turning stones

taking for a spin: tools for The Five 8s

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Getting Kids to Blog Safely


The Operation NExT Team has been encouraging Xavier School teachers to blog about their professional life, their experiences in and out of the classroom, the technologies and strategies that they use, their insights and successes as teachers and formators. Also WordPress is being introduced to students from Grade 5 to High 4 for them to build and maintain their individual Personal Learning Websites(PLWS).

It’s a great leap for Xavier School as teachers and staff and students are starting to blog. You should visit their sites and take a look at what they have to say and learn what they are learning.

WordPress is the preferred platform due to its robust elements, which includes wide layout flexibility and its more open commenting feature. It can be pretty demanding to the uninitiated, first time user. But it gets easy as you use it. So yes, we feel that WordPress is appropriate to our 5th graders. However, we can go even younger. As early as when we start computer classes in 3rd grade.

And yes, we have an age-appropriate WordPress version for them. Welcome KIDBLOG! A simple and secure site teachers can use to create space for students to blog. Here’s how it works:

  1. teacher creates an account using his/her email address
  2. teacher enters user names and assigns passwords for each student in class
  3. teacher tells students to go to the class site
  4. students see a drop down list of user names and log in
  5. voila… they can start blogging
  6. teacher may want everything to run by him/her for approval before publishing

KidBlog is secure because kids do not have to have their own email addresses. The teacher can have control over all posts, reviewing them before it gets published. The teacher has control over who can view and make comments on the blog; either named users(class members) only, or all visitors. This is also a good way to let parents know what their children are doing and learning in class(if you choose that path).

KidBlog is easy to use. User can upload pictures, link sites and videos and comment on each others works. Even if it is simple and does not have all of its features, it has the look and feel of WordPress. I create a class site for Operation NExT Team members and I made viewing public so anyone can visit kidblog.org/larrydlpsnextclass.

A great and fun way to learn!

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