Friday, February 3, 2012

Let's go for a blog!

A blog, questions spider, just what is it for?
Well, it is for writing but can be much more.
A place for your thoughts and ideas to share
Communicating with others is only fair.

I decided to begin investigating some blogging platforms that might be appropriate to use with students at my elementary school this morning.

I started with Kidblog.  The home page indicated it is fast and free - which is true!  In no time, I had set up a class.  I then had to do some more reading to figure out how to use it!

Some things I like about Kidblog:
  • it is private by default
  • can make it "semi-private" with "guest" accounts for parents, etc.
  • no advertising
  • I have administrative control and review posts before they are posted
Having said that "I like" the privacy details of Kidblog, I also have in the back of my mind the idea that some of real value and power in blogging comes from the ability to interact with other people (ie. outside of the school) (Kist, 2010; Richardson, 2010).  However, given that this will be our students' (and parents' and teachers') first foray into the online world and blogging, I think it is prudent to begin slowly. Therefore, I think beginning with a closed/private system is a good idea.

I found this great video on Wesley Fryer's blog that explains how to set up Kidblogs for a class.  I like the idea that he is setting the blogs to allow viewing and commenting by anyone, yet those still must be read by the teacher before they are posted.  This is a great option.

As I continue to research Kidblog a bit, I came across a heartwarming blog post from a teacher that is really about the value in blogging in general.  In "Write On!" Why I Love Kidblog! Oldschoolteach writes about how excited the students are about their blogs, even writing and editing them on the weekends. Having a blog really gives students ownership over their writing.

Here are some examples of Kidblogs:

Mr. Lane's Class
  • settings are private
  • shows use of tags
Powell 4th Grade 2011
  • public viewing and commenting permitted
  • public
  • posts contain photos, embedded items, etc.
In general, Kidblog seems very plain looking.  You are unable to follow any other blogs or personalize the pages too much.


Fryer, W. (2012, January 27). Configure KidBlog for safe, moderated, interactive student blogging & commenting [Web log message]. Retrieved from

Kist, W. (2010). The socially networked classroom: teaching in the new media age. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Corwin.

Oldschoolteach. (2011, October 1). "Write On!" Why I love Kidblog [Web log message].

Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Corwin.

No comments:

Post a Comment