KidBlog is a huge hit in my classroom and I find it to be an incredibly useful and beneficial educational tool. The success of KidBlog in your classroom greatly depends on how you roll it out. At any level, elementary or middle school, the class must first discuss internet safety and blogging guidelines. This itself is a valuable learning experience. I’ve had great success with KidBlog in my classroom and I’m happy with the Technology/Character Development lessons that I use prior to allowing students to make their first post.
I go over the following information before allowing kids to post or comment on the class blog. I’ve broken my PPT down below, and I’ve provided a link to download it at the end.
Slide 1: What is a Blog / Purpose: Define a blog to students
Slide 2: What is a Blog / Purpose: Compare + Contrast Websites and Blogs
Slide 3: What is a Blog / Purpose: Summarize Main Characteristics
Slide 4: A Packet’s Tale/ Purpose: Overview of How Information is Transmitted via Internet
This slide is not essential. I include it mostly because students are intrigued by it and enjoy it.
Slide 5: Posting / Purpose: Discuss How to Post Responsibly and Respectfully
Slide 6: Publishing Rules / Purpose: Set Guidelines for Commenting and Publishing to the Class Blog
Slide 7: Discussion / Purpose: Discuss the Characteristics of a Good Comment (Provide Examples and NonExamples)
Slide 8: Commenting / Purpose: Discuss the Difference Between Criticism and Commentary.
We discuss these two terms and the difference between them. I then provide comment examples and have students discuss whether they believe each is criticism or commentary. When identified as criticism, I challenge the class to adjust the comment to make it appropriate, supportive commentary. This is always a great exercise that students remember.
Slide 10: Conclusion / Purpose: Remind Students to Pause Before Posting
I really hit this hard. At the beginning of the year, you have the opportunity to set the classroom climate. The same goes for a class blog. Clear guidelines and expectations must be set so the blog runs smoothly and productively.
Take the time to launch Kidblog successfully in your classroom, and the educational benefits of using a such a tool will be profound. Keep an an eye out for my next post which will highlight the many benefits I’ve seen in my classroom.