Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Get Your Students Blogging with Kidblog!

I first learned about what blogs were about 7 years ago at a district professional development class and I immediately started thinking about all of the ways I could start using a it with my 5th graders. We could have conversations about literature...I could post essential questions...they could reflect on things that went on in our classroom that day. The ideas seemed endless.

We did eventually do a lot of those things (and more) on our classroom blog, but as time went on I began to realize that there was a pretty big piece missing from our blogging experience. Most of the conversations on our blog were initiated by me; I would ask a question and my students would respond. There was really no way for them to post anything on their own. It was really "MY blog that they commented on" and I wanted it to be "OUR blog that we all can post to and comment on." I began to think about how great it would be if each of my students could have his own blog to post his thoughts or his writing or his projects and to have the rest of the class comment. I scoured the web for any blogging websites that could do what I wanted...but found nothing.

Fast forward 7 is THE answer!

What is it?
Kidblog is a website that is designed for teachers who want to provide each of their students with his or her own unique blog...for free! It is VERY simple, user-friendly, safe, fast, and secure! In short, this website does EXACTLY what I wanted to do with my 5th graders!

How does it work?
  1. The teacher creates a "class" by selecting a username, password, and a name for the class.
  2. Once your account is created, you (the teacher) will be taken to the control panel where you can add blogs for each of your students.
  3. You can (and probably should) change the privacy settings to determine who can see the posts and comments. There are also moderation settings that can be set so that the teacher has to approve of any new posts and comments before they appear on the blog (a good idea).
  4. Finally, show your students how to write a post and that's it! You're all blogging!
Anything else I should know?
  • When students login, they'll be taken to a dashboard where they will see all of the other blogs as well as the most recent posts from your classroom.
  • Students can add text, pictures, movies, files, web links, and HTML code to their blog posts. What a great way for them to share ideas, information, and projects with each other!
  • Kidblog is a WYSIWYG website. You can't change the colors, theme, or layout.
Give Kidblog a try! You'll be glad that you did!

Good Luck!

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