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Monday, July 28, 2014

Blogging in the Classroom Pt. 1 {How to Get Started}

If you're trying to implement more technology into the classroom, one of the easiest ways to do it by having your students blog! I have blogged with fourth, fifth, and sixth graders and they have loved it and learned a lot from it! I know many teachers who have blogged with younger students and they love it as well! 

Blogging is an amazing way for students to write for an authentic audience. I've found that students place more effort into a writing piece when more people than just me are going to see it and make comments on it. With blogging, there is no limit to who will see what they are writing. It could be someone in the next town, or someone across the world. That's what makes blogging so amazing!

I suggest using KidBlog. I've been using it for two years and I have no complaints. It's super easy to use and I've found that parents are able to make their own accounts and become a part of the conversations as well! My students have found that it is extremely user friendly and they have had very few technical errors. 

Why Should you Blog?

  • Authentic student writing
  • Collaboration with students from around the school and the world
  • Responsible online behavior
  • Communication outside of school hours
  • Peers learning from peers
  • Tracking writing progress
  • Cross-curricular learning
How Should you Start?
  • Decide how you'll use the blog. Will you use it for all subjects? Will you use it as a forum for students to write about their reading? Will it be only social studies related? Will it be used as an online portfolio? 
  • Get permission from your principal! I've had friends in other schools who were unable to blog in their classroom because the administration did not approve of it. 
  • Get permission from the parents. I sent home a permission slip to all the parents that outlined how we would be using the blog and who would be able to see the student's work. 
  • Go over expectations! I also had students sign a blogging agreement that outlined the "rules". We had a paper blogging exercise that I'll detail in a future post! 
  • Create usernames and passwords.
  • BLOG!
During my first year of teaching, I had two students use Screencast-o-matic to create a how-to video on KidBlog. This explains all the how-tos on using the site and shows how incredibly easy it is!

Please ask me any questions you may have! I'd love to help you begin the blogging journey!! 

In Part II of my blogging posts, I'll discuss paper blogging, which is a wonderful way to get your students ready to begin!

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