Thursday, October 2, 2014

Kidblog.org


There is no doubt that Kidblog.org is a powerful tool. Students love the opportunity to share, dialogue, and practice their writing skills in a blogging format. It gives them a sense of audience and voice. It is also a great platform because they provide you with many controls and options for free that require a charge from other blogging platforms.

I've worked with numerous classes in creating accounts and also getting the ball rolling with quality posts and comments. The tricky thing with a blog is that you really have to invest the time to communicate expectations when students post or comment. Otherwise they will naturally aim below the expectations for quality work. I blame that partially on the examples students see on various examples of social media (Youtube, Facebook, Twitter). Setting the expectations early is key to your blog's success.

For an idea of where to start, I posted about my experience with two fourth grade classrooms in the spring of 2014. To summarize the ideas behind that post, I always follow this format to get started:

  1. Signing in and general orientation of the site/application
  2. Modeling quality posts
  3. Modeling quality comments and when it is appropriate to comment
  4. Setting rules for comments
  5. Revisiting quality posts and comments to reinforce the expectations
  6. Including images to enhance the post
It doesn't end with these first six steps either. "Revisiting quality posts and comments to reinforce the expectations" is an element that is practiced throughout the year in order to achieve success with your Kidblog.

If you would like to get started with Kidblog in your classroom, you'll need to get quite a few things to set it up. To help you get the ball rolling, I have an entire Kidblog module created on my training site. If you are a teacher outside of my school district, you can ignore the assignment that is posted there unless your district approves it for license credit.

Kidblog.org Training Module