Sunday, January 3, 2016

Blogger for Students

Why Use Blogger?

Blogger is a great platform for students to have their very own blog. It is easy to set up, simple to customize, and provides a chronological record of student learning. Students can use their blogs for specific classes or even as a digital portfolio of their learning throughout their entire school year. Students can enhance their blog with their own images in their Google Photos account or videos straight from their Youtube channel. It can meet the needs of any learning outcome as students can utilize Blogger to document the learning process.

The Blogger Advantage

Blogger provides students with some advantages over other blogging platforms. This is especially applicable if you are a Google Apps for Education school district (GAFE). 
  • Access Images and Videos from Google/Youtube
  • Students control their own privacy settings (limit to public or specific readers)
  • Students can add authors to their blog
  • School districts with Google Admin Panel still have access to blogs 
  • Completely free, no unwanted adds pop up
  • Fewer storage restrictions 
  • Transferable (Students can download all blog content)

Getting Started

The first thing you'll need to decide is how you want to set up your student blogs. You can either create each blog on your own and give students access permission, or you can have students create their own blog and grant you access. The later would be much faster, but you are trusting that students will follow directions and add you to their blog. Here is how to get started. 


Blogger Reading List

You can access student blogs a couple ways. The first way is to just utilize your collection of blogs when you first visit www.blogger.com. It is there that you will see any blogs that you have either created or have at least have author rights to. The other option is to take advantage of the Blogger Reading List below your collection of blogs. Here Blogger gives you an RSS feed of all blogs you add to your list. So all you need is the link to each blog and then add it to your list. Anytime a student posts to it, you get a condensed version of the post so you can quickly overview what was written. It streamline the reading process for you in the long run. Students can do the same if all blog addresses were listed in a document or spreadsheet. Students could go through the same process by copying and pasting each blog address into their Blogger Reading List. Here's how to get started. 



Want a Class Blog Instead?

Not all teachers want each student to have their own blog. Another option would be for the teacher to have a class blog and allow students to access it. These details will be in a post in the future.