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How do blogs affect individuals?

Posted by: | June 2, 2011 | No Comment |

I have been asked to write a short think piece for the Educational Blog awards by Chris Ratcliffe and John McClear. They want me to focus on the impact of school blogs on individuals.

I teach at Ferry Lane Primary School in Tottenham, London. It is a great little school with fantastic children in an area of very high deprivation. Our children tend to have very little exposure to the rest of London, let alone the rest of the country, so blogging has been an effective way to give them a window on the world.

The impact of school blogging on a population of children is clear. Engagement rises as a result, peer-marking means the quality of writing and thinking improves, and boys want to write more. Underneath the data that supports these statements of course, lie the individuals whose learning is affected. Here I will mention two individuals for whom blogging has had a significant impact in recent months.

Jozef and Sharon have very different needs. They are both 10 years old and in my Year 5 class. Jozef arrived from Slovakia to Tottenham last year. His family are all learning English. Sharon has no problem with her English. In fact, she is probably the most talented writer I have ever taught. So how has blogging made a difference to them?

We will start with Sharon. It is rare to find a child with such a flair for language. She is Eritrean and her first language is Italian. She GETS writing. Sharon is able to play with a reader’s emotions and expectations, to make one laugh, and to make one think. You can read her blogposts here. Here is an extract from a piece she wrote at home, independently, on the blog:

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