I'm linking up for Teacher Week at Blog Hoppin'! My tech tip for today is all about blogging with your class. These days you can never be too careful with child privacy online but it is also the wave of the future. Enter Kidblog.
It's a website for teachers and students where you can make a blog for your class but you don't have to worry about e-mails or privacy. You can create your class list and privacy settings to ensure that your students can share ideas with each other and no one else.
You simply create a class on the site and then make usernames for your students. I used their first names only and set a password for each that they could remember. Then you start posting!
Here are some demo screen shots from the Kidblog website:
Settings (Theme and Privacy)
I have used my blog in a few different ways. I sometimes post a preview of an upcoming lesson to get kids excited. :) I have also posted photos from our class (since it is private) for them to share with their parents. We've created book reviews, slide shows, and blog posts that we share with families online. This summer we even had an online book club with a new book selection every month. The kids read the book and I posted a sprinkle of activities and websites that went along with the book and then questions at the end of the month that they could comment on.
One of the things I've found most helpful when letting students do the blogging are guidelines that I discovered at Primary Practice. You can find some fantastic templates for students to help them pre-write their posts. I also let students who don't have access to a computer check the blog at school and comment during the day (usually during Listen to Reading during Daily 5 since they were at the computer anyway).
I am excited to use my Kidblog this year- I think the kids will really enjoy it!