Recently, a teacher asked for my opinion of the student blogging site, Kidblog. This request also coincided with the opening of the Edublog Awards voting, so I felt this would be a great time to discuss blog services available and their uses in the classroom. Blogging is a great way to get students to write about what they are learning and process that information. It also allows the students to discuss their thoughts, encourage each other, and challenge each other to see things from different perspectives.
Kidblog is a good service for providing a blogging platform that is free, safe, and easily manageable by the teacher. The way Kidblog works is the teacher creates a login and class. Then the teacher can input student names or allow the students to use a site provided access code to create their own blogs under the teacher’s site. The teacher has complete moderation rights to approve/deny posts and comments. The student blogs are private by default as well so the teacher can maintain all discussions within the classroom if that is desired.
As Gmail users, each teacher also has access to a school Blogger account. This can be used to communicate with your students, parents, or just write about what your students are learning in class. Another way of using this is to set up a class blog where students can write about their learning and the teacher reviews the posts and adds them.
If you are interested in seeing other ways that teachers are using blogs to engage their students, I encourage you to review some of the nominees for this year’s Edublog Best Class Blog. You may also wish to review this wiki created by the winner of best class blog 2012 that she uses to post resources about blogging with students.
Also, before blogging with your students make sure to review the county AUP and discuss with your class appropriate security precautions that students should take prior to posting information online.