The benefits to blogging go beyond writing the posts. There are numerous learning opportunities created by reading and commenting upon blog posts.
This activity allows students to:
- Improve reading skills. To comment upon a blog, it must first be read. Blogs expose students to a wide variety of writing styles, purposes, and points of view. Reading the posts require students to apply comprehension strategies to extend their understanding of the text which improves their literacy skills.
- Develop responsibility. Comments posted on blog entries are public, which means anyone can read them. Students learn the importance of assuming ownership over the comments they post, as they are a direct reflection upon themselves.
- Practice social conventions. Commenting is a new type of social skill. It requires students to phrase their insights, opinions, and feedback thoughtfully. A comment should be constructive, encouraging further improvement. Comments should not be hurtful or defamatory.
- Improve writing skills. A comment is typically only one or two sentences. This brevity creates a unique challenge, as a meaningful statement must be written concisely in only a few words.
- Foster critical thinking. To respond to a blog article, the reader must analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information in a blog to determine if they agree or disagree with the writer, or if they have any new insights to offer. This process fosters critical thinking.
- Actively engage in discussions. Commenting invites a public discussion. When a student posts a comment it becomes an invitation to discuss the ideas presented in the blog with the author and fellow readers.
- Collaborate with others. Blogging is not a solitary experience. It involves an active exchange with others. Through reading and commenting upon entries, students are able to share resources, learn new information, gain feedback, and acquire insight.
- Mentor peers. Commenting offers students the opportunity to offer advice, encouragement, or pose questions to peers. Being a mentor is a great way to boost confidence, strengthen communication skills, and develop a sense of accomplishment.