Teaching with Blogs: Kids go Public!

A week or so ago we quietly made the kids’ blogs public. My technology colleague and I asked them if they were ready and they said they were. So now if you go to my class blog and click on one of the student blogs (all the way down on the right) you should get right in.

A few things to note:

  • Formatting My colleague chose a nice generic template for all the blogs. We are being pretty strict and controlling about what the kids can and cannot do. In our experience with MSWord they can become pretty distracted by formatting so they are not doing any of that for the time being with their own blogs. This may change (as I’d love to have them each have something personal as a banner on their blog), but we are taking this carefully and slowly. It is all so new, after all.
  • Adult Commenting I very much hope that visitors here will go visit the kids’ blogs and comment if you like. However, please understand that we have advised the kids to treat comments by strangers as they would comments by strangers in the street — be polite, but do not respond. If I recognize a commenter I will tell the kids and say it is then okay to respond. But otherwise, please understand that security and safety is very important to us. They are learning as are we.
  • Kid Commenting We did a lesson on commenting and the kids have done some on each others’ blogs. Time has been tight of late which is why there isn’t that much. Hopefully we will have time for them to do more in the future. I have many ideas, just not so nearly enough time to do them all!
  • Posts As you will see, their posts are pretty carefully constructed. I have been very strict about this to start. You can read what they have been asked to do in our posts on the main blog. Right now the only thing they are allowed to blog about (in addition to the required posts) are books. This is because we want them to take the idea of blogging very, very seriously. To consider audience and such. Actually what they seem to be turning into are portfolios of a sort (as most of their writing is now ending up on their blogs — interesting).

8 Comments

Filed under Teaching

8 responses to “Teaching with Blogs: Kids go Public!

  1. Chris

    How fun. I will try to comment on each student’s blog. I have to say that this forum makes me a lot more comfortable than the (non-monitored) Amazon site. It just made me uncomfomfortable to have exchanges with a student that, as far as I knew, no adult was reading.

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  2. Chris

    I am almost done leaving comments (they are not always on the most recent blog entry). the “of” student id appears to be locked so that I could not comment

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  3. what grade is this? I took a quick look and I am really interested in listening to your podcasts. I am working with 5th graders at my school on a research/podcast project. We have finished the research and are starting to record the podcasts, but it is slow going, especially because I only see each 5th grade class 1x a week for 30 minutes (I am a media specialist). I can’t wait to explore your students blogs some more and get some ideas! Thanks for posting this.
    Kathy

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  4. kinderny

    so uncomfomfortable = really, really uncomfortable. (right?)

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  5. Awesome! I’ll be posting there today.

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  6. diane peters

    This is the first year for my students to start posting blogs and I have tried to be as careful with them also. So far we are just using one big blog with everyone posting to it. As our class is the only one in the district trying this out, I am understandably cautious. I know it is working when they ask me when can they post the next blog or they writie something totally on their own. We have a wiki to do next and then we try podcasting.
    Good luck

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  7. I am very interested in what you’re doing with your students having their own blog. I’m a 2nd grade teacher in Texas and started a class blog in November. When my ITS approached me about blogging with my students, my first reaction was “they’re 7; they can’t do that . . .”. Boy was I wrong! Now, I write a post and have my students make comments on it (check it out at emartinez.wordpress.com!). Because I am looping up to 3rd grade with these same students, I’d really like to know how you created an account for each of them. Based on their performance on my blog this year, I’m sure my students will be ready for their own soon, but I don’t know where to start. I’m sure you’re busy, but a point in the right direction would be most appreciated. And again, very impressive work!

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  8. Hi, thanks for posting this. I’m thinking of using blogs with my teenage students. I’m new to the idea and just experimenting with my first blog. I’ll check back in here for ideas!

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