When we assign our students to write things we usually think of traditional papers, but technology has provided us with opportunities for new media and new audiences. Students can learn not only how to write better but also lessons about creating a public voice, writing succinctly, working collaboratively, and using technology well. Some ideas for using blog entries as class assignments:
1. Students post reactions to each week’s assigned reading — like an online reflection paper. 2. Students post journal entries — especially if on a school-related service project or trip. 3. Students find and comment on course-related news. 4. Students post their own creative writing — short works like stories and poems. 5. The class, or groups within the class, collectively create a course portfolio or resource about a subject they have researched. 6. Professor and students share information about meetings, interest groups, or careers related to the course topic. 7. Professors post a prompt to which students respond. 8. Students do a web quest for information on an assigned topic and then analyze what they have found for accuracy, underlying assumptions, documentation, or other indicators of reliability.
That’s only a few possibilities. Sound fun? Start here for ideas about how to use class blogs wisely.