The 2020 Student Blogging Challenge starts on March 15. If you wish to participate, it’s still not too late to join in.
What is the Student Blogging Challenge?
The Student Blogging Challenge encourages students around the world to create a blog and experience the benefits of publishing online including:
- developing digital writing skills
- becoming aware of the possibilities and responsibilities of digital citizenship
- writing for and developing an authentic audience
- making connections with others around the world.
The project was founded in 2008 by Sue Wyatt and has been held twice a year since then in March and October. Each Challenge runs for eight weeks. A different blogging task is to be completed each week. You can download a copy of the schedule and a checklist of tasks here.
Who can be involved?
The challenge is open to students from K–12 around the world. However, organisers suggest that it is most suited to students from 8–16 years. Students can join in as part of a class group or individually. Participation is free.
There are three ways to participate:
As a teacher, you can register your class.
Students can register individually.
As an adult, you can register as a commenter on the student blogs if you are involved in some field of education.
Commenters can be:
- classroom teachers
- homeschool teachers
- principals or school leaders
- administrators working in education
- trainee teachers
- retired teachers
- educational coaches or trainers
- university staff working education
- regular bloggers about educational matters
- children’s authors who have their own website
- students who have taken part in at least two sets of previous challenges or invited by organizers
I joined in as a commenter in both challenges in 2019 and thoroughly enjoyed doing so. I have two beautiful certificates to show for it.
I am looking forward to participating again this year.
I believe the experience benefits the students enormously (as stated by the organisers and listed above) and I especially appreciate the way the challenge provides them with real purposes for writing to an authentic audience. If you would like to join in too, as either teacher or commenter, you can find details and register on the Student Blogging Challenge website.
Participation is easy
Disappointingly, I wasn’t aware of the Challenge when I was in the classroom, so can’t speak from that experience. However, as a commenter participation was easy.
Each week I was assigned a small number (5) of blogs to read and comment on. They were different students each week. It took less than an hour and I could read and comment on others if I wished. I was also able to revisit blogs read in previous weeks to continue the conversation if students had replied. I enjoyed having the contact with students and was interested to see how different students communicated online.
The Challenge is very professionally organised, and all procedures are clearly explained and easy to follow. The organisers are very supportive with tips and suggestions for how to comment and respond promptly to any concerns. While not all students complete every task, there are always others to read or follow up.
With digital citizenship rated highly in education, The Student Blogging Challenge has a lot to offer in providing opportunities for authentic learning in a safe digital environment.
If you are a participant in the challenge, I’d love to know about your experience.
To register or find out more about the Student Blogging Challenge, visit the website.
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