Today I have a wonderful tool to share with you, called Kidblog. Kidblog is a website that offers “safe and simple blogs for your students.” As a former teacher and lifelong learner, I can appreciate that unlike Blogger or WordPress, which are great sites for adults to use for blogging, Kidblog does not require student email addresses and displays no ads.
Why should students blog?
Because they’re growing up in the digital age, students need to have a good understanding of what it means to be a responsible digital citizen. They are bombarded with social media everywhere they turn and are exposed to both good uses of it and bad.
Blogs are part of the social media landscape where students can write to a global audience, including their classmates. Blogging gives students an opportunity to hear their voices heard, and see their writing published on the Internet. This aspect of blogging alone will boost confidence and encourage good digital citizenship. They can share their blogs with their family and friends and even get visits to their blog from all over the world.
Blogging is cross-curricular. Imagine getting comments from across the globe, and then taking that a step further and learning about those different geographical locations? Writing + Geography = Great! Educators have written (and blogged) about why students should blog. If you do a quick Google search for “why kids should blog” you’ll see over 250 million results. Here is a good list of ten reasons students should blog.
You’ve probably heard of Blogger and WordPress. Those are two very popular blogging tools. Most of the websites you visit everyday are probably blogs created with one of those tools. Unfortunately they are not suitable for teachers and students. Kidblog allows students to blog using a user-friendly interface, and makes it easy to manage student accounts. As a teacher, you can see your students’ drafts as they are typed.
To get started with kid-safe blogging, you can go to www.kidblog.org, click the big orange button labeled, “Teachers” and set up an account. You will have complete administrative control over your classroom account, you can make blogs private or available to entire Internet, and you can review all blog posts before they are published. Give Kidblog a try! Here are links to some tutorials:
About the author, Paty Savage:
“I taught elementary grades 1, 2, and 3 for 14 years, then worked for as an instructional technology coordinator and supervisor for a few years for a school district in Florida, and then joined the Schultz Center for Teaching and Leadership as the Instructional Technology Director in 2002, and this is where I’ve been ever since.
I love teaching teachers how to integrate technology in their classrooms and consider myself to be a “technology evangelist”. Currently I’m deeply involved in online professional development for teachers and instructional design.”