My grade 10 introductory chemistry class has been blogging this spring. It’s been a GREAT experience (introduced briefly here), and I’ll probably share more later on the experience.
One part of blogging that I didn’t realize would be so onerous was finding an audience for the student blogs. There are quite a few people in the educational world that highlight the authenticity of blogs, as students write for an audience beyond the walls of the classroom. And while I agree with this, what is difficult is finding that audience. I have struggled to find people that will consistently engage with my students and their writing. There have been a few individuals that have done so, and I’ve tried to thank them through Twitter. But we’re all busy, so finding time to comment is difficult.
I’ve used #comments4kids to publicize the student writing, and that has generated some comments. I’ve RTed student tweets looking for comments. I’ve sent tweets to specific individuals, generating a small uptick in activity, only to be followed by a lull. I’ve had students tweet repeatedly asking for feedback, only to get none (one student in particular comes to mind, as she’s written some great posts worthy of a larger audience). Any time my students have received comments, they’ve been thrilled.
And this brings me to the purpose of this post: To ask for help!
Second, if you have any practical suggestions (beyond what I’ve mentioned above) for increasing the readership of the student blogs, let me know!
Third, if you have some student blogs you’d like others to read, let me know. I’m happy to spend a bit of time giving back to other blogs in an effort to ‘pay it forward’ so to speak.