Things to Consider
My Personal Thoughts About Blogging
Blogging Takes Time
A class blog? Individual student blogs? What is right for you? I decided that giving every child a blog was not something I wanted to tackle at this point. First of all, I wanted to teach directed lessons about posting, creating images, online safety, and composing quality comments. Having a class blog allowed me to direct all my lessons at one site. Controlling the lessons
the publishing allowed me to work at my own pace. If I wanted to publish once a week, I did. If I felt like I wanted to publish more, I felt free to do so. Having several individual blogs to proofread and moderate would have been overwhelming for me.
I have learned that not every child is ready for the responsibility of a blog. I allow students to earn their own blogs by demonstrating responsible work habits in the classroom and by consistently contributing to our class blog via quality comments. Once a child is ready, I have a parent meeting and we discuss all the elements of a student blog. I have the child's parents set up the Blogger account at home, and I link the child's blog to our classroom site. The parents must be the administrator of their child's blog and comments must be moderated. If problems arise, I remove the link from our class blog. Allowing children to earn their way to a blog is powerful. They want to be linked to our class blog to increase their readership. In addition, it encourages parents to take an active online role with their child. It is a winning
Monitoring posts and comments can be a real challenge with a large class. Developing a management plan that works for you is essential. Possible ideas:
~ Pair students up to practice commenting. Students can help each other proofread.
~ Assign publishing days throughout the week. Students will then be able to prepare for their publishing day.
~ Train parents and have them come in and assist with the writing and publishing. Determine the standard of writing that is acceptable and have parents help with the process.
Strengthening Language Skills
Teachers create blogs for a variety of reasons. I use the blog to share what we are learning in class and to strengthen language arts skills. As a class, we discussed the standard of writing that is acceptable for third graders and each student blogger must meet that standard to get a post or a comment published.
Most of the 2.0 tool require a user name and password. I use MrsYollis or some other professional title as a title whenever I join a site. I never mix personal information or photos within a site. If I like a site and I would like to use it in my personal life, I join under a different name.
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