Edublogging (blogging for education) is a great way to get students interacting with each other and writing in authentic ways for authentic audiences. It has been proven to increase engagement in students learning a foreign language — so it will definitely benefit the English language learners in your room. I have found for myself that writing a blog post pushes me to think about just who my potential audience is and helps me develop a new type of voice in my writing. Many teachers, and myself included, I wonder about how students’ confidentiality and student blogs can co-exist. The internet is, for the most part, anything but confidential. I present you: Kidblog.
Kidblog is a blogging tool designed student confidentiality and teacher supervision in mind. Accounts are easy to use and quick to set up.
Once you have a Kidblog account, you can easily add multiple classes, add students to each class, and more. Each of your students’ blogs will be linked back to your homepage. Although the teacher’s homepage and class list are visible to the public, using initials or pseudonyms and not allowing photographs for avatars will protect the privacy of your students.
Beyond the homepage, all of the other pages have customizable security settings. You can set whether you want to moderate posts and comments (require your approval before they get posted) or just allow students to post freely. You can unapprove, edit, or reply to students’ posts and comments. You can even decide if parents can type in a password to view their students blogs or if you will require a student log-in to view them.
With so much concern around internet safety and security for our little ones, Kid blog provides a great way to keep student information safe while having them engage in current forms of media such as blogging.
Possible Uses for a Student Blog:
- Reading responses
- Book report (about the author, posting links to self made book trailers, write a diary entry from the perspective of a character in the book)
- Writing opinion on current events (or any other type of writing, really. Interviews and commentary are especially well-suited for the blogging format)
- Have students post responses to problem-solving tasks for the week
Tip: Think of blogging the same way you would think of any other genre of writing. You will probably want to find mentor texts such as Seymour Science Blog by children’s non-fiction author Seymour Simon as a starting off place. You will also want to model writing blog posts for them — what is the process you go through? Share your own blog with them! Starting a blog may seem daunting at first, but a well-practiced blogger can whip up a post in no time flat and you will have created a resources others around the world can refer to.