First, let me mention how much I am enjoying being in the classroom. Over the last few months I have been learning about so many new things that I cannot wait to try. One of the first things I wanted to try as soon as I could was blogging with my students. About 4 weeks ago, I decided the time was ready to give it a try. Kidblog was recommended and I gave it a try.
We are now four weeks into blogging as a class, have posted over 160 posts, have received over 390 comments, and we are beyond hooked! The students are major excited and I am super pleased to see what content areas it has them getting extensive practice in.
One, they are writing all the time. That’s never bad! Weekly, they have challenges plus are encouraged to free write. By doing both, they are getting directed writing experiences and journaling type experiences.
Two, they are reading. This I didn’t quite expect, but it’s happening. The students immediately started reading each others blogs, as well as blogs from other classes around the world, and have started commenting. What a critical skill! Not only are they reading, but they are freely engaging in thinking about what they are reading so they can comment intelligently. I have been blown away by this!
What are some other benefits?
- They are working with technology
- They are practicing digital literacy
- They are engaging in digital citizenship
- They are enhancing a global world view seeing that their world is much bigger than Alabama, but also expands to California, Australia, and Canada just to name a few. I named those because we have been interacting with classes from those places in our blogging and commenting.
Why Kidblog and not another blogging platform?
- Kidblog has some great security settings. Currently, every blog and every comment gets moderated by me before it posts. This helps me protect my class.
- Second, it allows each student to have their own username and password so they can interact with the site individually at school or home.They also don’t have to have an email to be a user which further protects their identity.
- The backend (dashboard) of the site is very easy to use and navigate.
- The landing page (front page) of the blog allows each student to be easily found and shows a good list of student posts so readers can find posts they want to read without having to scroll though pages of posts. Visitors can also change the default list view from 25 posts on the front page to 10, 25, 50, or 100 posts.
If you are not actively blogging with you class, I encourage you to start now. Please keep in mind that you may have to follow your school’s or school system’s security guidelines. Also, teach your students about appropriate digital behavior.