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Blogging

Safe Blogging for Elementary and Middle School Students

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November 8, 2010

 
8:30-11:00 AM (middle school)
1:00-3:30 PM (elementary school)

 

 

Presented by Technology Resource Teachers:

Amy Boehman-Pollitt = amy.pollitt@fcps.org
Aimee Martin = aimee.martin@fcps.org

Description:

Kidblog.org is designed for elementary and middle school teachers who want to provide each student with their own, unique blog. Kidblog's simple, yet powerful tools allow students to publish posts and participate in discussions within a secure classroom blogging community. Teachers maintain complete control over student blogs. In this session, teachers will learn how to set-up a secure classroom blog on kidblog.org, which is specifically created for elementary and middle school students. Participants will learn how to:

· set the privacy settings on their blog so that only class members may view or create comments and posts.

· add new users and set their roles

· create classes within student accounts for easy organization

· approve student comments and posts

· create a private teacher comment on a student post (ideal for paperless grading)

· embed widget code into posts (video, web 2.0 sites)

· maintain complete privacy over teacher and student blogs

Login:

Please login to the network with the username and password located on your computer screen.

Training Resources:

Agenda:

  • Introduction and overview
  • What is blogging? 
  • Nuts and Bolts: safety considerations, blogging guidelines, permission slips
  • Example blogs
  • Quick Poll: Who is blogging?: comment on a post
  • Kidblog.org direct instruction
  • Kidblog.org reflection: create your own post
  • Create your kidblog.org account
  • Advanced Features:
    • Bulk upload
    • Create and manage classes
    • Embedding HTML widgets
  • Blog Assessment: Rubric Makers

Evaluation:

Thank you for coming today!

Please take a moment to complete a short evaluation form - Go to the Evaluation Page

 

Blogs for Instruction

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Here is the presentation for our final evening

Here is an easy way for you to get up and running with a blog in under 10 minutes!

http://www.bit.ly/fcpsblogger

Here is the link for our sample blog

http://www.fcpsiti.blogspot.com

Kidblog

Posted in

Kidblog

Description

Kidblog is a wonderful resource for student blogging. According to Kidblog's website, kidblog.org "is designed for elementary and middle school teachers who want to provide each student with their own, unique blog. Kidblog's simple, yet powerful tools allow students to publish posts and participate in discussions within a secure classroom blogging community. Teachers maintain complete control over student blogs."  Kidblog has several advantages over other blogging sites:

  • Teachers can create a class blog, and add student accounts without needing student email accounts.
  • Students have their own unique blogging space. They can create posts and comment on other students' posts.
  • Teachers have control over approving students' posts and comments before they are published to the blog.
  • The site is secure. Students must login to read posts and write comments.
  • Teachers can post private comments, so that only the child who wrote the post may see the teacher's comment.  This is a great way to leave feedback for the student.
  • Students can navigate easily between their blog space, their teacher's blog space (optional), and their classmates' blog spaces.
  • There are no ads on this site.

Curriculum Connections

  • create book discussions (great for literature circles or book reports)
  • post prompts for writing
  • communicate with parents and students about classroom news, policies, and events
  • journal writing online
  • publish student work (writing, photos, video, etc.)
     

Examples

Mrs. Kolbert's Class Blog

 

Equipment Needed

  • Kidblog.org teacher account
     

Resources/Tutorials

Getting Started - Create Your Account (PDF)
 

Screencasts (Video Tutorials)
Note: These screencasts are best viewed in "full screen" mode once the video has started.

Adding Students to your Class:
 
Privacy Settings:
 
Student View: Write a blog entry
 
Teacher View: Approving Student Posts
 
Students View: Writing Comments
 
Teacher View: Approving Student Posts and Posting a Private Comment on a Student Blog
 
How to Bulk Upload Users to Your Blog
 
How to Embed Widgets into Your Blog Posts
 
 
 

 

Using Student Names/#s as Labels in Blogger

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When you create a post, you can add labels which help others find similar posts.  This feature is a great way to spotlight student work in a class blog. 

1.  When creating your posts, use the student's first name, student number, or pseudonym in the Label field.  (Always protect the identity of your students.)


 

2.  Add a gadget on the side of your blog so that others can search your blog by Label.  Go to Layout > Page Elements > Add a Gadget > choose Labels by clicking the plus sign. 


3.  Now parents and the student themselves can easily see all of the blog posts they have written or are written about them! 

Editing Comment Form Message in Blogger

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It is often important to tell your blog readers (especially students) how you want them to post comments.  In addition to posting this important comment information on a block or blog post, consider the following.  You can have a message about posting appear when people are leaving a comment.  To leave a Comment Form Message, follow these steps:

1.  Go to Settings > Comments > Comment Form Message.
 

2.  Change the message to your liking and Save. 

 

A Sample:

Making it Easier to Post a Comment on Blogger

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Students and parents can have difficulties knowing how to post a comment on your class blog.  To make the directions easier, follow these quick set-up tips when editing your blog. 

1.  Go to Layout > Page Elements > Blog Posts > Edit.
2.  Under Post Page Options change "comments" to a more personalized message.
3.  Click Save and View Blog to see your changes.  

Step 1:

Step 2:

 

 

Step 3:

Blogging

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What is Blogging?
A blog is a contraction of the term "Web log."  According to Wikipedia, a blog is a "Website usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blogging)

In the world of education, many teachers and students use blogs as a way to share ideas and thoughts both in their school environments, or through distance learning opportunities.  Blogging is a great way to engage students in both reading and writing activities, while also providing an exposure to the read-write-web.  It's important that teachers, or the leader of a blogging activity, take the time with students to teach the appropriate digital citizenship skills necessary for appropriate blogging.

Blogging in Plain English from Common Craft


 

Curriculum Connections
How can I use blogs with students?  Here are a few ideas. 

  • create book discussions (great for literature circles or book reports)
  • post prompts for writing
  • communicate with parents and students about classroom news, policies, and events
  • journal writing online
  • publish student work (writing, photos, video, etc.)

Equipment Needed

  • A computer
  • Free blogging account (KidBlog or Google Blogger are recommended at this time)
  • Optional:  Additional media

Safety Considerations

  • make sure to obtain proper parent/guardian permissions before blogging
    Sample Blogging Permission Slip
  • use student #'s, initials, first names only, or pseudonyms to create posts
  • set-up blog so that comments do not appear until approved by the teacher (you can monitor comments by email or dashboard notification) 
  • If you are using Kidblog.org, set the privacy settings so that the teacher will need to approve student posts before they appear on the Internet.
  • If you are using Kidblog.org, you may also choose to set the blog so that only class members may view the posts and comments. Although if you want a true global experience, you may want to have others read your blog, but not comment on it.
  • remove the "Next Blog" button from the navigation bar on Google Blogger blogs
    Click here for directions to remove the "Next Blog"
     

Sample Blogging Rules
Feel free to adapt these to meet the needs of your students and post them on your blog.

1. This blog belongs to the school, so all school rules apply here too!
2. Never write anything that you don't want everyone to know.
3. Always show respect to the authors of posts and comments.
4. Use your "Student Number" to submit a comment, never use your name.
5. Have fun blogging with your friends!

Examples
Blogs being used by FCPS Teachers & Students:

Examples of Educational Blogs:

http://davidwarlick.com/2cents/
http://www.theshiftedlibrarian.com/
http://weblogg-ed.com/
http://classblogmeister.com/blog.php?blogger_id=1337
http://www.technorati.com/

Recommended Blogging Platforms

Kidblog is a wonderful new resource for student blogging. According to Kidblog's website, "kidblog.org is designed for elementary and middle school teachers who want to provide each student with their own, unique blog.  Kidblog's simple, yet powerful tools, allow students to publish posts and participate in discussions within a secure classroom blogging community.  Teachers maintain complete control over student blogs."  Kidblog.org has several advantages over other blogging sites:

  •  Teachers can create a class blog and student accounts without needing student email addresses.
  • Students have their own unique blogging space. They can write posts and comment on other students' blogs.
  • Teachers have control over approving student posts and comments before they are published to the blog.
  • The site is completely secure. Students must login to read posts or comments.
  • Teachers can write private comments so that only the child who wrote the post may see the teacher's comment. This is a wonderful way for teachers to provide feedback to students.
  • Students can easily navigate between their blog space, their teacher's blog space, and their classmate's blogs.
  • There are no ads on the site.

 RESOURCES

CLICK HERE to go to the KIDBLOG.ORG resource page for short getting started guides and screencasts on how to navigate the site.


Google Blogger allows the user to lock the site and review all submissions before posting.  Although Blogger is free it doesn't allow for ads or links to be posted on a user's site.  Pictures, links, and text can all be posted onto a Blogspot blog using blogger from either a computer or a portable device such as a mobile phone.

Crib Sheet for Using Blogger:
http://www.infinitethinking.org/stuff/Blogger.pdf

Directions to remove the "Next Blog" link from a Blogger Page:
http://blogger-templates.blogspot.com/2005/01/remove-navbar.html

 

 

Additional Resources

Blogging Tips
50 Userful Tips for Teachers Using Blogs
Creating Gmail "Sub-Email" Accounts for Students
Creating a Comment Message Form
Helping Others Post a Comment
Using Student Names/#s as Labels

 

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