I have the privilege of attending an afternoon PD session on teacher websites as well as blogging, and Danika showed me a blogging site called Kidblog.org.
Here’s the description from the website:
Built for Teachers
Kidblog is designed for K-12 teachers who want to provide each student with an individual blog. Students publi
sh posts and participate in academic
discussions within a secure classroom blogging community. Teachers maintain complete control over student blogs and user accounts
Here are suggestions on how to use Kidblog.org:
Use Kidblog to:
create classroom discussions
learn digital citizenship
practicing writing skills
create an e-portfolio
reflect on learning
formatively assess writing
Danika has been telling the teachers in the session today that she herself has set up a class but she has spoken to ‘non-techno’ teachers (my term) and they were able to set up their blog in under 20 minutes!
I believe that Danika said she spent time up front typing in all of the students’ names, which is a bit of a pain, but in doing that, she was able to maintain control over the blogs, including giving students a password, which the teacher then obviously maintains.
Sounds very cool.
Some other notes from Danika:
- Having students post a reflection after a Literature Circle discussion and then students have to comment on two or more other students’ blogs.
- Danika used to use Ning (as I did) which is a site that allowed for safe, private social networking, as I did. Used to be free, now it is not, and Kidblog has almost all the same functionality as Ning.
- Don’t be thrown or put off by the name, Kidblog. The name won’t be as prominent later once you customize your page.
- All students’ blogs appear on Danika’s homepage.
- Students use real first name for accountability but no last names for anonymity, and no outside internet user can see their blog posts.
- There is an app for both Apple and Android, which can help if there is limited lab availability.
- Very similar to — if not the same as — Word Press.