The Student Blogging Challenge is a project that 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.
Founded in 2008 by Sue Wyatt, who I had the pleasure of meeting up with in Hobart a few years ago, the challenge has been held twice a year since then in March and October. The next Challenge, hosted by Kathleen Morris and Sue Waters, begins on 6 October and runs for eight weeks. A different blogging task is to be completed each week. Students can join in as part of a class group or individually. Participation is free.
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.
There are three ways to participate:
As an adult, you can register as a commenter on the student blogs.
I joined in as a commenter for the first time in the March Challenge this year and have this lovely certificate to prove it.
I enjoyed the experience and believe in the benefits (as stated by the organisers and listed above) for students so much, especially the need for real purposes for writing and having an authentic audience, that I have registered as a commenter again for the October Challenge. If you would like to join in too, you can find out 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 and go back to the blogs read in previous weeks to continue the conversation if students had replied. I enjoyed having contact with students and was interested to see how different students communicated online.
The Challenge was very professionally organised with everything explained clearly and easy to follow. From my point of view anyway, it all ran smoothly. The organisers were supportive with tips and suggestions for how to comment and were responsive to any concerns. While not all students completed every task, there were always others to read or follow up.
With digital citizenship one of the trends currently 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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