Blogging Club lasted for six weeks and was run by Rebecca, a student at Newcastle University. The aim was to have an introduction to blogging, brush up on writing skills, and try out filming with video cameras. Blogging is a great way to practise for those English essays and English writing exams, but you don’t even realise it because you’re writing because you want to, about something you’re passionate about, not because you have to.
In the first session we made mind maps about everything we found interesting or exciting, including our favourite TV programmes and music, as well as social and political justice issues. With all our ideas laid out in front of us, it was easier to narrow down what we wanted to write about. In session two we learnt how to create a blog on Blogspot and spent time customising the appearance and layout of our pages. Students chose a vast variety of topics to blog about, including music, vloggers we admired, each other, disabilities and transphobia.
As sessions went on, we experimented with rhetorical devices to improve our writing styles, and wrote more posts. Rebecca says that ‘Blogging is great because what you write doesn’t have to be perfect, and is all about getting words down on to the post. It can help with writer’s block, especially when you get more practice.’
In our final week we experimented with filming and photography, using a DSLR camera borrowed from Newcastle University. They learnt some photography techniques, then filmed each other in an interview style. They also did their own ‘Draw my Life’ shots, inspired by the similar YouTube videos created by Vloggers. Our finished video will be posted on the website!
Everyone who took part contributed some fantastic posts and ideas to the group. One particular achievement was a year 9 student, who had set herself a goal of 30 views and ended up getting almost 100! She said what she enjoyed about the experience was ‘the fact that you don’t have to stick to the same structure every week. You can work on what you feel like at the time.’ Here’s what some of her blog looked like:
As part of the Club they also took part in the Anne Frank Trust Generation Diary campaign, submitting our own entries on social justice. A year 12 student’s entry on how to support a friend who is transgender was published on the website! You can read it here: http://generationdiary.org.uk/diary/personal-feelings