As part of my technology plans for the 2009-2010 s.y., I would like to start BLOGGING for the elementary students. Starting small is always a good idea. Starting perhaps with just one elementary teacher/class would make it simpler.

I would like to get ideas from teachers/tech coord./tech curriculum coord., etc. as to what would be the best way to go. I do have a few questions:

1. Which blogging platform would you recommend? Blogger? WordPress? EduBlogs?

2. Do you provide the students with their own email? Which email service?

3. How do the school administrator's feel about teacher blogging for the class? Need approval for postings from school administrator? Should there be a "disclaimer" on the teacher's blog site? Example "Opinions reflect the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of school."
But what if the school website's is link to the teacher's blog?

These are just random thoughts that I have about blogging for elementary students. As part of my job, I need to conduct workshops about BLOGGING but to make it simpler, I believe I will start with one willing teacher and hoping it will create a ripple effect.

Tags: blog, blogging, elementary

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If you remove the navbar you also remove your email, new post, customize, and sign in buttons...how do you sign in, create a new post and edit without that?
All you remove is the "next blog" button at the top.
We are starting our 4th year blogging and have had over 60,000 unique visits!! That's a lot of writing, reading and commenting. You can see our blog here--it's designed with Drupal and served privately. A Really Different Place Let me know if you have any questions--I post on the 'frontpage', the kids have their own blogs--I read every new post and try to comment. Things are slow this summer but will pick up in the fall.
Hi Nancy,

That is great! How is your blog "served privately"? We have a web server at our district, could we put one there?

Thanks for any tips!
Clair
C. The former parent who designed the site serves it on his server, but of course your district could serve it too.If that is an issue you can pay for hosting (as low as $5.00 at month) I use web.com for my other websites. You can see all the tech related stuff our kids have done in the past few years here. Let me know if you need anything else. The guy that did the blog would gladly answer any Drupal questions. N.
So, here's my question: How are teachers learning to use blogging in effective and meaningful ways? Has anybody ever helped teachers come up with meaningful blogging topics? Should topics vary depending on how students are going to be responding to them? If so, how should they vary?

www.pass-ed.com
http://primaryblogger.co.uk is add free, no hastle, free and easy to use - we use that for blogging

http://schoolemail.co.uk is esafe, add free, no hastle, free and easy to use and includes games for kids - we use that for email
What a great discussion. I have a question. I hope it doesn't sound dumb. I have a wiki for my 3rd and 4th grade classes through wikispaces.com. Does that allow blogs, and if so how do I do it? I know it has a limited import, but that's all I can find.

Thanks!
A wiki serves a different purpose than a blog but you could do a kind of clunky work around using the discussions tab on wikispaces - I'm not sure if other blogging platforms have this or not?

If you go to http://stmcomputers.wikispaces.com/TimeZoneExperiences you'll see a wiki page - this page on my site shows the work my students did on a specific project. Your page could be a Welcome to our blog introduction and instructions on how to use the discussions tab or it could be a student's introduction to their blog with their instructions on how to find their information.

If you click on the discussions tab for that page you'll see what you could use as a blog. Each subject could be a blog post and each of those allows comments under them. The subjects are sorted with the one last commented on on the top and the comments on each subject sort with the most current comment on the bottom. OR, your students could have a wiki page that is their blog, they just add the latest post to the top of their wiki page and leave the rest of the content so their page would look something like this:

With this you could start a subject and your students could answer them - this is what I did on this page since there were specific questions I wanted answered about the project. Or, if each student had a wiki page that was their blog, they could start a new subject every time they posted to their "blog". Other students could then post comments under their blog post. You can't easily use images, widgets, text formatting, etc. in the discussions tab. You have to know wikitext and/or HTML to do it.

Another way of "blogging" with a wiki is to have each student set up a wiki page as their blog and then they would post their latest blog entry on the top of the page and create a discussion subject for other students to comment on their work. See http://stmcomputers.wikispaces.com/Sample+Blog for an idea on how that might look. This way lets the students use the WYSIWYG features of a wiki and use widgets and images, etc.

Neither of these solutions is really a "blog" but they do let students express themselves and let others comment and they can be subscribed to via RSS feeds so they can serve the purpose and you don't have to set up another set of accounts for your students somewhere else.
That sounds great. Thanks for all the detail you provided. I love your wiki. We use a lot of the same websites--GameGoo, Zoopz (a real favorite with my youngers), Wonderville. I'm concerned about having too many websites (a separate one for a blog, a wiki, Edline where they get their online grades, my school blog through Falcon.net which is not terribly robust) and confusing parents and students, so I like the idea of working the wiki first, and adding a blog maybe next year.

I have a question a bit off the topic, but it comes from looking through your lesson plans (and probably stealing a few!): It looks like you don't teach MS Word or Excel, those types of productivity software? Or do you squeeze it in somewhere? It looks like you're the tech teacher (as am I). Do you have them once a week?

Thanks for the help!
Jacqui, The beauty of a blog is that you can respond to each child's writing in an organized way. Blogs are also sorted by key words and archived by dates. Blogs and wikis are used for completely different purposes--you can see our class blog here and a list of other things we have done (including wikis) here Let me know if I can answer any questions for you.
Thanks, Nancy. Do you mind if I add you as a friend so I can chat with you throughout next year?

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