Earlier this year I introduced some students to blogging. They set up their blogs, wrote their first posts and started down the path of maintaining their blogs. A few weeks later when I asked how things were going, one student commented that she was still enjoying the process but felt that it was like ‘writing in a vacuum’ in that she was writing regular blog posts but not receiving many comments on them and not really having a sense of how many people were reading these posts. For teachers involved in blogging projects with students this is a common problem and can very often result in students losing interest in maintaining their blog, which is a real shame given the enormous benefits of blogging.
[image source: http://quadblogging.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/quadblogging.png]
One solution to this problem is QuadBlogging, a concept developed by David Mitchell who is Deputy Head Teacher at Heathfield Primary School in Bolton (David recently took part in the CESImeet for this year’s CESI Conference ( #cesi12) via Skype). The following is a description of QuadBlogging from the QuadBlogging website (accessed March 2012).
Imagine four schools that had a partnership/agreement that would mean that for a four week cycle, each school’s blog would be the focus for one week out of four. Each school in the Quad would spend some time visiting the blog of the school for that week, leave comments etc. After that week, another one of the four schools would be the focus and this would be repeated for the four week cycle and then repeated. It wouldn’t take the pupils long to work out that during their week, they would get a boost in visitor numbers and comments. This would give a real focus to have posts online ready for this bulge in visits. During the other three weeks, pupils get to visit and comment on other blogs in their quad. Pupils being pupils, they would also venture out of the quads and visit other blogs that are linked.
You can also view a YouTube clip in which David explains the concept at this link below..
QuadBlogging has proven to be hugely successful since its introduction. On the homepage of the QuadBlogging website you can find the details of the Quads currently in opperation for 2012; at the time of writing this post there are 134 quads listed which consist of schools from all over the world (including a few from Ireland). If you are involved in (or thinking of starting) a blogging project with students, QuadBlogging is really worth considering. You can find out more on the QuadBlogging website at http://quadblogging.net/, by following David on Twitter at @DeputyMitchell or by using the #quadblogging hashtag.