Thursday, February 18, 2016

TEC-950: 6.2 Web 2.0 Technology "It's All About The Blog"

"It's All About The Blog"

Blogging is not new to me as I have had several personal blogs and worked with middle school students setting up blogs. 

Working in a District that wants any blog being used to be password protected the platform I like and have found student-friendly is Kidblog. Below is a look at my teacher page from Kidblog.

When starting middle school students with blogging, we first do paper blogs before venturing online. With these paper blogs, we do a gallery walk and students make comments with post-it notes.

One of the biggest challenges for Districts is decided on what blog platform to use as security is a concern. Security is especially concerning for younger students blogging. As with any piece of technology if students have been shown the basic skills needed for Digital Citizenship and given some guidelines to follow they will be fine with blogging online. With elementary and middle school students I have found that starting with a basic blog template for the students works best. After they have done a few entries and been successful they are given the freedom to change designs and be more creative. With the goal educationally being to teach students how to write a blog and comment to blogs, the design takes a second seat at first. One of the reasons I like Kidblog is that you can set the look of each blog when starting and then it is easy for students to make changes to the look when ready.

In classes, we have used blogs to display digital artwork created by students. Students post their artwork and then write about how the work was created. We have done math blogs using John Stevens "Would You Rather" math as the prompt. Students blog their answers to one of John's prompts and then other students comment to posts.

With a variety of topics for students, you can cover all the ISTE Standards for Students in as little as a few posts or take a full year.

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