Safely Blogging with Students

There are three very good reasons to consider using a blog as a tool to teach writing, online communication, safety, and etiquette all within the context of your curriculum.
  1. The teacher has the ability to monitor everything published on the blog, with proper setup.
  2. Teachers can guide the writing process by only posting appropriate comments that follow the identified safety rules.
  3. Gradually, as students learn and expand their writing abilities, teachers can provide them with opportunities to submit ideas for posting.
Recently, I have been blogging with 4th graders and it has been a very positive experience. If you are considering blogging with students, please revisit this blog during the week to learn more about ways to manage and use blogs safely.

D97 Resource
There is a handy resource created for D97 teachers interested in learning to blog with students. Please follow the link below to view this blog.

View D97 Blogging with Students

Blog Management
Although the required email address can be an obstacle when trying to blog with students, there are solutions. The way to handle this is to have students start by submitting comments, which are monitored by the blog administrator. No login is required. Initial blog setup is important from the start.

After comments are submitted, they are emailed to the teacher for review. The teacher then decides to Publish or Reject the comment. Students quickly learn how to write appropriate comments.

There is a very attractive feature available. Teachers can publish rules about etiquette and Internet safety so they appear on the page where comments are submitted.

After individual students demonstrate the ability to post safe and appropriate comments, teachers can use a few different tech tools to help students submit ideas to post, for others to comment on.

When they are ready to manage their own blogs, there are options for filtering posts through email accounts.

To view the rules established for commenting on this blog, click on the comments link below.

Blogging with Students: An excellent example
The best way to share ideas for starting to blog with students is to share a good and newly emerging student blog with you. Mel Smith's 4th graders at Longfellow are replacing the traditional paper and pencil journal with this blog. They are using the tool well!

Please notice:
  1. The GoogleDoc form he used to collect pen names. (efficient use of technology)
  2. The rules he has established for comments. (Internet safety and etiquette)
  3. The comments themselves. (nice ideas expressed well)
  4. All comments are monitored, some are rejected and feedback is provided.
Please view the Hubbard Street Dance blog.
Why not try to post a comment? These students are writing for an audience.

Blogging and Video
Teachers often ask for my assistance in posting videos for students to watch on their blogs. This is easy to do, but I'd like to suggest that this method of sharing video is most likely only useful to highlight the occasional, really special video because streaming within our district has it's limitations indeed.

I think there is most likely a better tool to create a collection of videos for students to watch at home, and that will be explored next on this blog, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, since I've been discussing student blogs, and I do have one of those very special videos to share, I'm posting it today. Remember, do not stream this video in your building with multiple people. Watch it at home, please.

watch video

Hands-on training opportunities
If you are interested in participating in hands-on training to set up a safe student blog,
View Susan Oxnevad - Professional Development
  • 4/30-Blogging with Students
  • 5/7 - Online Communication, Blogging & More, advanced
  • 5/14-Tools for 21st Century Research
  • Classes Offered All Summer, Blogs will be used in most. View listing