Tips On Blogging With Students

We’ve set up a Getting Started With Edublogs page on this blog to provide a central location for “how to” resources. Please let us know if you have any resources to add to this page.

Meantime we receive many requests for tips on blogging with students so here is some advice from educators who are experienced with using blogs in their classrooms.

Using Blogs With StudentsPhoto of the minilegends

Al Upton advice to educators new to using blogs is to start first with a class blog and move toward students posting about their own learning on their own blog when you feel comfortable.

Al’s extremely thorough Class blogs – management, moderation and protection post shares his tips and techniques for setting up a classroom blog, setting up individual student blogs, moderating student posts, moderating student comments and managing comments.

Kim Cofino says “One of my biggest stumbling blocks as I’ve switched gears froImage of Gmail Logom middle to elementary school is individual e-mail accounts for the students“. Her solution is gmail allows you to create subsidiary accounts that link to an individual account which means that one teacher can have permanent e-mail accounts for all students delivered into one teacher e-mail account.

Here are Kim Confino’s tips for setting up students as Contributors on Edublogs – the quick and easy way so that:

  • Individual student have log ins WITHOUT individual e-mail accounts
  • Individual student contributors to the blog WITHOUT their own blog
  • All posts approved by the blog administrator before posting.

Image of parent consent letterParental consent is an aspect that needs to be considered. Clay Burell uses a Parents Consent For Student Weblog Letter to inform parents of the aims of using blogs and let parents choose the level of privacy – name, image in photos and/or videos, comment moderation – for their “child.”

In World According to Matt Susan Morgan shares her conversation with Matt, one of her students, on how his classes were going, specifically regarding the use of technology. Here’s an extract from Susan’s post:

Well, I wish teachers wouldn’t assign stuff for no reason. It seems that they are just adding on technology projects on top of the other things we already do.

“He senses from some teachers that they feel they have to “do” technology, not that they want to. His biggest criticism is the way we blog. A teacher posts a question, and the student writes a nightly response to it, much like he would do in a reading log or journal. He said there’s not much follow-up to the posting, either by students or teachers.

What Matt wishes is that his teachers would consider using blogs or forums to extend his learning.

Image of RippleKonrad Glogowski’s Blog of Proximal Development shares a variety of tips for blogging with students such as Replacing Grading With Conversations, Making Assessments More Personally Relevant, How to Grow a Blog and Towards Reflective BlogTalk (Image by Teach and Learn).

Konrad wants his students:

to see their blogs and their entries as organic entities, as attempts to engage with ideas, as evidence of growth and development. It’s about maintaining conversations, not ending them by saying “Well done!” or “Good job!”

FINAL THOUGHT

What is your advice to educators starting out blogging with students? What has worked? What has caused problems? Can you recommend other posts that educators should read on this topic?

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