Kidblog is an easy to use, completely ad free blogging platform created specifically for K-12 teachers and students. Basic service is free, but you can upgrade at a monthly or yearly fee for more features. Research shows that blogging can help improve students’ critical thinking skills. In addition, blogging allows students the opportunity to interact in a digital community and practice good digital citizenship. So, where do you begin?Getting Started
Simply click “Create a Class” from the Kidblog website to create a free account. Once you have an account, you can enter the Teacher Dashboard to add classes, students, etc. Students can be added individually or through bulk upload. They can also register themselves through the “secret code” attached to your account. No student e-mail is required.
Blogs are set as private by default. Privacy settings can be adjusted by the teacher to make the blog viewable by all visitors or restricted to only users in the class. Parents can be set up as guests in order to view and comment on posts. Even though the site is moderated by the teacher, it's a good idea to talk with students about expectations for sharing and communicating online. Blogging can be a wonderful opportunity for lessons on digital citizenship and online safety.
Posting & Commenting
Both the teacher and students can post blog entries through the web or iPad app. Posts can also be customized by adding photos or anything with an embed code (Animoto, Vimeo, Voki, Glogster, etc.). Posts can appear on the blog immediately, or they can go to the “pending” approval area of the teacher dashboard. If the approval box is checked, the teacher will get an e-mail notification that posts are awaiting approval. Just like posting, blog comments can be sent for approval before becoming viewable. Commenting can be open to all site visitors, limited to class members only, visible only to the student who created the post, or disabled completely.
A Few Ideas for Use
- Student reader response journals
- Writing journals
- Student collaboration & projects
- Book reviews
- Discussions (any subject)
- Evaluate peer writings
Blogging can be a great tool in any subject area for all levels of students. Click here for a great website with ideas for using Kidblog as an assessment device, tutorials for setup, and other resources.