So we’re well into the start of a new school year and my Transition Year (ages 15/16) students are up and running with their blogs.
Every year I set my TYs a task – to write a blog on the geography of something that interests them. It can be anything; the geography of cosmetics (complete with guest post!), music, religion, fashion, cars and dance are common. There are also some nice creative blogs, such as this one on the travels of a pigeon. The projects tick the box of studying geography, using technology, being creative and reflecting on where students’ interests and strengths lie.
I use Blogger as a platform (the student who wrote the fashion blog linked above already had been using Tumblr). Each student sets up their own Google Account (most already have one) and then they set up their own Blogger account. Blogger is really simple to learn and yet has great functionality. For students, I particularly like the ease with which the can customise their design without having to upload themes.
The fact that they can add Ad Sense is a bonus. As blogs have developed into business websites, blogger is a great introduction to setting up your own website and who knows, perhaps one or two will be inspired to begin their own online business through blogging. Certainly, in a world where employment is scarce, creating one’s own work has to be a obvious opportunity for students today. So the student who today researches and writes a blog on bikes, might open her own online bike-parts supply company. Or the student who blogs on fashion around the world could one day be a fusion fashion designer to the stars.
All journeys, including the technological and business, begin with small steps. Learning blogs in school is one of those steps.