Journaling for an Audience
What is journaling? Journaling is like writing in a diary. You can write about any topic, and it is often your thoughts, experiences, and opinions. In a journal your writing has usually not gone through the entire “Writing Process”. What is the “Writing Process”? That is when you research, brainstorm ideas, write an introduction, body and conclusion, you edit and revise, you have peer editing, then you have somebody with better writing skills proofread your work. Finally, you rewrite, perhaps several drafts and publish.
Like a journal, blogging doesn’t go through this process. When you blog, you are usually publishing your first draft of your writing. The whole idea is to get your ideas and thoughts out in the world.
Students are still learning the conventions of writing. Because students are not going through the writing process, their blogs may not look as polished as we are used to seeing hanging on the walls of classrooms. We may notice unfixed grammar and punctuation errors. We will probably see a lot of capitalization issues, and even spelling problems since spell check won’t catch everything (and you have to actually use it for it to work!).
I want my students to present to the world who they are at this moment in time. That isn’t an excuse for bad spelling, grammar, punctuation and writing in general, but we are always working to better ourselves. I feel it is important for kids to not be afraid to post. There should be no fear that they are being judged; that way their creativity can flourish. Everybody comes to the table with a different set of skills and backgrounds. This blogging experience is only going to grow those skills.
Students in this class are encouraged to post as often as they like, but posting at least once a week is required. I am going to read all the posts, but only after they go on their blogs. I encourage the students to spellcheck frequently and have a peer edit their writing. My job on this project is not to judge their writing, but to teach them how to be global digital citizens. I suspect as they see their writing out in the real world and on the internet, their conventions will improve.
Read Your Own Blogs!
Student’s, you need to realize that you have an audience. You need to proofread your work! You can edit a blog after it has been published, and I encourage you to edit them as often as you notice mistakes! Read your blog over and think about the people who will be reading it. What will they think when they read it? What can you improve about your writing? If somebody comments to you that they saw a mistake, take it as a challenge to improve rather than a criticism.
Justification for Blogging