What Becomes of the Student Blogs?

The students are excited! So are their teachers. The school year is almost ended (for many) and holidays are approaching!

It’s time to get organized for those holidays. And if you’re like Jan Smith you may be pondering what to do with your students’ blogs.

Would love to hear your advice, tips and thoughts:

  1. How do you (or would you) “wrap up” the year for any blogging your students have done?
  2. What happens to the blogs of students that want to continue blogging? Who looks after, is responsible and feeds them over the holidays?
  3. What about the blogs that are being left behind? The blogs of students that aren’t interested in continuing to blog? What do you do with them?
  4. How about the memories? The students have worked hard! Do you make copies on their blog on CD, hard copy, PDF …..?

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14 thoughts on “What Becomes of the Student Blogs?

  1. You know if the student is within the same school the next year, why not just have the blog follow the student while they’re there?

    1. Hi Ken and Dr Mike, the number of blogs really depends on the teacher. I know some teachers look after close to 100 blogs.

      There seems to be two main groups (if that is the correct word?). Those that want to maintain tight control of the blogs over the holidays so don’t want any risk of bad comments or posts — and are after a solution to remove all ability to write on the blogs.

      Then there are those teachers who want to encourage students to continue blogging during the holidays if they choose. Their thoughts still are of who is responsible but they are also thinking about what to do with blogs that students don’t want. Do you delete the old blogs? Do you just keep the old blogs but stop access to them until such a time the students change their minds.

      They are also thinking what is a nice memento for the students to have?

  2. Kia ora e Sue!

    Wow! You’ve a task. How many blogs? Could be a mammoth job putting that in the right position.

    Can you summarise highlights from the blogs and post the ‘collage’ up on a read-only site? You’d need to be careful to include all, and tastefully, but it may be possible. Seems an honourable thing you’ve chosen to address and sort out. Good on you and good luck with that mission.

    Catchya later

  3. Very good question. I don’t have a standard answer. Last year I required parents to notify me in writing if they were willing to take over the job of moderating comments and monitoring content in order to have their child continue blogging over the summer. I replaced my email with theirs as blog administrator. Unfortunately, there were some big glitches with edublogs and there were a few blogs that went into the ozone of inaccessibility. It took a while to straighten out at the beginning of the school year.
    This year I am thinking about leaving the blogs online. I hate to take down the students’ work. However, without oversight, there is a small possibility that something “inappropriate” could get posted which could threaten future students’ opportunities to blog. I still have co-admin control of most of the blogs…I guess I could add them all to my reader. I look forward to reading about what other teachers are doing, and I will let you know if I come up with a satisfying answer.

    1. Hi Andrea, definitely if you try changing the blog’s email address you will have problems. At the moment I need to do that through site admin.

      However all comments, if not moderated, are sent to the email address of the person who writes the post. So if you changed the student’s email address to the parents they will receive all comment notifications.

      While I know initially it is hard work to set up but I would always have all student post and blog feeds in my Google reader; in their own separate folder. That way I could act quickly if any thing inappropriate happens. Since Google Reader feeds through quite fast.

      So when holidays come I’ve already have them in my reader; most of the postings will probably drop off so you will be left with just a small number to check occasionally.

      I’m not sure how many comments I will be able to get on this post because I think most people think they are good questions but aren’t sure of the answers and are hoping others give ideas.

  4. Bit different with us as we’re dealing with adults on work based learning, but anyway…

    We print out the blogs for their portfolios (we also use them for Key Skills), and a horrible cludge it is too — much messing with stylesheets to make them look presentable and close to the on-screen effect. Even though this isn’t the real aim of blogs – the physical object in glorious technicolour acts as too much of a motivator for us to give it up!

    We’ve experimented with blog print-on-demand services like PrintMyBlog, Blurb, and Lulu. You get the content in a nice form that way but still lose some of the things like comments which make it so nice.

    We also archive them on the Trainee News blog for future learners to view and access.

    With the most recent groups I also used Wordle to create a word cloud from the RSS feeds on the Learning Reflections blog they’ve been contributing to during the months of their course. That was really fascinating!

    1. Thanks Leia, can you tell me have you tried any of the services that turn the blog into a PDF?

      Also when you archive the blogs on the Trainee blogs are you keeping the blogs live? Or do you close off all comments? I really like having a page with links to all the former blogs.

      1. We used BlogtoPrint which seems to have vanished. It didn’t keep the comments which was a pretty, but the content looked very presentable. I usually tagged a screenprint of the blog on the front as a colour cover. They spent so long picking and tweaking their templates it was a shame to lose that.

        I keep the comments “live” but all keep admin rights and rss feeds on all the blogs from my own account to monitor. Presumably there’ll come a point in the future where the numbers are out of control, but with the luxury of only two or three blogs per group that’ll take a while! I expect at that point I’ll “lock” down the old blogs and disconnect myself from them.

        After the lesson on comment moderation most of our learners opted for the “Commentor must have one post approved” option which has lead to very little spam without restricting the usual posters too much.

        1. How about BlogBooker that creates a PDF, Leia? That includes comments from memory. Good to hear you dicsuss comment moderation with your students.

          1. Sue and Leia,

            It looks like Blogbooker is available for WordPress or LiveJournal systems.

            I just used a different online site called ExpertPDF Components to convert a page from my Blogger account to a PDF. The PDF was simple to make and included the post and the comments.

            In my third grade class, each child assembled a binder of all of the writing projects we’ve done throughout the year. (You know, the kind written on paper!) I think I am going to allow students to pick one blog post to make into a PDF that I will print for them to put in their binder.

            I’ll share the online link with parents and encourage them to save any other posts their child would like to print as a PDF on their home computer.

            Here is the online PDF-maker site:
            http://www.html-to-pdf.net/free-online-pdf-converter.aspx

            This is the first year I have done a classroom blog, and I was planning on leaving it open and using it next year, too. I told my students if they would like to submit stories and jpgs to me over the summer, I would post them.

            Linda Yollis

          2. Hi Linda, yes Blogbooker is for those blogging platforms and Edublogs uses WordPress which is why I think in terms of solutions for WordPress.

            Shame BlogBooker doesn’t work for blogger as it does all posts, comments etc.

            Hope that your students share lots of photos and stories with you over the holidays.

    1. Hi Dean, yes I think it is a really important discussion.

      There is so much that you could be discussing including teachers getting students to create blogs for the different subjects and each year when potentially they could be continuing to use the same blogs. Yet there is pros and cons with both approaches.

      Regarding Nings that you highlight in your post. That is a big grip with me and I’m seeing it happen with so many Ning networks. The spammers are getting in and the original creator isn’t stamping on them immediately. Blogs are no different; we do have commitments to look after them.

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