If you’re a teacher who is planning to use blogs with your students, there are two general approaches you can take: a single class blog or individual student blogs. The information below should help you to start thinking about this decision. We recommend you also speak with your ITRT to help you determine which approach will be best for your needs.

Classroom Blog

A classroom blog will have a single address and all students will either have user accounts on that single blog or will interact and publish to that single blog in some way.

You may choose to go this route if:

  • you want to showcase the work of students in a single location, particularly for other students and/or the larger community to be able to see and appreciate;
  • you and/or your students are new to blogging, you want to teach specific concepts related to online writing, and you prefer to do so in smaller, manageable steps;
  • you plan to connect with other blogs or other classrooms and would prefer to have a single location for making those connections happen through online writing.

Some of the benefits of this approach include:

  • collecting all content in one place, making that content easy to find, appreciate, and/or react to;
  • building a sense of community, with all students contributing to a single work or collection of works;
  • reserving more control for the teacher, who can determine the amount of control and access each student has on the blog (for example, determining the look and organizing of the site as well as whether or not students can post without review);
  • allowing for cooperative work to occur through the blog more easily than with individual blogs.

Individual Blogs

With individual blogs, each student will have a separate URL and will generally have greater control over the content and its presentation.

You may choose to go this route if:

  • you want to encourage students to have a sense of ownership on a site where they will develop their ideas and voice over time;
  • you intend for students to publish fairly often and consistently throughout the course;
  • you intend for students to explore a topic or develop specific skills over a significant period of time;
  • you want students to develop a personal portfolio of their work.

Some of the benefits of this approach include:

  • proving an opportunity for students to develop a genuine sense of ownership, control, and greater investment;
  • creating a history of student work that can demonstrate growth and allow for metacognitive reflection;
  • allowing students to respond to the work of others through their own platform.

One concern that you may need to address if you choose to use individual blogs is that you will need a way to locate the blog of each student as well as a way to provide that information to other students if you intend for them to read each others’ work.

Contact Your ITRT

No matter which approach you decide to take, your ITRT can help you finalize your decision and start the process of creating the sites and adding students.