other outside people. It may also cause tension instead of collaboration if students begin competing for blog posts. Some educators have also stayed away from blogging in a classroom setting because they feel students are less likely to use proper grammar and punctuation and this may cause poor writing habits. Although these concerns about blogging in education may be true for some students, I believe the positive aspects of blogging far outweigh the negatives. Blogging is new to education and as it matures, I believe we will see it more and more from educators and students.