Safely blogging in the classroom

I am warming up to the idea of blogging with students. I have to admit that I do not tend to enjoy using technology, but creating a blog of my own is giving me second thoughts. I’ve always thought of technology as being a hassle to deal with, when in fact it decreases a ton of time it would have taken you doing it manually/ paper trail style. Well now of course I just found out this awesome new way of learning/teaching strategies however, we cannot be too careful. Some great ways to keep our students safe would be to first sent out a letter to all the parents describing the entire blogging process and rules and restrictions students have to follow, for example the terms and conditions that are stated in this internet safety briefing . Also having a full day or class period to explain and walk  through how to create their blog and setting everything up properly so they understand how to use it would be a great way to insure students knowledge about what they were doing.

Now I have always wanted to teach elementary kids and I am now wondering how they would use blogs in the classroom. Because whenever I thought of blogs in classrooms I was definitely envisioning middle and high scholars. Blogging would have to be simplified for them and safety precautions would have to be increased. Getting elementary students to create their own blog may be a bit difficult so a great alternative that I found would be to have one class blog and that each student can contribute to. The blog itself would then be a gate way for building up the skills that they had just learned in class that day and would then get a chance to use them on the blog.

The blog that I found is the same one that helped me better understand blogging in elementary school. Her name is Kim Cofino and she has so many great ideas on her blog. She has lesson plans for getting student blogs up and running in schools and discusses safety concerns and teaching strategies. There is a link on her blog that sends you to ISB, which is a place for students to login with a username and a password to get into their school blogs. She went from a middle school that every student had a blog and all the teachers were comfortable using them, to an elementary school where no one had ever had any experience with blogging. So she made a way for both students and teachers to learn and like using blogs as a form of educating.

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