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Welcome

We are so glad to have you on board. If you haven’t already checked the Introduction to Better Blogging With Students post, please head there first.

I have posted a five minute introductory video for you and an outline of what you can expect from our ten weeks together. We also took a look at what exactly “better blogging” might mean.

Week One

This week’s topic sets the scene for establishing or improving your classroom blogging program. You will be offered some ideas, examples and prompts to help you reflect on what it is that you want to achieve with your students.

Let’s get started!

What Is A blog?

Before you skim over this question, let’s take a moment to define what exactly a blog is. This question is becoming harder to answer as the lines between blogs, websites, ePortfolios and other online spaces blur.

BLOG WEBSITE PORTFOLIO

Dynamic Community

Feedback and interaction (comments, sharing, subscription, and RSS)

Typically journal-like

Static information 

General term for online space — complex or simple

Scaffolding, showcasing or organization of student work

Typically over period of time (years)

 

FUN FACT: Nearly one third of all the websites online are built with WordPress (including Edublogs and CampusPress sites). Some WordPress sites are set up more in a ‘website’ style and some are more like blogs or portfolios. So you can see the flexibility of this popular platform.

Why Edublogs /CampusPress/ WordPress?

There are a lot of conflicting opinions out there about the best platform for classroom blogs.

A key consideration when choosing your blogging platform is, “is it export friendly?” We believe that student work should always be completed on a platform that allows the student to archive their work or take it with them. This is just one of the reasons we believe Edublogs or CampusPress is an ideal option.

You can read more about which of the popular platforms are export friendly in this post. 

At Edublogs we offer 24/7 email support and we are designed for education.

Our platform is user friendly, safe and highly customizable.

What’s not to like?

What Are The Benefits Of Blogging?

Last year, I published a post on The Edublogger that described ten reasons why every educator should start blogging. You can find an infographic summarizing these benefits below.

Be sure to check out the original post if you want to find out more about the benefits of blogging, or convince colleagues or school leaders to support a blogging program in your school.

10 Reasons to Start Blogging Infographic K Morris

We also love this quote from Will Richardson in his book, Why School?: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere.

In this new narrative, learning ceases to focus on consuming information or knowledge that’s no longer scarce. Instead, it’s about asking questions, working with others to find the answers, doing real work for real audiences, and adding to, not simply taking from, the storehouse of knowledge that the Web is becoming. It’s about developing the kinds of habits and dispositions that deep, lifelong learners need to succeed in a world rife with information and connections.

It sums up a model of schooling which would be most beneficial to our students, don’t you think? Blogging is a tool that can be used to fuel this sort of classroom program.

Why Do You Want To Blog?

This is a big question!

Many educators use blogs for the following reasons:

  • To share information and class news with families and the school community.
  • To provide students with a way to access assignments, homework, resources, and information about their class online.
  • To showcase, amplify or reflect on student learning. 
  • For global collaboration and to offer students an authentic audience for their work.
  • To authentically teach a whole range of skills including traditional and new literacies, digital citizenship, and ICT skills.

Our state of educational blogging survey results from last year show us how blogs are most commonly used.

Graph showing how class blogs are used assignments and class news (42.8%) to share information with families (37.2%) to share links and resources (33.0%)

One school of thought suggests that you should not start a blog before you have a clear purpose in mind. My thinking isn’t this rigid.

I believe a vision is always going to be helpful but sometimes you really don’t discover your true purpose for blogging until you get into it. In fact, many of you may have been blogging for a while and feel like it’s now time to regroup and consider your direction.

Whatever stage of the journey you’re at, it’s a worthwhile exercise to spend a few moments pondering the following questions:

  1. Who will your audience be?
  2. Who will be writing on the blog?
  3. How will blogging be integrated into your classroom program?
  4. Will your blog be public or private?
  5. What makes a high quality classroom blogging program?

If you’ve never blogged, considering these questions can help make your future direction a little clearer. Having a bit of a roadmap in mind can also help when explaining your blogging program to colleagues, school leaders, and families.

If you’re already blogging, you might consider which of these areas you need to focus on more to enhance your blogging program.

Let’s take a look at each of these questions.

1) Who will your audience be?

An educator often begins a new classroom blog with a target readership of:

  • parents and the classroom community
  • students
  • other educators

Other audiences may evolve when you get started, such as other blogging classes around the world. Often, you may end up writing for multiple audience groups.

Having an idea of who you are actually writing for will determine the voice and content of your blog. If you’d like to read more about choosing your audience, check out this post from August 2017.

2) Who will be writing on your blog?

As I mentioned in our introductory post, when I first started blogging in 2008, I didn’t really know what sort of blogging framework would work for my students and me. Sometimes I’d write on the blog. Sometimes students would write on the blog. And commenting was left to chance.

In hindsight, I didn’t have enough scaffolding in place and I wasn’t happy with the quality of our blogging program.

After a few experimental months of blogging, I reset and started to implement more of a scaffolded blogging framework.

This model suited the age of my students, our combined experience, our objectives and our equipment.

This digram shows the progression some classes make from class blog to student blogs

The progressive model I eventually adopted was as follows:

  1. I established a class blog and wrote the posts while teaching the students to write quality comments. (Commenting is the topic for week 4 of this course).
  2. As students became more familiar with blogging, some students started publishing guest posts on the class blog and learned posting skills.
  3. When I was teaching grade two, had limited computers and was new to student blogging, I didn’t think it was practical for all students to have blogs. Instead, certain students who had demonstrated enthusiasm, parent support, and blogging skills, earned their own blog. This added a new layer to the skill set of commenting and posting: maintaining a blog.
  4. When I was teaching grade four, had a one to one netbook program and had experience managing student blogs, I set up blogs for all students, as digital portfolios.

Throughout all four stages, quality commenting and parent participation was taught and encouraged. (Helping students and families connect with your blog will be the topic for week 3).

Now, this model certainly may not suit you at all. However, many teachers begin with a class blog where the teacher posts and the students comment. This doesn’t mean student work won’t be shared on the blog.

Many teachers create posts that share students’ writing or other work. For example:

Starting with more of a teacher-controlled blog is a great way to get comfortable and set expectations. As you travel further along in our course, you may like to keep in mind that aiming to have more student involvement at some point in the future can be advantageous. Even if that’s just through encouraging student reflection in comments. Even this approach can be very powerful when done well.

The penultimate week of our course will be about student blogs and how they can be used alongside a class blog. Note: even if you’re not ready to set up student blogs at the end of this course, it will still be worthwhile considering how student blogs can be used, and how you could use them at some stage in the future.

3) How will blogging be integrated into your classroom program?

Integration is key. We don’t have time for add-ons, so it’s a case of considering how can a blog enhance your regular classroom program.

Consider this:

  • Can some traditional analogue tasks be replaced (and enhanced) with digital tasks in your classroom? For example, well known blogger, Linda Yollis, swapped a traditional pencil and paper history lesson for a blogging task. Students responded to one another in the comment section from the point-of-view of the biography figure they studied. Helen Keller was responding to Louis Braille and President Lincoln. Neil Armstrong had a conversation with astronaut Mae Jemison. Parents got involved as well. Here blogging wasn’t an add-on but a swap for a more effective activity.
  • Can certain tasks be done better or more quickly with a blog?
    For example, can you spend less time on things like publishing assignments or parent newsletters by housing all this information on your blog?
  • Where can you slot blogging into the day?
    Many teachers start the day (or class) with a routine. It might be running around the oval, silent reading, doing a weather report or looking at the news of the day. Are these routines still valuable? Could they be discarded, rescheduled or alternated? Could blogging be slotted into your opening routine?

Also consider:

  • Can you add blogging to your literacy block instead of a traditional writing or reading task?
  • Could a maths prompt be posted on the blog and students share their explanation through a comment or post?
  • Could your inquiry or social studies topic be explored through creating a post or multimedia for the blog?
  • Could some physical displays of artwork and other creations become digital displays on the blog with rich reflections?
  • Could traditional homework tasks become more meaningful blogging tasks? Eg. working with a family member to share insights in a comment.

Once you get the hang of it, it becomes easier to understand how blogging can be integrated into your classes. This is something we will explore more in our Facebook group too as we definitely want to hear everyone’s ideas!

4) Will your blog be public or private?

This is a contentious topic in the educational blogging community!

On one hand, there are many benefits to having a public blog such as the unmatched rewards that come from an authentic audience and global collaboration. On the other hand, there can be a lot of fear from educators, administrators, and/or parents around student wellbeing, digital footprints and the workload of monitoring public blogs.

We have recently unpacked the topic of public Vs private blogs on The Edublogger. If this a dilemma you are currently facing, be sure to check out the post to develop your thinking and work out what would be best for you and your students.

5) What makes a high quality classroom blogging program?

The aim of this course is to help you to not just blog, but to create a blogging program that is high quality, meaningful and beneficial to yourself, your students and your community.

In our introductory post, we looked at some common issues that educators face that can hold back their blogging program.

When looking at blogging (or technology in education), what does high quality mean?

We can look at this question in a few ways.

You might have heard of the SAMR model (substitution – augmentation – modification – redefinition). This model was designed by Ruben R. Puentedura. It helps educators think about how they’re using technology with their students in order to have an impact on their learning.

 

Diagram of the SAMR model
By Lefflerd (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The simplest use of technology involves substitution. For example, writing a story in a blog post instead of on a piece of paper. At the other end of the spectrum is redefinition where you are doing something that would not be possible without the technology (eg. connecting purposefully with students in another class on a shared project).

Silvia Tolisana shares some useful examples of how blogging can be viewed through the lens of the SAMR model on her blog, Langwitches.

Interestingly, some people see the SAMR model as a ladder where the goal is to reach the redefinition stage. Others do not and reason that it is perfectly fine to sometimes work at the substitution level.

SAMR is not the only model used to reflect on technology in education. Michael Gorman describes five ideas for going beyond SAMR, while AJ Juliani has blogged about TRUDACOT as a useful alternative to explore.

To return to our question of what makes a high quality blogging program, perhaps high quality means not only working at the substitution level. For example, if an educator is only using a blog to publish images of worksheets, then the potential of the blogging program is naturally limited, resulting in limited benefits for the students.

Personally, I found a shift in outcomes for my students when I raised the standards, particularly around writing on the blog and our interaction with others in our blogging community.

If students practice a poor standard of writing over and over, unhelpful habits are formed and the scope for improvement is limited.

I believe blogging can help students become exceptional writers when the following parameters are put into place.

explicit teaching + high expectations + regular feedback + authentic motivation = quality writing

The question of what makes a quality blogging program is an overarching theme of this course and is something we will continue to explore over coming weeks. I’d love to hear your own thoughts!

Explore Other Blogs

It’s a fantastic idea to spend some time exploring other class blogs. This will not only give you ideas of how to integrate blogging into your classroom, but help you understand what makes a quality blog. Of course, commenting on other blogs is also an ideal way to start making connections with other classes.

Most teachers understand that when introducing our students to a new genre, we need examples or ‘mentor texts’. We wouldn’t teach a unit on poetry without reading any poems. And we wouldn’t teach the conventions of persuasive texts without looking at any examples. In this spirit, it’s important to take some time to look at the blogging genre too.

Where to find other blogs?

Here are three options to try:

  1. We maintain a list of class blogs separated into year level and subject area. It’s updated every six months or so.
  2. I recently published a post on The Edublogger with 10 examples of class blogs.
  3. Connect with others in our Facebook group and make a point of visiting their blog. Sue Wyatt is putting together a document in our Facebook group for educators interested in sharing their details and connecting with others. Find that here. 

When exploring other blogs, make a mental note of what you like and what doesn’t work for you. Or, if you’re keen, jot down some notes of your own so you can keep track of your thoughts and ideas.

Note: if you want to do this sort of exercise with students, you could give them a reflective Google Doc, like Kim Cofino did to record notes. Of course, they could do it the old fashioned way too!

Conclusion

We have covered a lot of topics this week.

Over the next ten weeks, you will develop your skills and habits to become a better blogger.

At the end of the day, the best way to learn is to start. Your first blog posts probably won’t be perfect but that doesn’t matter. Demonstrating to your students that you too are a learner and willing to give new things a go is an excellent trait.

So it’s time to jump in!

Newbie Technical Checklist

If you’re new to blogging or want to relaunch your blogging program with a new site, it’s now time to complete a couple of steps.

This week we want to make sure all of you have the basics covered.

The first step is to ensure you have permission. I wrote a guide last year that should help to walk you through the process of obtaining permission to blog with students.

Once you have permission in place, we want to make sure everyone:

  • has a blog
  • knows how to log in and navigate their dashboard
  • can write a simple post
  • knows how to modify their blog theme, title and other basic settings

If you head over to our Beginner Bloggers page, you’ll find a 15 minute quick start video I made to walk you through the process of setting up your blog. If you don’t know how to comment I explain all about commenting in another short video. On this page, you’ll also find all the links you need for additional help. Click here to get to our Beginner Blogger page!

It can feel very overwhelming to look at established blogs with lots of content and attractive features. Comparison paralysis or fear of imperfection is common when starting something new. Please don’t worry!

Each week, we will walk you through a few more steps to build your technical blogging skills. Remember, if there is something in particular you want to learn about, you can visit our help site and/or contact our support team. (Note: the user guides are excellent and I use them myself regularly!).

Your Task

Each week we will be presenting you with a number of options for a task that will help you improve your blogging program.

While our tasks will mostly be practical in nature, this week we are setting the scene with a little reflection and sharing of opinions.

This week we would like you to complete ONE OR MORE of the following. Complete the task and comment on this post to tell us about it.

TIP: click on the post title and scroll down to find the comment box.

1) NEWBIES: New bloggers are invited to set up their blogs by following the instructions on the Beginner Bloggers page. Then leave a comment on this post to let us know how you went and share your URL.

2) GOALS: Consider your short, medium and long term blogging goals. Write a comment on this post and share what you would like to achieve in the month of January, throughout the ten weeks of the course, and throughout 2018 in regards to your classroom blogging program.

3) REFLECT: Leave a comment on this post that explains your initial thoughts on one or more of the following questions:

  • Why do you want to blog?
  • Who will your audience be?
  • Who will be writing on your classroom blog?
  • How could blogging be integrated into your classroom program?
  • Will your blog be public or private?
  • What do you think makes a high quality classroom blogging program?

4) CONNECT: Reply to someone’s comment on this thread and offer them support and encouragement. We strongly encourage you to do this. There is so much to be gained from connecting with fellow bloggers!

Our Facebook Group

Once you have read over this post and completed your task by leaving a comment, it’s time to head over to our Facebook group.

If you’re not in the group yet, be sure to request to join and we’ll let you in ASAP.

If you haven’t seen it already, look out for our introductions thread where we invite you to introduce yourself to the community. See you there!

What’s Next?

Coming up later this week: A Blogging Story from an experienced Grade Two teacher will be published on this blog.

Next Week’s Topic: Quality Posts and Pages

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  1. I have been blogging for a number of years, but my attempts are streaky at best- I write about educational technology, best practices, or tools and projects my classes are using or creating, then I drop off. Some posts are written as a model of what the current student project should look like. At worst I post sporadically, once every month or semester. As for my students’ blogs, they blog a couple of times a nine weeks at best, with replying to to other blogs only as an assignment. They are mainly one way avenues, not the vibrant exchange of ideas I hope to create.

    My overall goal is to model consistently good blogging practices that I can show and discuss with my classes. This goal is to have a platform for them to use as a model. If I cannot meet my expectations, it is not fair to require them to meet the same expectations. The short term plan is to start small, just post regularly, even if it is just a review of what happened in class that week, maybe even just a cross post from a review pencast or podcast, but just get into the habit of producing a post on a regular basis by creating a set time for the exercise.

    My audience is varied, I write mainly for other educators, showing off my students’ work and new tools I have begun to use with my students. Parents can also view the blog to get more of a feel for my class.

    My Honors students have their own public blogs, where they post assignments from class, they are linked under my class blog. Students publish many writing assignments, mainly opinion pieces to Edublogs instead of writing to paper and recycling them in a week.

    I am entertaining the idea of having a guest blogger on the main class blog as an enrichment assignment. Students can volunteer to write a bout a topic of their choice that fits into the course curriculum, History, and have an open forum to express opinions, interview people of that era, or some other task we agree upon.

    The end result is to create a higher quality blog, class and student, where conversations occur naturally, not forced by class assignments. They would need to be integrated into class time so they become part of the class culture and not just an added task.

    This has been an ongoing project and goal for awhile. I make small steps forward, I am hoping to make a bit more progress this time and not backslide when done.

    • Dom, your goals, very well put by the way, mirror my own exactly! Perhaps, unlike you, I have not only been inconsistent with my own blogging efforts, but have abandoned my class blog entirely. My current goal, and reason for joining here, is to model quality blogging and develop a class culture that embraces the experience.

      • Kae L Cunningham
      • Kae, Thank you for the compliment. I have scaled back my class blog, it is limited to my two honors classes, about 24 students total. That makes it easier for me to manage. I am thinking of pushing my exit/entrance questions for students into brief blog posts instead of posting to my online classroom in Edmodo. I am hoping this adds helps integrate their blogging deeper into the class culture.

    • Hi Dom,
      Your words really resonated with me. I feel you have a wonderful ability to reflect on your practice (blogging and otherwise) and I somehow feel you have given me permission to do the same. Thank you and I look forward to reading and learning more from you.

  2. I’m excited to learn about blogging and communicating with others using this medium!

    • I agree with you Nicole!

      • Kirsten Mooney
  3. Why do you want to blog?
    So I started doing graduate work this September in Maker Pedagogy. As part of my program we were asked to keep a journal. I decided that blogging would be a fun way for me to keep a journal and also use a blog. Once I established a personal blog for my schooling I decided to set my class up with their own individual blogs. I was amazed at how engaged they were and how eager they were to write. So I became more interested in blogging as a result. This Spring I am doing my first field study. We were asked to work on something professionally and I decided to look at how I can incorporate blogging into my writing program to increase student engagement in writing. When this class came up I jumped at the opportunity to learn how I can be a more effective teacher blogger.

    Right now our audience has been our class. We have been commenting on each other’s posts. Recently I connected with a teacher from California to do a pen-pal program so that students can connect through comments with peers from a different part of the world. It’s my hope that providing them an authentic audience will make writing their blogs even more engaging.

    I am also looking for more ways to involve blogging across curriculum. I am excited to see what other teachers are doing and connect with colleagues across the globe!

    • Mandy,
      I like how you said that your class comments on each others posts in the beginning. This is where I need to start with my class this month. In the near future I am hoping to set up student blogs too. My hope is that my students will be excited and engaged like your students were. I can’t wait to hear how you incorporate blogging into your curriculum. Do you have any advice on how to introduce student blogs?

  4. I’ve been blogging with students for the last seven years, and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Primarily, it’s been a way to connect families with what’s happening in the classroom and to distribute information in a timely manner, as well as assisting in teaching young learners (primarily Foundation-Year 1 students) with online safety and behaviours.

    In 2018, our class blog will keep a lot of those elements, with our primary audience being parents and families of students within our classroom, but I also hope to build up to connecting with other classes in our school as well as other classes outside our school community, too. Likewise, while I’ll be the primary author initially, I would like to move to a joint construction style for blogging, and also build to students being responsible for post content (especially though our reading/writing programs). This will require a bit of thinking on my part, for the best way to fit it in to a very busy daily program, while still providing the support some students may require.

    My classroom blogs have always been public, because my personal belief is that it allows for an authentic audience. I also believe it helps when teaching about online safety and behaviour and having a real-world scenario for students (and parents!) to practise the online safety skills we discuss and practise within the classroom. We spend a lot of time unpacking how we stay safe using our class blog, too.

    I think that a high quality classroom blogging program is one where the teachers and students are doing their best to make the program meet their needs. Not everyone has the same expectations, skills or drive and working with what we know and challenging ourselves as much as we can, is the key factor. There’s no one-size fits all model with blogging and starting small and building on skill sets is the best way to do it – it’s only when you hit the comfort zone and never move from it that it becomes a problem. When teachers, students (and families/communities) are involved, then you begin to see how powerful blogging can be.

    • Hi Stef,
      I also teacher younger students. I’m interested to know what platform you have been using for your blogging?
      I like your point that there is ‘no one-size fits all’ for blogging – I think that it will be important to remember that we might all do it differently and that’s OK!

      • I’ve been using Global2, which is an Edublogs campus for Victorian Government schools and uses the WordPress base. I’ve also used Blogger and WordPress for other personal blogging projects, but I have to say that I’m partial to anything that’s WordPress based, because it’s very easy to use.
        Thanks for your feedback, too. I consider myself a fairly proficient user of blogs, but in my classroom and school we probably don’t do as much as we could, because of the school vision for it, but what we’re doing works for us. There’s always room to grow!

  5. Blogging was a life-saver for me when my daughter had cancer. I could post what was going on for everyone at once, as opposed to trying to keep everyone updated individually. Also I could post on my own time, instead of trying to call people all over the world when it was convenient for them. My 78-year-old dad blogs; he used to write a movie column for his local newspaper, and when the newspaper folded he started blogging. Next year I plan to move to Los Angeles, California, and start teaching students who are working in TV and movies, and I want to blog about that experience as well.

    I tried blogging with my students this past semester, and it was pretty much a disaster. I teach mostly highly unmotivated students with very little exposure to the world outside of their own lives. They had no idea what a blog was, and even when I gave them specific instructions, most of them failed to post at all, and the ones who did did not make a lot of sense. I want them to have that connection with people outside of our little town, but their work has to be interesting (or at least coherent) enough for someone to want to read it. I want to try again this semester, and I’m hoping this class will show me how to get better results.

    • chammondbragg
    • I’m in VERY MUCH the same boat with the same hope! All my students wrote, but most only when we did so during class. A few of them really got into it and did more than required–but two never even brought in the permission slip and others didn’t even hit the minimum. I’m interested in if/how you assessed students as I’m assuming you also have older students since you’re starting a new semester. I start with new (high school) students on Jan. 23rd. Looking forward to the journey. 🙂

      • Nicole Sheahan
      • Hi Nicole. I has a similar experience. The students who were self-motivated really got into the blogging and commenting, however, other students barely logged in except in class time activities. I liked Kathleen’s progression of having the students just comment first to develop the skill of commenting successfully. Thanks for sharing.

      • Hi Nicole, we start our 2nd (high school) semester on Jan 24th. I plan to introduce blogging to my Desktop Publishing class in an effort to add a modern tech element to an otherwise print-media based curriculum.

        • Kae L Cunningham
    • I have had similarly mixed results with my classes, a few students do not do assignments, others write to just get a grade, but you will eventually have a few who will run with the concept. They may not do so on your class blog, but I have had a number of students go out and create their own personal blog to use for writing and reflection.

      It helps if other teachers in the school utilize blogs also, it builds a culture, that is how our school’s use of technology improved. Unfortunately, blogging has not had the same increase in exposure.

      Remember, many students use social media on a consistent basis, blogging is a different form of social media, but it is not often viewed as such.

    • I understand your dilemma. I want to start a class blog but am fearful it will be a disaster. My students are also unmotivated with very little exposure to the real world. I would like for them to have a connection to people outside our little town. I would also like for them to have their own novel ideas and be able to write about them. I teach Chemistry, so I am already having trouble coming up with topics that they would be able to write about. I enrolled in this course to give me confidence in blogging so I would be able to pass that confidence along to the students.

  6. My goal for this month is to make sure that all of my students write at least one blog post or more, and comment on at least three other classmates’ posts. All of my students have blogs on my classroom blog and some have already published a post. Although I’ve shared the blog address with parents, they have not stopped by to leave a reply to any of the students, so I’m hoping this will be addressed during this course. Also, I am torn between making sure that I have edited their posts before they are published and just having them publish without my oversight. I hope we can discuss this topic during the 10 weeks of the course. Cheers!

    • Sra. Waingort
    • I’m a total control freak and fear something being published that I haven’t seen–especially since, in all reality, the blame will fall back on me since the students are creating the blogs as part of my class. I would LOVE to let students just put their work out there, but I completely fear it so I’m interested in suggestions on that topic.

      • Nicole Sheahan
      • Hi Nicole,
        I understand that totally! Someone else might be able to correct me if I’m wrong but I think that you can set it up that you can approve any posts/comments therefore maintaining control of what is posted and ensuring that the students are being responsible (protecting them and you). It also depends, I suppose, on the age of your students. I would also think that as you and the class develop your blogging skills, the students will start to understand your expectations and tone (pitching it at the right audience) of your class blogs.
        All the best! 🙂

        • Jennifer Howell
        • You’re right about being able to turn on/off the settings to approve comments and/or posts. Sometimes teachers turn this on to start and then turn it off when their students show they can handle it (especially if they’re older).:)

          • Kathleen Morris
          • Hi Kathleen (and Jennifer and Nicole),
            I was aware that you can turn the approval setting on and off for classes, and I currently have mine off since I have kept the blog private. But if I were ever to make it public, I would consider turning it back on to watch for copyright violations. University students should know better, but there are often one or two aren’t as careful as they should be, especially with photos. So I was wondering — can you turn it on and off on a student by student basis?

            • Kat van Nice
          • Hi Kat,

            That is a good point about copyright violations. Unfortunately, if you use ‘My Class’ the setting applies to the whole class (you either have moderation turned on or off).

            The only other workaround would be if you had two different class blogs and had the students you want to moderate attached to one blog, and the students you don’t need to moderate attached to the other.
            It might seem long winded but you wouldn’t actually have to publish anything on the second class blog. It would just be for the purpose of managing student blogs. Does that make sense?

            I guess the best option might just to keep track of all their blogs in the reader of your dashboard. Then you can talk to students as needed and help them edit their work?

            • Kathleen Morris
        • Hi, Jennifer! Yes, I can —and currently do—control everything that gets posted. I set up a password that I shared with families and faculty so they could access the blogs once we got going, but I also moderate those comments—mostly so I’m aware of who’s looking at what. I have to develop a better system of staying on top of it and making it more streamlined.

          • Nicole Sheahan
    • I think those are all very good questions! I’ve never had more than a couple parents leave comments throughout the year, and we put up a new post almost every week! I’ve seen schools do blogging months with the focus on family interaction. We tried a family blogging night, but not much came of it. I’m just venturing into individual blogs. A friend shared a rubric with me so they “earn” the blog. I’m hoping this helps them to realize the importance of editing! I look forward to future discussions.

      Amber

      • Hi Amber,
        I’m curious to learn more about the blogging night you ran. What did it involve? It’s sounds interesting.

        • Hi Ailsa,

          We invited parents to talk about what the classroom blogs involved and why they are important. We talked about how to comment, why you should leave comments, and that it really is a safe place to share student work. We had a few parents that were against it, so we wanted to give them more information. Basically it was a short presentation, viewing blogs, and Q and A.

      • Hi Amber – great idea of students being able to earn a blog through a rubric. Intrigued! ~ Terri

  7. Hello All, I work as a Digital Learning Specialist focusing on the High Schools (grades 9-12) in a school district surrounding Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. Our team is working to shift instruction from a teacher-centered experience to a student-directed, perhaps even driven, endeavor. This involves discovering authentic ways students can communicate their learning. Of course, blogging is an excellent avenue for such communication.
    Like many, I have attempted to blog in the past. Here’s a link to my last post, http://tombrandtt.edublogs.org/2014/06/28/93/. You will see that the year was 2014. So like many others in this course, I’d like to develop a purpose and habits that enable me to sustain a successful blog.
    I may be unique in that I will not be integrating blogging into my classroom program. Since I work to support teachers, I no longer have a classroom. However, I do want to model and inspire powerful blogging practices so that teachers might consider using blogging with their students.

    • I am learning about blogging for the same reason that you are, Tom. I am a coach in an elementary school and this course will help support the teachers that I serve.

      • Diane Neumann
  8. Goal 1: Immediate
    Understand the world of blogging; how it works, how to create one, how to get students involved, and so forth. I’m new to blogging and I have never followed anyone’s blog. Crazy! This is a whole new world for me! I’m ready to dig in and learn the process.
    Goal 2: During this course
    Learn as much about blogging and start a classroom blog. To do this I will harness the creativity and knowledge of educators that are also part of this process.
    Goal 3: Long term
    Our class blog is meaningful and becomes a tool to improve student learning!

    • This sounds like the road I’m traveling also! I’ve been researching blogging in the classroom and learning to use this site, now nearing the end of your Goal 2 in the middle of making a sharp left turn onto your Goal 3. I sincerely hope it is more meaningful for students, and that’s my primary goal.

    • I relate to your goals and am on the same path. I am appreciative of all the knowledge being shared, from resources to ideas. I am having a hard time sharing for fear of all mistakes being pounced upon, but I intend to work through the SMAR ladder to assist students.

  9. Hello, brave educators! My response kind of goes with the Goals and Reflect tasks, which I hope is all right. I jumped much too blindly into setting up classroom blogs. You can go here to see why I started with blogs: http://sheahanville.edublogs.org/walking-the-walk/

    Contrary to the page’s name, I did not follow through with “walking the walk” (one of my short-term goals), but I did get students writing, thinking, and occasionally responding. I gave faculty and families access to students’ blogs by setting a password. The process was not an utter failure but also far from what I’d call a shining success. I struggled to keep up with the process I set up:
    1) I set up an assignment in Google Classroom identifying vocabulary and sentence structure requirements.
    2) Students submitted via GClass
    3) I provided feedback for revisions
    4) After students revised, they could copy/paste into an Edublogs post and submit for approval.
    5) I checked students posts, and if set, I published them.

    Problems: Many of my students aren’t the most committed to the process, so if they did not complete their writing during class, they just did not complete it–until given class time again. This led to an unwieldy process on all ends. I was good about checking the GClass submissions turned in on time, and even a little late, but the revolving door of submissions/revisions/pending posts/etc ended up being a nightmare.

    I want to come up with a more practical process/timeline for the procedure and also commit more time to getting students to comment. We did spend a lot of time on learning to make scholarly comments about a text and about others’ comments within another online course element (Actively Learning), but that did not wholly carry over to commenting on peers’ blogs. I also could not assume students have tech access at home, so I tried limiting expectations to what could be accomplished during class.

    Some students really embraced blogging, but I’m looking forward to learning how to get more of them to do so, and I hope to determine a better way to manage the process. I will begin a new semester with new students on January 23rd, so fingers crossed!

    • Nicole Sheahan
    • Hi Nicole,
      I thought your blog was very visually attractive, and the topic was very interesting. With my course blogs, the I didn’t have students set up their own blogs, merely make posts and respond to others’ posts. My students are in our EFL program, and it takes some carrot and stick motivation to get them to make their comments more substantial than “I agree” or sometimes closely parroting what other students have written. I try to make it clear that their grade for each assignment is based on the level of reflection apparent in their posts and comments. I don’t mark down for grammar unless their meaning is difficult to understand.

    • Hi Nicole, I had some similar experiences a few years ago. I tried to get my Year 10 students interested by creating a blog and asking them to respond to me and at least one other student. I used Google Classroom to set up the tasks and direct them to the blog. While there was initial interest, it died down and only a few students kept it up.
      I am keen to see how others keep students engaged in the process.

  10. I would like to get a classroom blog set up and each student also blogging using edublogs. It is a lofty goal, but I am keeping my fingers crossed.

    • 2lifelongteachers
  11. I love blogging with my students. It is a fantastic way to show the amazing things happening in or out of class. Knowing someone other than their teacher may read what they have written, is always an inspiration to show best work. My primary audience is parents and the community, but also love the idea of global connections.

    I started my classroom blog in 2011, and it has always been public. Just today, I scrolled through the many posts over the years. It was a really fun way to reflect on the learning that was happening at that time. When I started, I was teaching third grade. I started by teaching them how to leave comments, always using Mrs. Yollis’ blog and her videos as examples. Most often, we would write the posts together, or I would share student work. As I moved to fourth grade this year, the posts are now being written by students only. They are truly excited when I say it’s time to write a blog post. This can happen at any time, but usually at the end of the week.

    My goal by the end of the month is to start many of my students on a rubric to earn their individual blogs. The next ten weeks, have those students starting their blog and signing up for the next Edublogs Challenge. By the end of the year, I hope they are becoming confident bloggers.

    • As someone who has never blogged with students, I am curious: how do you track student work? Are students only posting once a week? Are their blogs graded every week? Do you have a rubric? This is a lot of questions! A response to any would be greatly appreciated.

      • Stephanie Machotka
      • Stephanie,
        I use a rubric with my students, it is generic so it can be used across various assignments. When students complete a blog assignment they are required to submit the post link to our Edmodo classroom. This gives me a notice that the assignment is completed and ready to be graded, it also makes it easy for me to access the post. They do not post more than once or twice a nine weeks as of now, but I am hoping to increase their blogging assignments as we move forward.

      • Dear Stefanie, In my class blog I have always used a rubric that is always available online and that rubric is not only for posts but also for their comments. Furthermore, parents can / could always check their contributions and even compare with the rubric. The only issue is that I am a Portugues teacher of English (EFL) and everything is posted in English; they may not fully grasp what’s being shared but at least the process and assessment are transparent.

        • teacheralexsoure
  12. Hi All!
    1. Why do you want to blog?
    I want to blog with my students for I have already lived an unforgettable blogging experience with young 5th and 6th graders. I saw the enthusiasm going high, students striving to excel in their writing and subtle links of consistent cordiality being launched through thousands of miles of distance.
    I truly believe that we are supporting our youth to build a brotherly world through this reflective way of sharing the best of our projects and deeds.
    I believe they will find their way, through this so delicate kind of connection, to unleash the power that writing conceals to weave high quality human relationships.
    Ines

  13. Hello Everyone!
    My blogging goals for this year are:
    Short term: set up a blog and regularly post with my students.
    Medium term: increase the audience to include other classes from our school and readers from outside the school.
    Long term: Have the students feel ownership of our blog and start to drive it.

    Reflection questions:
    I want to blog because I have never done so, and I want to learn about its benefits, for me and my students.
    My audience will be my students’ families, my colleagues, other students and who knows who else!
    Myself and the students will be writing on the blog.
    I hope to integrate blogging regularly through all subject areas. Possibilities will include journal writing and sharing of learning, demonstrating the processes used to create art works, and reflecting on their creations. I’m sure that there are many more!
    I hope to make my blog public, but that is a conversation we will need to have with the school.
    Last question is the tricky one: what do I think makes a quality classroom blogging program? I think I need to delve a bit more into blogging before I can answer that one!

    • I used Seasaw last year with my grade 2 class. The students loved it but I didn’t open it up to parents. I had difficulty with the quality of their comments and now that we have had a play, I’ll be more focused on the explicit teaching around comments, feedback and cyber etiquette.

      • Sue O’Regan
  14. Hi Nicole,
    I’ve always edited my students texts. Not only because they were 5th and 6th graders at the time, not only because, when writing in English they needed all my help, but also because they get used to see their work published with quality, they became attentive themselves to their spelling, punctuation and vocabulary. On the other hand, I didn’t forced them to get published, I just invited them to and show them the benefits of it. (I’m speaking on the past because now I’m not a Teacher but a Tutor, with 1 to 2 or 3 students at a time)

    Ines

  15. Hello. I am a new blogger. My URL is http://karinaluke.edublogs.org . I confess it has very little except a chosen theme. I started blogging with my Year 5 class last year but was not sure how to integrate it successfully and make it engaging. My goals for January are to familiarise myself with the edublogs platform and explore other blogs to gain a better understanding of how blogging can enrich our teaching and classroom experience. Over the ten week course I am hoping to design and implement a new approach to blogging with my class that is exciting, engaging, and meaningful for each of the students. Each of my students will have their own blog. I liked the suggestion that you start with the teacher posting and students learning to comment appropriately first, then moving them into their own posting and managing their own blogs. I am excited to see how this progresses. Last year the blogs were used as an in-class literacy rotation where students had to post on a given topic, then for homework they had to comment on several of their peers blogs. This was great for the first term and then the interest level dropped off. I am hoping to discover new ways to run the class blog that is interesting and engaging for the whole year and ideally student driven not teacher driven.

  16. 1. I blogged as a student at university. I enjoyed it for two main reasons 1. as a student, everything was contained in one space and 2. I felt more accountable for my work knowing that other students would be reading it

    2 + 3. My audience will be my students. Their audience will be me and their peers.

    4. Each week, students write a “reader response” using google docs. The only audience they have, other than peer review days, is me! I want them to continue having conversations even after the lesson is over.

    5. The blog will most likely be private to start, but I envision making it public after expectations are set and students are producing quality work.

    6. I think that in order for blogging to work, students need to be bought into the program and should be intrinsically motivated to post their ideas. I would love to see students posting and commenting without having to set a minimum requirement (i.e. two comments per week, 500 word, etc.)

    • Stephanie Machotka
  17. Task #1
    Newbie…I’ve started to set up my classroom blog. A bit of a learning curve. Glad it was 13 degrees and blustery outside; kept me planted on the couch! Not sure if this is how to correctly copy and paste link?
    https://msjenkinsroom122.edublogs.org/

    • Hi Tricia,
      Well done! Brrr. It sounds chilly there. I’m certainly enjoying our Australian summer.
      Your blog is looking awesome! What a great theme. And you copied and pasted the link just right. Great job 🙂

      • Kathleen Morris
    • Wow Tricia, you’ve produced a great blog for a newbie. Most impressive.

  18. REFLECT:
    Why do you want to blog? I want to return to blogging after moving town/homes/school
    Who will your audience be? Classmates and the school community initially.
    Who will be writing on your classroom blog? Myself and grade 3/4 students.
    How could blogging be integrated into your classroom program? I have so many ideas on how I will integrate this into our classroom; Reading response and feedback on a classroom library page. Students individual pages. Our Inquiry investigations. Open ended maths investigations. Links to resource packages and commonly used sites.
    Will your blog be public or private? Initially I will start as private until i navigate the school community and leadership. Internet safety and global concepts are an issue in this community.
    What do you think makes a high quality classroom blogging program? High quality teaching and learning. Blogging is integrated into planing and also managed by the whole grade. Blogging is used for exploring the process, reflecting and evaluating, not just end products.

    • Felicity Burman
  19. I am a 4th grade teacher and I have had an interest in blogging with my class for sometime however, have never gotten it off the ground. I recently had my interest sparked again as I discovered the 100 Word Challenge. It has led me to a lot of frustration but I am not going to give up. I set up my blog and have been reading as much. Here is my blog: bbentley1.edublogs.org

    • G’day B. Bentley,
      Great job starting your blog. This one is used often with classes. The only thing I don’t like about it, is that everything is in lower case, which might not set a good example for students.

  20. I’m excited to learn about authentic blogging with my students. I can already feel the “comparison paralysis” even as I make this comment 🙂

    • Sue O’Regan
  21. Well I’m totally new to all this, but I managed to set up a a blog!!!! My URL is mrsklingner.edublogs.org. My blog name is 3Beginner Bloggers- meaning I teach Year 3 and we will begin this journey together. To start with I am just hoping to get familiar with the process and having students comment on different topics, then I’m hoping to connect with other classes to discuss student topics!

    • G’day Mrs Klingner,
      Young students love that theme especially around Halloween time. Great job getting your blog started.

    • Well done, Melinda! Bet you feel good having your blog together. Perfect URL too. I made the mistake of having a restrictive one a couple of times in the past! Sounds like a great blogging plan. 🙂

      • Kathleen Morris
  22. Hello, I’m Jen. I have dabbled in blogging in the past, including using Weebly and Google sites to connect my students as well personally using Blogger and building a website in WordPress. I’ve always just jumped in and had a go but didn’t feel like I did any of it particularly well.
    My goals for this course are to become more comfortable blogging and facilitating my students’ blogs. By the end of the 10 weeks I hope to have all my students set up and posting about their learning in the English learning area as well as sharing something of personal interest. I’d like there to be the beginnings of a real online community between the three campuses I oversee and the students in each class as they share about novels they have read and recommendations to each other.
    I want to blog to teach my students how to build a positive online presence, interact safely and present work that is polished for a wider audience. The audience of my personal blog will be my students to model pages and posts, update parents about student work, share a bit about me and write posts about the topics we are discussing. The students will have their own blogs linked to my blog. I am a secondary English and Humanities teacher so students will be publishing work initially for their yearlong reading program in English, sharing book reviews and recommendations. They will also have an ‘about me’ page where they can share (responsibly) about themselves to build a positive online presence. My blog will be public but am not sure yet if the students’ blogs will be public (subject to the school’s policies). A high quality classroom blogging program is one where students are keen to build their own site, take ownership over it, post according to the program/curriculum requirements and comment constructively on each other’s posts, building a positive learning community. My students leave me at Year 10, so I would consider it successful if they were then able to start their own blogs/profiles for senior school and into their future careers.
    I look forward to undertaking this course.

    • Jennifer Howell
      • Love the use of the storybird to describe yourself. I often have a variety of activities for students to tell about themselves in the student blogging challenge I run.

  23. Are you going to allow your students to write about their passions on your class blog or will it always relate to what is happening in the classroom? Will you be assessing every post or perhaps asking students to nominate one of their posts every month to be assessed?

    Remember you can pair students up to write a post. Or as some teachers have mentioned, have students post on the class blog and earn their own blog once they have posted and commented well.

    Here is an example of a blog in the campus setup I use where the teacher started blogging two years ago but only felt comfortable last year and her students just took the blog and ran with it. Some posts relate to class, others are free choice. https://www.xpress360.net.au/ahortle/

    This teacher has been blogging for 3 years and her students earn their own blog as well. https://www.xpress360.net.au/jmoore/

  24. Goals:
    I have been using blogs in the classroom for a couple of years. I think they are great, however, I don’t think that I am using them to their full potential. I have a lot to learn!

    * My short term goal is to find a way to effectively track student activity on the blogs.
    * My goal for the 10 weeks is to set up a quality assignment that is cross-curricular and will target multiple curriculum expectations.
    * My goal for 2018 is to ensure that my students are comfortable with blogging and understand how to create good quality posts and comments. I would love to consistently model “how to blog” and best practices. I am hoping to learn and grow as a blogger throughout this course.

  25. I actually shared a blog post on this topic: http://www.mrsjeff2u.com/2018/01/14/participating-in-the-better-blogging-course-through-edublogs/

    Below are my goals:

    January Goals – To begin to become more consistent with blogging. I’m hoping to release one post a week sharing my progress through this course.

    Coure Goals – Complete it….ha ha! In addition, I’d like to be a resource and support system for others while growing my PLN.

    2018 Goals – Put myself on track to have a clear vision of my sharing of the work I do my personal thoughts on technology and education. Should I use this space only for content and maybe use Medium as my a space for my personal thoughts? Sometimes those things overlap so how do I choose?

    • Carla Jefferson
    • Love this, Carla! I just commented and I’ll share it with the Facebook group. 🙂

      • Kathleen Morris
    • Hi Carla! I love your idea of sharing this experience on the teach/love site. (Read your post & subscribed) I’m inspired to do the same on my own educator blog. I have been searching for the right inspiration/ topic to get me blogging again. Would you mind if I followed your example? It might be interesting to compare notes (thoughts) throughout the process.

      • Kae L Cunningham
  26. Hello all! I teach college-level composition in Texas and I am mostly a newbie to blogging. I plan on using this site to require my students to maintain a blog and write a specified number of posts throughout the semester, as well as leave comments and interact with others on the site.

    My students are used to frequent low-stakes writing assignments, but their audience is usually limited to just myself or other students in our classroom. By making their blogs public, I wanted to see if the potential for reaching a wider audience and getting feedback would motivate students to write higher quality work. I am giving limited direction on how their blogs should be composed and letting them choose their own topics and write according to their own interests and strengths. I am also encouraging the use of visuals to accompany their posts.

    I am eager to learn from others in this community who have used blogging in the classroom in various ways.

    • I’m also a college instructor, and I plan on using blogging in my classroom in the same way you are. It is primarily an assignment to get my students to connect course content to their everyday lives. I also plan to have them blog once a week, with minimum instruction on what to write about, just a basic length requirement of 250 words. Are you requiring a specific number of comments to other students each week as part of your assignment? I usually do this with discussion boards in online courses, but I haven’t thought about it much for this blogging assignment yet.

      • bioharperpeirce
  27. Hi All,
    2 – Who will your audience be?
    My audience will be: the students themselves, the student’s parents and our teachers; we would love to connect with students from other schools in Portugal and abroad, as I can translate my kids writings and help them with the comments.
    3 – Who will be writing on your blog?
    On my writing workshop blog the writers will be mostly my students, their teachers – our principal has already volunteered – guest bloggers, as parents, for instance.
    For now, I’m the “private secretary” for most of my 52 students; however, six of them type directly while writing, although I do the final editing.
    Right now, I’m on the process of subscribing more volunteer students on our Edublogs blog and our wiki at pb works to enhance students autonomy and initiative.
    Ines

  28. Hello! This is my first experience with blogging, as well as my first experience having students keep a blog. I teach at a community college, and my students are learning about environmental science this spring. I’m teaching a hybrid course, which means part of the course is taught face to face in the classroom and part of the course is completed by the students online. I thought blogging would be a great way to keep in touch with a large class (I have 96 students) and also encourage them to communicate with each other outside of class.

    My goals this spring are to stay on top of my own weekly blog, summarizing what we did in class and giving students instructions on what they need to do online. I also want to encourage instructor to student interaction and find a way to give meaningful feedback on blog posts without having to read and comment on 96 posts a week (I’m certainly open to ideas if anyone has any!). And my final goal is to encourage student to student communication in the course, hopefully using these blogs as a tool.

    Here’s a link to my blog. I’ve posted an introduction as an example for students (that’s their first assignment) and I’ve also posted a “welcome to class” message as we start our course tomorrow.

    https://bioharperpeirce.edublogs.org/

    • bioharperpeirce
  29. Hello Everyone,
    4 – How could Blogging be integrated into your writing workshop program?

    I have been allowed to let my kids blog along while they are creating texts, during the Tutoring session. The majority of them type as beginners, which slows down their concentration to elaborate creatively and blurs the sudden firing up of vivid details; so, for the most part, they prefer handwriting.
    As we have just 45 m, we may correct and even improve the text, but so far, I have remained in charge of typing and posting.
    My aim is to encourage students to type the draft more often directly into the blog and let them appear as the true authors, initiating them in the art of commenting on each other posts.
    As we live within a traditional learning system, when the “season of tests” will roll over us like a killer wave, we will be just studying for some weeks and won’t have time left even for commenting, unless students freely choose to do it from home.
    Ines

  30. “Who will your audience be?”
    My primary audience is my students. My blog has become an incredible teaching tool that I use in all subject areas. It’s a special place where everything in my classroom gets consolidated daily.
    My secondary audience is parents. All parents follow their own child’s blog closely and most read mine daily too (I’ve blogged for several years and it’s finally getting easy to post every school day).
    My tertiary (is that the right word?) audience is the rest of the world. Anyone, anywhere is welcome to follow the journey my class is taking. I dont know these readers but I expect they are mostly grandparents and other students/teachers.

  31. I’ve long been a blogging enthusiast having created different blogs with different purposes in mind and therefore for different audiences. The most rewarding experience for me as an EFL teacher though was the creation of a class blog, in which my form pupils were free to publish and comment whenever they wished as well as post their assignments. I witnessed their growth, their learning, their engagement and interaction not only among themselves but also with an audience they will never meet personally. This was a three-year process in which their sentences and paragraphs became longer and longer, better and better, their ICT skills improved and their knowledge (and tolerance / respect) towards diversity was nurtured. I have no doubts about the blogging potential and that’s exactly why I want to blog, no matter the obstacles that may come up.
    Blogging in itself, though, is no guarantee of any skill improvement if not approached seriously by all those involved.
    1. For this blog in particular, I would like to somehow involve all my pupils irrespective of their grades / proficiency level / ages by publishing their assignments – be it an essay, a book review, a video presentation, a picture description – or their voluntary contributions.
    2. To begin with, I will be the one to write on the blog. Experience has taught me that being English a foreign language (in Portugal) and definitely an obstacle for many pupils, it’s best to start “slow and low” and guarantee that they don’t disengage right away (more than they already are 😊).
    3. As said, “slow and low” to start with also because I still teach in a very traditional environment (one-computer classrooms) with very traditional colleagues. My pupils are not digital natives either…they own computers and smartphones, but can’t (and aren’t willing to) do anything else besides gaming and accessing social media. Blogging, in this case, will start one-way even if student-centred.
    4. My blogs have always been public – after all, sharing and interacting are the essence of this Web 2.0 technology! My pupils’ safety is of the utmost importance and not even their parents’ signed permission notes are enough now according to a recent deliberation on data protection (https://www.cnpd.pt/bin/orientacoes/DEL_1495_2016_dados_alunos_Internet.pdf). As Alan November has said “It’s time for teachers to stop saying HAND IT IN and start saying PUBLISH IT” – I believe this is a great affordance we should take advantage of: by publishing their contributions we are triggering more careful creations as they are aware it’s not only their own teacher who is checking it, it’s available for the whole world to see. Hiding or blurring their faces, avoiding their surnames and other personal details are relevant for their safety and that shouldn’t prevent teachers from sharing our pupils’ stuff. Maybe we are creating a hub for unleashing our pupils’ creativity, for finding their voice and their Element (Sir Ken Robinson).
    5. A high-quality classroom blogging programme depends on a lot of factors. As this is already a long text (my apologies for that but this is a dear topic), I would end up saying that today’s world is far more complex than it was a couple of years ago and pedagogy has to change in order to better support the acquisition of 21st Century Skills capitalising on the Web 2.0 technologies. New technologies require new skills – collaboration, creativity, communication, critical thinking along with problem solving skills – not only for the time being but also to prepare our pupils to face the challenges of an ever-changing world of work. By involving our pupils in a (classroom) blogging programme, we are providing them with even further opportunities to develop these much-needed skills and thus making it high quality.

    • teacheralexsoure
    • Really thank you for sharing your experience!

      • Derly Johanna
      • You’re welcome. Thank you for reading, Deryl Johanna.

        • teacheralexsoure
  32. My goal in joining this course was to learn more about how to galvanize student blogging in my classroom. Currently, each student has a blog, but I don’t feel that student blogging is as robust as it could be. The students’ audience includes other fifth graders at this school (about 75 students total.)
    I myself do not blog regularly. I noticed that the top three reasons for educators to blog were: 1) share assignments, homework and news with students, 2) share class activities and news with parents/guardians and 3) provide links to resources. Our school policy currently requires teachers to utilize Schoology, email and Twitter for these tasks. So having a class blog has not been a necessity and would in many ways overlap with these platforms. I do however, feel that blogging raises the quality of my classroom writing program for students, so that is my primary goal. I’m looking forward to learning about ways to enrich my classroom writing program!

    • I have the same issue. School policies only allow the use of an agenda for news, alerts, students’ progress reports. But I really want to include a class blog so at least I can display students’ writing assignments and other dynamics in the classroom and share free reinforcement activities. More than that, my goal is to connect with parents.

      • Derly Johanna
  33. I created a blog on edublogs.edu months ago, and then I got overwhelmed and my progress came to a halt. When I looked to other teacher blogs for inspiration, I saw so many wonderful ideas, but I was having trouble focusing on what I wanted. My first concern with seventh graders is the responsibility of having a blog. For this reason, I think I will start out with having complete ownership in the writing. Once I feel more comfortable, I may relinquish more to the students.

    • Hi Alexandra!
      I loved your long entry! I’m printing and taking to school with me some of the answers to silently reflect a bit about them when I have a break. Now that I’ve finished my “homework” I feel more open to listen to others in depth.
      I visited your blog and I’ll leave you a comment. Welcome to mine: http://stora.edublogs.org

      • Dear Inês,
        Thank you so much for your kind words. I do tend to write a lot, but there´s always something more to say about blogging – an issue I’m really passionate about 🙂
        I’ve already visited your wonderful blog and left a comment that is awaiting moderation.
        Best wishes, Alexandra

        • teacheralexsoure
  34. I have to say, it’s going to be pretty hard to get my students blogging if we never get back to school. About four inches of snow so far, and it’s still coming down hard. And here in North Carolina we do not deal well with snow.

    • Callie Hammond
    • My dad used to live in North Carolina and I always remember him saying that the only snow removal system the state had was the sun. Hope you guys get back to school soon!

      • mrmccraysclass
      • Eek, it looks like the weather has been wild on the other side of the world. Here in Australia, it’s 42 degrees Celsius today. Quite the contrast!

        • Kathleen Morris
      • I love this! That is how we remove the snow in Central Virginia, too!

  35. 6 – What do you think makes a highly quality classroom blogging program?
    Although I’m not a teacher in the classroom anymore, I must adapt this question to my specific situation and, at the same time, share some thoughts. A highly quality blogging programme could eventually be:
    • Freely chosen by students. In alternative, students could prefer another organized although less dynamic way of working in order to improve their writing and communication skills. Meanwhile, Educators would do their best to show the real and irreplaceable benefits of blogging. But the simple fact there is an act of free choice, laying at the root of the project, may guarantee the degree
    of personal commitment and the quality of fidelity it requires.
    • Integrated in the “assessment system” and highly valued. I no longer have to grade my students work. They can engage freely, just for the love of it, and these are often the best contributions.
    The programme should include:
    • Time for blogging in and out of the classroom.
    • Training of editing skills, code of conduct online, awareness of security measures.
    • A wide variety of subjects to write about, such as:
    1. topics for research;
    2. creative writing;
    3. study strategies for assignments;
    4. reflective writing on one’s own learning;
    5. comments and reviews on other students posts;
    6. Reflections on dialogues unfolded through multiple students comments, including no English speaking bloggers.
    7. Guest Bloggers posts: parents, colleagues from other schools, experts in specific areas relevant to the students;
    8. And, definitely, the presence of the teacher in charge, through posting and commenting, writing along with his or her students through all the Blogging Adventure.
    Ines

    • Hi Inês,
      Blogging about a topic or topics that pupils love is of the utmost importance as is the certainty that whatever they do will be taken into consideration for their final mark. If we expect pupils to post when and whatever they wish, I am almost sure they’ll never do it as there will always be “more important” things for them to do, namely in social media or simply texting. There should be scaffolded tasks, graded, and deadlines so that they don’t feel it’s a “waste of time” even if the teacher doesn’t see it that way 😉

      • Alexandra Duarte
      • Hi Alexandra!
        I really agree with you. I’m trying to figure out an alternative system (that, in fact, doesn’t seem to exist) so that the students would feel free to choose blogging. I have been visiting dozens of teenagers’ blogs (not young students as 5th and 6th graders) whose teachers registered in individual blogs and they didn’t feel like co-authors of the project, they simply would gave up writing soon after the first posts and would only keep the blogs going for academic assignments but with no care for the quality of the writing nor the commenting and didn’t engage in real dialogues with others. That’s why I was looking for an alternative that enabled a free act of choice and personal commitment.
        Ines

  36. I keep a personal blog primarily because I have always been a journaler. Blogging for me is just a means of expressing myself and being a global citizen. As far as a class blog goes. I live in a very, very, unexposed community. My kids, some have never been outside of this very small and narrow town. I am hoping that blogging will help them explore themselves, their attitudes, and their desires, beyond the boundaries of the city limits.

    I don’t want to have them explode on to the global scene quite yet. We need to work on digital citizenship and more importantly digital safety. So for now, I think we’ll keep it private. Right now, I think our audience will be our school communities and our families. Baby steps!

    They have gotten their little toes wet this year as I introduced Google Classroom, WebQuests, and other technology tools through the science curriculum. I will probably have students who are interested “apply” for a guest blogger spot and rotate that until I have a regular blogging team.

    We will start by infusing our Biology class with current trends in Biology and/or other sciences. Perhaps, from there we will branch out into Citizen Science where my students can keep a blog on the process of experimental design and data collection for real scientists around the globe. Here is a cool article on that for any interested: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/idea/citizen-science-projects/

    We want our blogging program to have a purpose. Like anything in education, we need a good plan and a vision to be successful. The opportunity for the students to become global thinkers and activists is within this generation like never before. They literally have world information and data at their fingertips, all the time.

    But to be a global thinker, they must learn to develop original thought, original content, and authentic opinions, a challenge in the copy paste society in which we live. Students need to learn by taking action and answering questions. They need to learn the difference between fact and opinion and report accurately, using reputable sourcing, and concise content.

    But hey, at this point, I’ll just be happy if they suit up, show up, and get excited.

    • Candria Eddinger
  37. How could blogging be integrated into your classroom program?
    I started using a classroom blog this year for the first time. My students primarily have been blogging as a way to reflect upon their independent reading books, but recently they have started posting their Google Slide presentations from Social Studies and Science research projects. I wanted to make writing fun in my class so my students have started to pair up and collaborate on writing imaginative narratives, starting on Google Docs and then ultimately publishing their work onto their blogs. I have been surprised by the results, my students’ voices are really coming through in their writing.
    Incorporating blogging into my daily lessons has provided my students with an opportunity to communicate with other students globally and that has been the hook to keep my students coming back enthusiastically! It also provides a digital portfolio allowing students to see their growth from their first posts to their most recent ones.
    I am still struggling though finding a way to incorporate mathematics into their blogs. Does anyone have an suggestions or ideas to incorporate mathematics? It would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks,
    ~Keith

    • mrmccraysclass
    • G’day Keith,
      I know when I was teaching that I would include maths like data collection using polls and surveys. Also taking pictures of mathematical items in nature or the classroom or outside. Reflecting on maths lessons by using an image and then the writing to go with it.

  38. My goal this year is to set up my first classroom blog. Last year I created a unique classroom website for each one of my grades. It was just static information and reinforcement activities published. During this course, I want to learn about how many teachers around the world use their blogs to connect with parents and display their students’ products so I can do the same, including the reinforcement activities and term plans. My audience will be my students from the different grades I’ll be teaching this year (in Colombia, our school year is from February to November); I want a private class blog and initially I will be writing on it, allowing students to comment and earn publications on the blog. I think this is what actually makes a high-quality class blogging program.

    • Derly Johanna
  39. My goal is to become more confident and competent in the technical aspects of blogging myself first and then, like Dom and others, I want to learn the skills to “model quality blogging” for my students and set up a positive, safe, and respectful culture of blogging in my classes. To begin I plan to post and then let students post (moderated) comments.
    To get some practice at blogging I’ve just set up a personal blog here: http://donellaj.edublogs.org/ At this stage I plan to post some blogs about fostering a classroom culture that values diversity and differentiated teaching and learning. This year I’m teaching a Year 7 and a Year 8 Humanities class and ultimately would like to be able to open our blogging up so that other Humanities classes in our school can share and comment and then hopefully we’ll open it up to the public and create a more global (and authentic) blogging community. I plan to follow the model Kathleen has illustrated in her post. I’m not sure how this will work yet with my school’s LMS which is Canvas. Has anyone else used Canvas with WordPress?

  40. Several years ago I went to a writing class on blogging and was inspired immediately. Although we have technology in my district, they are very fearful of the internet and have very strong filters and parameters in which I can access things. This was a roadblock for me until I found the paid version for Edublogs. This version allows me to blog in the classroom and the kids could see the pictures (so valuable). In the past I have struggled with who should write the blog and have tried different things since moving to 4th grade.
    My thought is to have a combination of myself and guest bloggers write on the class blog with the intent that everyone can comment. In addition, I would like to add student blogs for their own writing. This way their writing can be shared and commented on by others around the world. These two aspects fit nicely with our writing standards and give my students an audience outside of me. It would be easy to add blogging to our Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop time. I feel that a quality blog for a classroom can look very different depending on your goals. However, I tend to read educational blogs that share practices and shows students engaged in their learning. Those blogs inspire me to try new ideas and become a better educator. That is the type of blog that I would like to produce.
    My blogging goals for January is to simply start! I would like to post 1 to 2 times this month about something we are learning or what is happening in our classroom. Over the 10 week course I would like to teach my students how to create a blog post, comment correctly and have their own blog to showcase their writing. My long term blogging plan for the year 2018 would be to have a classroom blog that highlights thinking and celebrates learning in 4th grade. Wish me luck!

    • Hi Kori,
      I enjoyed reading your experience and goals. They sound excellent and achievable. I like the way you plan to incorporate student writing into your blogging program.
      1 to 2 times a month is a nice achievable goal too. I’m sure you’ll find you’ll get into a rhythm once you get going. 🙂

      • Kathleen Morris
  41. I had originally thought of blogging as a more authentic way for students to do writing assignments– rather than writing for an audience of one (me), they would be writing to a larger, live audience. I am currently preparing to teach a Media Literacy class second semester, and am excited about the possibility of using blogging to teach my unit on digital citizenship. I really appreciated the point about teaching students how to comment appropriately– we really must model and practice our expectations, not just assume that students have the digital manners already. So… short term goals–1) I would like to figure out the answers to the questions posed by this post, 2) I would like to explore other classroom blogs (excellent suggestion–thank you), and 3) in the next two weeks, I would like to make my first post.

    • Lindsay, your goals sound as though they will really help you to become a better blogger. You have also set realistic timeframes for achieving these goals. I agree, explicitly teaching and modeling how to comment appropriately is so important and often overlooked. I’m not sure how old your students are, but teaching ‘digital manners’ as you’ve put it is necessary at any age. All the best with your blogging pursuits!

  42. Hello!
    I’ve dabbled a bit with blogging in the past, but am keen to use it more effectively with my students this year. I have found it beneficial for teaching digital citizenship and cyber-safety in context. I teach Kindergarten and love introducing my students to these skills right from the beginning.
    Goals:
    Short term – set up my 2018 blog using Seesaw. I’ve used Seesaw as a digital portfolio for several years now and have started to explore the blogging feature. I like it because there’s one platform to monitor and maintain. The blog may be a bit quiet for a few weeks as the students don’t start school until February. To start with, I will be creating the blog posts, then gradually moving to students commenting, then allowing them to post content themselves (with teacher approval, of course).
    Medium term – make blogging a part of our daily classroom routine. I’d also like to explore ways of building it into teaching and learning in a meaningful way. I’m interested in the concept of using blogging to redefine learning, rather than as a substitute for pencil and paper only.
    Longer term – connect with other classes in the school, colleagues, students’ extended family members and hopefully classes in other countries. I’d like to make my blog public, but will have to check my school’s guidelines.
    The medium and long term goals seem quite similar time-wise. Let’s see how it goes!

  43. I am a Learning Support Teacher taking on a new role of co ordination. I want to blog to help parents. I want to support and encourage them as they help their children to learn and grow. So some of the blog posts I put up might be about helping your child with reading, developing a love of reading etc. As a team co ordinator, I thought my blog might help provide some pd to my team of Learning Support Assistants where I could discuss strategies to assist in various teaching situations or strategies that might assist them in helping particular types of students eg students with dyslexia etc. Perhaps an extension might be for parents, aides or teachers to ask question s/ suggest topics for future blogs. This type of blog would be best being a public blog giving me the opportunity to learn from other teachers or other professionals ( therapists and the like) who mint read my blog and especially as the blog would definitely be out of the classroom and involving parents and others

  44. Hi All,
    1 – Short Term Goals – January
    • To share the project of this course with students and teachers;
    • To register volunteer students in our writing workshop blog and in our “pbworks” wiki (7 kids added this week).
    2 – Medium Term Goals – Ten Weeks Course
    • To facilitate my students learning the technical skills to deal with the blog ;
    • To help them develop the ethical and reflective competencies to elaborate quality comments.
    • To accomplish the weekly tasks of the course.
    • To learn from the shared comments and posts of the participants, through personal reflection and dialogue. (This first week flew so quickly that I think it will be a challenging goal)

    3 – Long Term Goals – 2018
    • To engage some colleagues and students in this dynamic approach to Blogging : posting, commenting and engaging in thoughtful conversations able to inspire the sense of Global Citizenship and to generate long distance genuine relationships.
    Ines

  45. Why do you want to blog?
    To be quite honest, I am still not sure if I want to blog, and if blogging is the solution that I am looking for. All I know now is that I would like my students to start writing ad experimenting with English.
    Who will your audience be?
    I teach English as a Foreign language to intermediate level students. They are at a wonderful stage of their English learning journey. The language is becoming spontaneous and we have the most wonderful discussions in class about anything and everything. Blogging seems to be a creative way to play with language. My students also have so many stories to tell, and blogging will give them the opportunity to do so.
    Who will be writing on your classroom blog?
    My students mostly, with the support of other teachers and guest bloggers.
    How could blogging be integrated into your classroom program?
    We will have to spend time on getting started. The most difficult part of frequent blogging is to create the habit. At the moment any additional writing by my students is optional, but a creative and exciting blog could do wonders to encourage more writing.
    Will your blog be public or private?
    I am not sure yet. My biggest concern is that the initial blog may not be professional enough to be public. Is there any way that one can have a semi-private blog, i.e. one that can be accessed by the educators doing this course with me? I would value the input. I haven’t quite wrapped my head around internet safety and privacy yet, either.
    What do you think makes a high-quality classroom blogging program?
    A student-centered, safe-to fail learning sandbox where we can experiment with and redefine EFL learning.

    • G’day Sue,
      Blogs can be totally private through to totally open to the world. If your blog is with Edublogs or Campus Press, go to your dashboard> settings> reading and there are 5 options for privacy. The third one down will allow anyone in the Edublogs setup to leave a comment so that would be a lot of the people on this course plus anyone else logged into their Edublogs blog.

  46. I discovered blogging this summer for myself and decided immediately that this would be the ideal platform to replace student journals. Blogging All the Books was my campaign title for a few grants and to explain the program to the kids. We now have 5 Chromebooks in our classroom and are scheduled for a class set cart every Tuesday.
    Many of our posts have gone beyond the books we are reading and reflect on other lessons or themes for the time of year. My goal for this school year was to just start and learn along the way. Learning has been accomplished, everyday time we post! The only thing I wish we could really be doing better this year is sharing our blogs. I’ve asked the students to get comments from parents, friends (outside of class), family and they haven’t been very good about this. I don’t know if they don’t understand how to comment or what the missing piece is for this action.
    Another goal is to utilize my class blog for newsletter type information. I have no idea why I’ve been creating and emailing digital newsletters when I could very easily write these as blog posts and email out a link! With middle school parents it seems to be an all or nothing kind of involvement. Some want to know every last detail and some have no idea what goes on at school besides the start and end times. I’d like to see the class blog function as an informant for those who want to feel part of their child’s school day and draw in the parents who haven’t shown much interest in their child’s schooling.

    • I completely agree with you about parental involvement at the middle school level. I think that by setting up a blog you are making information available and hopefully the parents will take advantage of the opportunity to know what is going on and to communicate with their child about their class work. I have also been trying to communicate more with parents this year and setting up a class blog will be a goal for me next year I think so I can improve on this more.

  47. Why do you want to blog?
    I started my first blogs to reflect on my CPD. Now I have started my blog with my students in the school where I have been workig for one year
    Who will your audience be?
    Mainly my students and their families
    Who will be writing on your classroom blog?
    Me- but in the future I ‘d like my students to work with me
    So far it is me but I would like my students to start writing their own blog. I need a blog where they can showcase what they have done and achieved.
    How could blogging be integrated into your classroom program?
    I teach languages ….as a result my students can use the language and read in meaningful contexts
    Will your blog be public or private?
    It will be public
    What do you think makes a high quality classroom blogging program?
    The level of engagement and interaction and the ideas of the blogger. In ELT I have seen very nice blogs where students of English have presented their classroom projects.

    • Tiziana Angiolini
  48. Goals:
    This is my second year using a blog as a writing platform for my students in grade 7. Last year I was learning with them and found that something I wanted to work on more this year was teaching them how to create better comments when they respond to each other.
    Goals for this year: track students blog posts and give better feedback by modeling what their blog posts and comments should look like.
    Goals for 2018: set up a class blog as an intro to blogging next September so that when it comes time for them to start their own blog they have a better idea of what it should look like and how to write an effective post and comment.

  49. Why do I want to blog? I want to blog because I would like to have a better relationship with my parents. I feel that sometimes parents see the music class as a “fun” class and not an academic. I am hoping a blog will give the parents a different view of my class.

    Who will be writing on the blog? I will start writing the blog, but eventually, I would like to have my older students (5th grade) do the blogging. I am interested in using the model that was explained in the post today.

  50. Hi everyone. I have just started setting up my class blog after watching the beginner tutorial. I think that initially I’d like to set the page up with a collection of resources, visual aides and instructions around routines that my students and families can access at school and at home. I’d also like to use the space to keep the wider community updated on what we are focusing on – perhaps a weekly overview that student samples / photos etc. would be linked to. The link is https://www.xpress360.net.au/dnichols/.

    • Damon Nichols
  51. Having recently set up my blog, I think initially I will keep it private until the students, parents and school management are happy to open it to the wider world. As we embark on Global Citizenship within our school, I can really see the benefit of having a public site, where my students can engage with others around the world. Small steps 😉

    • I think that small steps are the perfect way to begin. That is also where I am at right now. I often want to go big or go home, but that also prevents me from trying something new. It reminds me of the saying, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I have an end goal in mind and slowly work towards it. For example, taking this course to help me get there!

  52. I have been using blogs in teaching for 7-8 years. I teach EFL to students in a French speaking West African country who are preparing to take university courses in English. I started using blogs as a way to get them writing and thinking more in English outside of class, and also to improve their technology skills. At first, I used a wiki site, which was simple to use, but occasionally a student would overwrite something another student had written. At the time I looked into WordPress, but at the time it seemed tricky to set up. When our university started using Edu2.0, I switched to online discussions. Now I use Google sites, because it allows me to have more than one section of a course using the same blog, but does not require the students to create any new accounts, since they already have a university Google apps account. You might assume that all young people today are digital natives, but here we have a wide range of digital skills and experience.

    Our audience is limited to the students in the course. I will post a prompt (usually a series of questions that they should answer in paragraph form). I often post links to videos to watch or online articles to read. Usually, they need to post their response and then respond to at least two other students’ posts. The posting is done as homework, and we later discuss the issue in class. Only people within the university can view the blog unless they are invited.

    I would say a high quality blogging program is one that engages the students because they see it as enjoyable and useful, not just another chore. Ideally it should help them see connections between their own lives and broader issues.

    • Hi Julie, I love your description of a high quality blogging program. We definitely want to avoid blogging being a chore if possible. I just love the part about connections too. This is so true. Blogging can really be a catalyst for gaining new perspectives!

      • Kathleen Morris
  53. I would like to start a blog in order to give students the opportunity to voice their opinions on various topics outside the realm of our curriculum, or at least as an extension to the topics covered in class. I also think our students need to practice writing as often as possible. I envision the audience to be maining parents or people associated with the school community. My thoughts are to, initially, write a blog post myself and have the students respond with their ideas on the topic. I’ve also thought to possibly have a former student write a post, so the present students can see a viewpoint from someone who has finished the course. I do not know how I will integrate it into the course material as of yet. I hope to give my students the opportunity to write for someone other than me, to help give them confidence in their writing and thinking abilities.

  54. Hello everyone! I have just started blogging this year with my 4th/5th-grade class at knowitalls.edublogs.org. We are learning together as we give it a go. My students have their own blog linked to our class blog.

    Who will your audience be?
    Our audience so far has mostly been parents and classmates. We are just learning how to blog and how to leave helpful comments. I work in an amazing public school that has parents very much involved. All of my parents work in my classroom every week for 2.5 hours. This helps with blogging because I will often ask parents to read and leave comments on the blogs of each student.

    Who will be writing on the blog?
    I have been writing on our class blog and each student has their own blog. I have it set up to approve each student blog and comments before they can be published. This is helpful because we are new and my students sometimes write weird stuff. I am working on strategies to help with the process of getting the blogs to a better quality before they turn them into me. I like the idea that someone mentioned about first creating the blog in google classroom before they send it to their edublog. This would really help me give effective feedback quickly and it won’t backlog students waiting to be published.

    How will blogging be integrated into your classroom program?
    We have done some optional blog topics and some assignment topics. Our recent assignment was based on our common core standards of reading non-fiction and researching more than one source. Connecting some of our blogs to our other classwork seems to be a powerful connection. It is always more meaningful when you know someone else might be reading your words.

    Will your blog be public or private?
    It is public, but we haven’t really pushed it out. This is a next goal to learn about tags and getting more opportunities for others to read our work. That’s why I joined! I’m excited to learn from all of you.

    What makes a high-quality classroom blogging program?
    This is what I am learning. I really want my students to be able to communicate effectively in their blogs. I want them to open up their world beyond just the little world they live in. I want them to open up their minds to listening and learning from others. I want them to learn about digital citizenship. I want them to be inspired. I think a high-quality blogging program is a meaningful, purposeful, intentional program that helps students connect with others.

  55. Hi all,
    I am an instructional coach in Illinois. I am setting up and learning about blogging so that I can then teach the teachers at my elementary school. I am somewhat familiar with blogging but need to learn a lot more about it. So by setting up and using my own blog, I am hoping to share my knowledge with others. http://learningthroughcoaching.edublogs.org

    • Great work! I love that theme you’ve chosen too. 🙂

      • Kathleen Morris
  56. I am completely new to blogging although I have been wanting to blog with my students for a few years now. I have never known where to start and consequently, thinking about blogging and reading different blog posts is as far as I have got. I am looking forward to learning where to start and what to do so that i am able to take that next step and actually blog with my students.
    I have signed up for a blog but unfortunately I am not able to login until I go back to school in a couple of weeks and can update my passwords.
    My goals: Short term – To set up and log in to my class blog. To have a clear idea of what I hope to achieve by the end of the year and what I will blog about.
    Medium term – To complete each task in this online course. To have written at least 4 blog posts by the end of March. To have commented on at least 2 blog posts.
    Long Term – To feel confident about blogging. To blog weekly either written by myself or my students. To comment regularly on blog posts that I read. To be enthusiastic about blogging next year with my class and to begin a personal blog.
    Who will my audience be – parents, students and other bloggers
    Who will write my blog – initially myself with a view to students writing posts by the end of the year.
    How will I integrate blogging – initially during home group time or through either a digital technology lesson or English or Maths lesson depending on what the theme for that weeks blog will be.
    Public or Private – I am hoping that my blog will be public but I will need to take advice on this once I return after the holidays.
    What makes a high quality blogging program – I am hoping to understand this as the course progresses as currently I am not really sure

    • Deirdre Bolland
    • Hi Deirdre,
      As your blog is with the xpress360 setup in Tasmania, I can change the password for you. Head to the main blog here and find my email on the right hand side, send me an email and I will help you change that password so you can get on with personalising your blog. https://www.xpress360.net.au/

    • Hi Deirdre, Your goals sound very similar to mine and I am sure we will have lots of great ideas for our blogs by the end of the course.

  57. Hi Everyone! I’m pleased to join this course. I teach year 3 at an international school in Chiang Mai Thailand. It has taken me a few days to read all the material in week 1 and I have just set up my blog. It wasn’t too hard and only took about 10 minutes, including making my first post. Here is the link: https://missmin3m201718.edublogs.org

    • Well done on getting your blog set up. It’s looking great! 🙂

      • Kathleen Morris
  58. Hi class, I am thinking about my short, medium and long term blogging goals. I am planning to work with our ICT teacher (also taking this course) on a blog for our class. My short term goals are to learn the technical aspects of blogging and find a focus or purpose for my learning blog (different from the class blog). Then, I want to think about and take some action as to how I could effectively use the blog to enhance the learning experience and ICT literacy of the students in my class. Longer term, I have 2 goals, one professional and one personal. 1) To incorporate use of blogs 2) create a blog of my own maybe about travel, food, learning theories or some other area of interest I’m yet to identify.

  59. Hi All, let me do some thinking. Why do I want to blog? Because it is a modern form of text communication. I am interested in the written word in pretty much all its formats, so I want to participate. Who will your audience be? Not sure. For my learning blog (just created for this course: http://missmin3m201718.edublogs.org) I guess the audience will be our course facilitators and maybe some of my fellow blogging course students. When I make a class blog, which I currently envisage as more of an e-display board, I think the main audience will be the students in the class, using the blog as a mirror to themselves and their achievements, which I hope might encourage meaningful reflection. Initially, I will write on the classroom blog but while the children are watching and providing input, with the main focus of each post being to showcase student work, either finished or in progress. Following this approach, I think group blog post creation can be integrated into the program for various subjects (Language Arts, Social Studies and Science seem the most applicable subjects) as a form of plenary activity. I would like both my learning blog and the eventual class blog to be private, mainly due to the backgrounds and nature of my student cohort and the concerns their parents have about the digital footprint of their child. I am going to use the material experienced in this course to form a more grounded view of what makes a high quality classroom blogging program but my initial thoughts would be one that nurtures IT literacy (including e-safety) , language literacy, a sense of community and enjoyment of using words and pictures to communicate.

    • Hi missmin,

      Greetings from Portugal. I have to say that I like your approach and sincerity. Our new blogs are work in progress and I believe we may change what we need as time goes by according to our goals and audience.
      Best of luck, Alexandra

      • Alexandra Duarte
    • Hi Missmin,
      I visited your blog and left you a comment. I wish the inspiring challenges of this course will become a beautiful blogging adventure to you.
      Ines

  60. Hi everyone,
    I have been wanting to set up a classroom blog for awhile now but have never had the opportunity to give it a go. A big thank you to Kathleen Morris. I am really looking forward to this course.
    There are several reasons for my classroom blog – to improve the communication to families, to provide a platform to share information and ideas, to provide an authentic audience for our students.
    I have set up a blog for our Grade 4-6 students at our school. I have made it private at this stage so I am not sure how to share it. The link is http://mrshosking.global2.vic.edu.au/

    • Hi Helen,
      Well done getting your blog set up! It’s tricky sharing a private blog unless you share the password with people privately. I’m sure it’s looking great though.
      I bet your students and families will love having this new channel in their classrooms! 🙂

      • Kathleen Morris
  61. Hi Everyone,
    So i’ve had a go at setting up my class blog page. I had actually began to set this up April last year however it got put on the back burner because I wasn’t really sure on where to start with blogging with my class! After the first week of this course I now have a little bit more idea about the direction of my blog. The focus of my class blog is “Write, Reflect, Share” – meaning that students will have the opportunity to do all of these things via the blog, integrated with a variety of learning areas. My aim is to post Weekly Questions that each of my students would need to answer in the comment section to get the students more involved in the blog. The blog will also be used as a place to share what we are learning about in class, post about topics of interest, tips for learning, as well as videos and websites useful for students. Students will then also have the opportunity to comment on these. My school starts back next week and in the first week I would like to introduce my students to our class blog, teach them how to write a quality blog comment and have them answer the first question which will be about them introducing themselves. I am still deciding on whether our blog will be public or private and will need to consult again with my principal. At this stage it is public so that you guys can have a look via my link http://missgubbin.edublogs.org then this ay change at a later date. Any opinions on public vs private? I work in a SA public school so I will need to check the privacy guidelines. I haven’t figured out exactly how to all students to comment. Do they need their own account? Do I add users via the dashboard? Any help would be great!

    • Hi Miss G,

      Your blog is looking great!

      The public Vs private dilemma is tricky. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out this post I wrote a week or two ago. It weighs up all the pros and cons (and options). Let us know if you have more questions.
      https://www.theedublogger.com/2018/01/08/should-your-class-or-student-blogs-be-public-or-private/

      Also, check out this link which explains the privacy settings available. http://help.edublogs.org/blog-privacy/
      If you decide to make your blog public, you students will not need to have a user account to comment (my students didn’t have their own user accounts for a couple of years until I introduced student blogs).
      If you make your blog private, the easiest option might be to have a password. That way, your students won’t have to have user accounts if you don’t want them to. You’d just have to let students and families know what the password is.

      Your blogging goals sound excellent!

      Hope that helps and let’s know if you have more questions.
      Kathleen

      • Kathleen Morris
  62. Hi, I wish I hadn’t left it so long! I have felt nervous all week about getting started and so with determination this morning I sat down to focus on this course and wow it’s great! I am very new to anything social media wise but I now don’t know why, your helpful guides and videos have made a massive difference.
    My goal for January is to post on our blog once a week and to set tasks in class for the children to create comments for the blog. I am also going to look at other blogs for more ideas.
    My blog is http://unityacademy.edublogs.org/category/year-1/

    • Hi Michelle,
      What a lovely comment. I definitely know the feeling of putting something off that you think will be hard. I’m so glad to hear it wasn’t as hard as you thought!
      I’m heading over to check out your blog. 🙂

      • Kathleen Morris
  63. I plan to use my blog as a way to streamline reader response in my fifth grade classroom. Our school will be transitioning to a one-to-one device format in 18 months. So, I am looking for ways to utilize this technology in a highly effective way. I will also be using Google classroom and I am looking for ways to integrate blogging into our daily writing routine.
    I am still unsure about public access to my blog. I need to check with my district as they have very strict confidentiality policies. For the moment I will keep it private. That being said, my audience will be my fifth graders and the fifth grade teaching staff. I am really looking forward to learning how to best use this exciting new format!

  64. Hi. I am a week late but trying to catch up before I start the process with my 5th grade classes. I have already set up my blog and my separate classes at kathirakes.edublogs.org.

    My short term goals are to teach and learn about blogging with my kids. I am grateful for this 10 week class so I can be a better blogging participant as well. My long term goal is to do this again next year with more kids, but let me stick to the short term goal of this year and this 5th grade class.

    Who will your audience be? Kids, grade level teachers, administration and parents.
    Who will be writing on your classroom blog? Kids, grade level teachers, administration and parents.
    How could blogging be integrated into your classroom program? I love the ideas that were shared above. (biography q & A, sharing projects, etc.)

    Thank you again for setting this up. I am looking forward to the learning and sharing.

    Kathi

    • Hi Kathi,

      I love your reflections and your blog is looking great! Your blog guidelines seem excellent too. I’m just wondering, should you also copy and paste these into a page so they’re not lost over time. Pages are good for static information. But you might have been planning to do this anyway. 🙂

      We’re very happy to have you here!

      • Kathleen Morris
  65. I am just beginning with blogging. My students have gotten to respond to two blog posts I have written and have loved it. I want to blog because I think blogging can be highly effective as an authentic form of writing. I’m struggling to get it started to where it’s not just another thing we don’t have time for, but something that can slide seamlessly into our regular work week. I am hoping to learn so much from all of these other experienced bloggers.

    • Hi Jen,

      When I first started blogging, it was really an add-on. We’d often just look at something on the blog while the students ate their lunch, for example. I found this frustrating.

      It became easier when I figured out how I could fit it into the day. I think one of the simple ways I started was having it as part of my weekly literacy rotation. So I’d have five activities that my literacy groups would work on over the week. By the end of each week, everyone had done some blogging. I also had to do it this way because we only had 4 or 5 computers in the classroom. So everyone couldn’t be blogging at once.

      It’s all about thinking of a simple way you can start integrating blogging and then over time you can amp it up if you want.

      • Kathleen Morris
  66. I have never blogged before and reading this post made me realise that I really have no idea what I am doing! There are lots of questions that I will have to ponder.

    I would say that my long-term goal would be to get parents and community engaged in what we are learning in class. I live in a very small community, and you would think that because of this, our community would be aware of what is happening at the school. Surprisingly though, this is not necessarily the case. Parents often comment that they would like to know more about what is going on in class because their children never tell them anything, but many of our parents also do not come to parent-teacher interviews or parent information evenings. It is often exhausting trying to get the information out there (and there’s only so much that can go in a newsletter or on the facebook page) so I thought that a class blog might help. In addition, it will also (hopefully) build some ICT skills in my students and help them to connect with others outside of our isolated community.

    My short-term goal for the end of January is to have answers to some of those questions so that I can start working out how to put the blog in to action.

    My medium-term goal would be to be blogging regularly (and not be feeling overwhelmed by the task) and to have a few students who are also interested in contributing to the blog.

    • Hi Holly,
      I feel much like you do, I have no idea what i am doing! I enrolled in the course so that I could find out more, but must admit to procrastinating about getting started because I was not sure where to start. Reading many of the other posts I feel way behind before even getting under way, so I was happy to read your post, thank you!
      Good luck with your goals, you have some very practical points there, which will make a useful contribution to the life of your school community. As you said, sometimes communication is not good even though it is only small school, so blogging may be a good way to open the door for feedback etc, as well as improving the ICT skills for parents and students.
      I look forward to seeing your progress, all the best.

      • Hi Sue and Holly,

        I know it can feel overwhelming when you see what others are doing. Start small! Just get a basic blog set up and you can definitely build on it over time. Even my own blog is still a work in progress. There’s always something else I feel like I could learn about or do.

        If either of you have questions, definitely reach out as there is a great community here (even if the questions seem silly or obvious).

        Holly — it sounds like a difficult predicament with parents. I hope the blog helps with that. Connecting with students and parents is our topic for next week so hopefully you get some more ideas you can use.

        Kathleen

        • Kathleen Morris
      • Hi Sue, I’ve procrastinated even more and I’m several weeks behind but I don’t want to miss the opportunity to learn in such a helpful community, so I’ve forced myself to start…
        Why do you want to blog? I would love to use it as a place for the children to share their work outside the classroom. I was impressed by the examples of blogs, particularly the one with the Haiku poems.
        Who will be writing on your class blog? I would hope that the children will be the main contributors but I can see from what I have read that this may need to evolve over time as they gain experience (and I do!)
        Will it be public or private? My instinct is to keep it private to begin with but I’ve noted what the other contributors have said about privacy settings.
        What do you think makes a high quality blogging program? I will probably have a better idea of this as I get more into the course but my initial thoughts are that it should be an integrated part of the classroom and not an extra.

  67. Being brand new to blogging and its benefits, I hope to become proficient not just with the with the technicalities of blogging but with how best to utilise it in my teaching. I am a Teacher Librarian in a primary school, and teach each class from Kinder to Year 6 for an hour each week. By the end of January I hope to have established a blog for my lunchtime Coding Club, and by the end to the 10 weeks maybe two other blogs for Literature and Library which can be used probably by the primary students.
    Why blog? To provide an avenue for communication, feedback and comments about the topics covered in class, or the books read and enjoyed. I believe the audience would be just students and staff to start with, I think I would need to be more confident before I broaden the audience.
    As for what constitutes a high quality blogging program, I would like to be able to answer that at the end of the 10 weeks.

    • Hello Sue,

      It sounds like we are in the same boat with learning about blogging and planning to start off slowly. I would love to get to the point where my students are able to create their own blogs and that may be my goal for the fall, but for now, if I can just become consistent with blogging myself and teaching students how to utilize my blog I will be happy.

      • Thank you for your comments,
        It’s good to know we are not alone in our ignorance! You sound as if you are heading in the right direction – good luck!

  68. Hello everyone,

    I am an English Language Arts Teacher in Sanford, North Carolina. I have been teaching English Language Arts in the alternative school setting for the past three years. Part of the reason I am interested in blogging with my students is I think it is very important to find a variety of ways to educate our young children. While the traditional paper and pencil method worked for me just fine (I think), I am very cognizant of the needs of teens in today’s society. My plan for my current blog is to blog with my students on student interest while they are engaged in a “Genius Hour” learning project. Our semester switches this Thursday so I have a few days to plan and prepare for the new term but I am really excited about trying this out with my students. Last semester was my first semester implementing the Genius Hour so I spent more time navigating that task versus blogging so now I feel as though I am ready to implement the blogging component. Last semester I visited Edublogs and created my own account with good intentions of blogging in the fall, however, I never got around to teaching this piece. I am excited to go through this course and learn with all of you.

    • I loved hearing about your goals! Genius Hour sounds like an exciting project and I know a lot of teachers find blogging works really well with this program. I’m looking forward to following your journey!

      • Kathleen Morris
  69. I have blogged before, but not about teaching. I just set up a new blog to use during this course (and hopefully after): https://ownyourslippers.edublogs.org.

    My goal for January and the first 10 weeks is to actually use this blog. I’m finishing up my masters this month, so I plan to limp along until then, and then pick up the pace.

    I want to blog because I miss writing. Prior to teaching, I used to write for enjoyment. I find that now I rarely have time—or feel I have time—to write anything other than lesson plans and reports. While I am extremely interested in using blogging in the classroom (and I have previously done this), my goals for now are to get into the habit of blogging myself and learn from others during this course. I do want to write about what is happening in my classroom and explore topics and concepts in a bit more depth.

    • I laughed out loud at your blog title. This is possibly the best Edublogs URL I’ve ever heard. I hope you’ll share the background?
      Good on you for deciding to prioritize your own writing. Last week I saw a tweet from Pernille Ripp saying that if teachers want to teach reading, they need to be readers. I think teachers being writers is also a very important consideration. I think there are a lot less teachers who are writers than there are teachers who are readers. What do you think?

      • Kathleen Morris
      • Thanks! It is a quote from the novel Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. “The key to happiness is to own your slippers, own who you are, own how you look, own your family, own the talents you have, and own the ones you don’t. If you keep saying your slippers aren’t yours, then you’ll die searching, you’ll die bitter, always feeling you were promised more.”

        I completely agree that we should practice what we preach. I’m pretty good on the reading for pleasure side… but even there I’d like to make more of an effort to be reading in the classroom when the students are – not catching up on emails and digital marking. I think doing what we ask our students to do helps build a bit of empathy as well – it can be hard to be creative… and typos happen!

    • Well done! Your blog is looking awesome. Nothing wrong with basic. In fact, a simple blog can sometimes be more effective than one that is bursting at the seams with all sorts of things. Great work and let us know if you need any help.

      • Kathleen Morris
      • Thanks for your encouragement, Kathleen!

        Cheers,
        Sue

          • Thank you for that – it looks amazing! will need to get my hear around all that too!

            Cheers,
            Sue

            • Sue
        • Hi Gomathi,
          It is good to start basic, then we can improve as we move along! Good luck.
          Cheers,
          Sue

        • Hi Gomathi,
          i thing we share the same problems 😊but I believe we can make it work. Keep on the good work. Good luck
          Cheers,
          Anastasia Kazanidi from Greece

          • Αναστασία
  70. I am really excited about getting started on our new blogging adventure. I have made a few posts on my personal blog before but always struggled to regularly post. Hope to start off with a class blog and post little but often to get the parents involved at first then see where it leads us.

    • Great idea! Our week three topic is all about involving parents and students. I hope there are some good tips for you. I’ll be posting it tonight.

      • Kathleen Morris
  71. The audience of my blog will be parents, students, and possibly other colleagues. My students and myself be writing on the blog. I believe I could integrate blogging into my classroom program by posting my students writings and questions across the curriculum.
    I am undecided whether my blog should be public or private but leaning towards public. My goal is to be consistent in posting to my blog and utilize all it has to offer.

    • It sounds like you’re getting a good plan together. You can always have your blog as private initially and then change it to public once you’re more comfortable.

      • Kathleen Morris
  72. Hi. Initially I was lost. I actually did not get the hang of this whole thing. Gradually I am tying to understand things, the reason why I am commenting on this first blog a little late.
    I had already set up my personal blog years ago, but devoid of any purpose or goal. I always desired to use blogging with my student community, but was afraid that I would end up making a fool of myself.
    I am very fortunate to come across this course and having enrolled myself for it. Thank you, Kathleen for sharing your expertise about blogging and assisting a big wide blogging community.
    Finally I think, I will be able to hone my blogging skills to some extent.
    Talking of my audience, that would not be confined to classroom blogging or private. It can be public which can be a platform to share various ideas with educators across the globe depending on the context.
    A glance at the varied comments here sparks excitement in me and I am all the more anxious to be a part of this blogging community.
    Embarking on a wonderful experience of blogging. Thank you, Ma’am.

    • Hi Gomanthi,

      It can certainly feel overwhelming when you’re getting started. Luckily we have a great community of enthusiastic bloggers here. Any time you have questions, feel free to ask! 🙂

      • Kathleen Morris
    • Like you, I created a blog many years ago, but didn’t understand how to make it great. That is why I am trying again. My won’t be a classroom blog, but a technology integration blog. I guess it is about teaching and learning and reaching students or in my case teachers, using a different format. Just another form of differentiated learning. Good luck as you begin again.

  73. I am new to blogging and I am not quite sure how to blog. I am eager to learn more so that I can share the information with my students. My audience will be a group of third grade students who live in a rural area. It will be a private blog only available to the students in my classroom. Blogging will be used during small group instruction when they are not at the teaching table. Students will have a task to complete whether they are responding to a blog post or posting a new blog post. The blog will be a private blog that will only be available to the students in my classroom.

    • That sounds like a great plan, Sara! If you ever need extra help to get your head around blogging, just ask. 🙂

      • Kathleen Morris
  74. I have mostly worked in predominantly impoverished schools and districts in rural areas. So while I would love for families to be involved in our classes’ blogging experience, I also understand that that is not a realistic expectation for the demographic that I work with. Even those with technology and even social media exposure, an academic blog seems out of reach to many of our families. So my goal for blogging with my students is to, at a generational, level begin to increase the accessibility of academic blogs to families who would otherwise have no interest or be intimidated by such a platform.

    • That sounds like a good approach. All of our communities are different so it’s important to consider what’s realistic for our own circumstances!

      • Kathleen Morris
  75. I am reengaging with blogging again through this course and commencing a new class blog after a hiatus of a few years. My first attempt was 4 years ago with a Year 4 class. It was a very steep learning curve at first but incredibly rewarding over time. At that time I used the edublogs user guides extensively to learn what I needed to know and much of my learning was through trial and error.
    The school year is about to commence in Australia and I am teaching kindergarten. I’m looking forward to meeting my new students of Friday. For Week 1 of this course, I have completed the task for Newbies and have decided to engage with the course with this mindset. I feel it will help me re-orientate myself with blogging and also fill in some of the basic knowledge gaps I know are lurking about! I have named my class blog Tiny Island not because I see myself or students in my class as islands or silos but rather to symbolise that each of us has an identity, a locality, culture etc that is unique and real. Hopefully as I get myself organised and up-skilled the blog will be an environment that also reflects these sentiments!
    The URL for the blog is: https://www.tinyisland.edublogs.org
    and it’s waiting for me to add content. 🙂

    • Hi Ailsa,

      What a great name for your blog! The framework is looking great.

      I’ve been the same with learning to blog. I have basically used the user guides and experimented. Trial and error is great! I also enjoy getting ideas from other bloggers.

      Good on you for coming back to blogging after a hiatus. Blogging in kindergarten will certainly be different to blogging with year 4. I look forward to following your journey. Let us know if we can help with anything specific and keep sharing! 🙂

      • Kathleen Morris
  76. I want all of my 8th grade writing students to start a blog and actually do their assignments on the blog. We are going to keep the blogs private until I feel really efficient with blogging. As a newbie, I am trying to make sure I am not missing things I should be showing them as new bloggers. Zero of the 35 students I have have ever blogged. This will be a learning experience for all of us.
    Lisa Meyer

    • 2lifelongteachers
    • I have a Kindergartener and a 2nd Grader. I think that getting to read their writing would be awesome! Do you see yourself collaborating with teachers of the younger grades to show how students’ writing evolves?

  77. Hello everyone,
    I am a year 1 teacher at Trinity Christian School in the ACT. I am new to blogging and don’t know much about it. I am really looking forward to learning lots about blogging and how best to use this with my class. I have set up my blog and the URL is: https://blog.seesaw.me/1w2018tcs/

    • Erinn Fitzsimmons
    • Hi Erinn, great work getting your blog set up. I hope the start of the school year goes smoothly!

      • Kathleen Morris
  78. Here is my blog. I started it this summer, so not exactly new, but not even a novice yet! (https://saragladson.edublogs.org/).

    Goals:
    ST: Figure out how to set up student blogs
    LT: Have a website for parents to see what is going on in my classroom

    I, ultimately, would like my students to run the blog and have it be public. I teach 7-12 Family and Consumer Sciences, so I think there could be many cool things to come out of this.

    (Sorry my comment was so late! Our semester just changed and we have the flu going around.)

    • Hi Sara,
      Love your blog! You have such an interesting format, would be most useful and informative for students and parents! Makes me realise how much I still have to learn!
      Well done!
      Sue

  79. Goals
    Short term – to catch up with this course and to learn more about the reasons for blogging. Also, because we are implementing Office 365 in our school to start using Delve – the blogging app included in O365 to create my blog.
    Medium goals – to research other Technology Integration blogging sites to get ideas about what my site might look like.
    Long term goals – to create and maintain an up-to-date technology integration blog site for my teachers to access all kinds of information, be it links to other sites, how to use a new app in O365 and even how to fix simple things in their classroom.

    Reflection:
    Why do I want to blog: I think blogging is a great forum to use to get new and useful information out to my teachers. We are a K-12 Charter school and our campus used to be in one building. Now our campus includes two separate buildings, with our K-4 school in one building and our 5-12 in another building. Trying to reach all of these teachers and get them using different technologies is not always easy. During our professional development days we try to introduce them to so much information regarding curriculum, etc, that sometimes technology gets pushed to the back burner. This is just another great tool to help the teachers help themselves.

    • Hi Vicki,

      So glad you’re catching up! Feel free to go through the content at your own pace. I had never heard of Delve! I’ll have to look it up.

      Your goals sound great. It must be difficult having separate campuses. I really hope your blog helps bridge the gap with tech PD. I’ll enjoy following your progress.

      Kathleen 🙂

      • Kathleen Morris
  80. Hello – I am a little late to the game but I am playing catch up now. I am an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher in a high school. I am hoping to set up a blog to help learn the ins and outs to help teachers use it in their own classrooms. With my Technology Notes blog, I hope to reach teachers with weekly blog posts on Technology for them to try in their classroom. Then by going to my blog, maybe they can see using it in their classroom. And it is a way I can get information to them!! This is my first blog ever, so I will be learning as I go! I have set up kbhuffman.edublogs.org as my blog.

    • Well, I changed my URL already! It is now technoteswithkelsey.edublogs.org

    • Hi there,

      Never too late! What a great idea for your blog. I love your posts on the quiz tools. I haven’t tried these ones myself so these are great overviews. I’m sure your teachers will love following your blog! Great to have you on board and let us know if you have any questions. 🙂

      • Kathleen Morris
  81. This is my first blog: http://anastasiakazanidi.edublogs.org/ so i am a newby. I am from Greece and last week i was in Spain with an erasmus+ programme. Τhis period has a lot of additional work in greek schools. For theese reasons i was delayed. I hope it isn’ t too late for me. Sorry for my English, I am also trying to practice it.

    • Αναστασία
    • Hello, again. I didn’t say that i am a sociologist. I teach sociology, history, politics, project and other subjects in junior high schools and high schools (ages 12 – 18). I am 50 years old. Except sociology I studied pedagogy so I initialy worked as a teacher in primary schools (ages 6 – 12).

      • Αναστασία
      • About my blog i don’ t know how i can use it. I have many ideas but i have not decided yet. I am teaching in several classes, different subjects, different ages. I told my students about blogging and what i am trying to do and asked them to think about it and share with me ideas.
        Anastasia Kazanidi

        • Αναστασία
        • Hi Anastasia!
          I’m glad you joined us! I’m Portuguese, with a Portuguese students blog, so it’s a Joy to have colleagues from other countries and languages!
          Ines

          • Hello, Ines!
            I’ m very glad you wrote to me. So nice to join nice and kind colleagues like you!

            • Αναστασία
    • Hello Αναστασία,

      You’re not too late and please don’t apologise about your English either!

      Your blog is looking great! It sounds like you teach some interesting subjects.

      I’m looking forward to following your blogging journey. Feel free to ask any questions.

      Kathleen 🙂

      • Kathleen Morris
      • Thank you so much for your support and encouragement! I will try to do my best.

        • Αναστασία
  82. Well, I am VERY late catching up! I’ve been following all the content and feel a bit overwhelmed, especially now that school has returned and I have even LESS time… damn procrastination 🙂 I set up a blog site with my Year 10 class three years ago with varied success and didn’t continue it so want to learn from others how to keep students engaged in the process without forcing it. I’ve followed some other teachers on their inspirational blogging journey over the years and am envious of their ability to freely express themselves. Hopefully I’ll be able to reengage with it, gain more confidence and have some success. I’m keen to incorporate technology in a positive way in my classroom.

  83. 2) GOALS: I planned to achieve in the month of January, starting this course and using it to consoildate knowledge around blogging in the classroom I had gained from a topic at Flinders University. I am starting a bit later but getting there!

    Throughout the ten weeks of the course, the goal is to improve methods of and comprehension of proffessional blogging for parents and for students to use as a news tool.

    In 2018 in regards to my classroom blogging program, I aim to get students in my placement school involved through iPads. This will be a work in progress as the school is a little behind in fully intergrating technology into the classroom.

    Here goes 2018!

    • Kirsten Mooney
  84. I must say that I feel a tiny bit of achievement because I was able to successfully create a blog. My goal is to have my class doing more writing but in an interactive and fun way.
    My first attempt was okay but I know it could be much better so I am really hoping that the knowledge I gain in the next few weeks will be what I need to get my student blogging successfully.
    Once my class is set up, my hope is to get other students and possibly other staff members involved so that there can be a true blogging community formed. My blogs will have limited access to others that have a profile.
    Here’s hoping to a successfully blogging experience.

    • Well done! The sense of achievement when you figure out how to do something is so good. And it’s nice to keep putting yourself in your students’ shoes to feel what it’s like to be a learner as well.
      Good luck and keep us posted!

      • Kathleen Morris
    • G’day teachb1,
      I wonder if you can give us your first name and initial which is nicer to call you than teachb1. Or leave the URL of your blog so we can have a look.

  85. My first goal cannot be to Blog regularly. We are 5 weeks in and I am only now getting started.

    However, I am keen to get on top of this EduBlog Course as I want to develop greater skills in multimodal and digital literacy and I believe that participation is the greatest way to learn and appreciate these skills. Throughout 2018 I want to use blogging for professional reflections. I have blogged with my Masters of Education study, and while it is good to be able to do this as a task, the habit of regular reflection is a valuable skill that builds professional knowledge and turns research into practice.

    Initially, my audience will be myself. But as I move into 2018 I hope to share my blog with colleagues and encourage them to participate in the same professional learning and write their own blogs. I think this is a key way to build a knowledge network, as we are a group of professionals working on different portfolios in education we can become functional silos within a team, and sharing will be an important aspect of supporting each other in our overarching goals.

    I also want to blog for publications as I am presenting at a conference later in the year, I would like to stimulate discussion and thought by blogging in advance..and after.

    • Hi Lora,

      Never too late! So glad you have made a start.

      Blogging for your own professional reflection is a great way to learn about blogging yourself.

      That will be excellent if you can get some of your colleagues on board too. I too often blog before/after a conference and it can help to really extend the learning.

      Let me know if you need any help!

      • Kathleen Morris
  86. Hi. I guess I feel most comfortable starting with a reflection of what I do do. My audience is university English department students in Germany. They are all given their own student edublogs for the duration of my course, ‘Writing for the internet’. Thus far I have only used the central class blog to show them how to get them started; I really need to do more with it, but other than using it more for class information and assignments, I don’t have any ideas for it. So most of this is about what students do.
    In class, my students initially alternate between planning an e-journal as a group, learning and practicing the skills (language and technical) they need for their blogs and for writing online articles that attract readers, learning to work more with visuals (photos, wordclouds, whitespace, etc), and discussing/commenting each other’s ideas, concerns and blogs. The last month of class is devoted entirely to finishing up the class e-journal. Only the first article (draft) and blog are done in class; students are also given some class time to comment on other blogs. Out of class, their weekly writing homework alternates between between articles and blogs (a minimum of 4 each). The journal articles are submitted to me, commented and rewritten at least once. The students publish their posts on their student blog sites without going through me; I think university students should be responsible enough to do so. Students are encouraged to experiment on their blogs and required to try out 4 different types (thus the minimum 4), and most – but not all – stop with 4. Trying new things with almost every blog means that some don’t work out as well as hoped, so I keep our class blogs private. Students have also said they prefer this, as they wouldn’t have felt as free to experiment and wouldn’t have wanted to post the blogs they felt less happy about if people outside the class were reading and commenting them.
    I don’t know if there is any single factor common to “high quality” classroom blogging programs across the many levels, classes and purposes that teachers have. For me, a successful class blogging program (though not necessarily a “high quality” one in everyone’s eyes) would be one that helped get and keep students actively involved in working towards the goals of that class, both through their own posts and their comments to others. I feel my own program is only partially successful at this point, largely because I underuse the central class blog.

    • Hi Kat,

      I enjoyed reading about how you use blogs with your university students. Great to hear private blogs are working for you and your students too. Perhaps some will feel more comfortable making their blogs public when they get more familiar with blogging?
      How has their response to blogging been so far?

      Kathleen

      • Kathleen Morris
        • Hi Art,
          Thanks for sharing the link. This is the week one post but it doesn’t matter. If you visit the home page of our course blog you should see the posts for week one, week two, week three etc 🙂
          Keep blogging!
          Kathleen

          • Kathleen Morris
  87. I am using blogging to help students communicate in the written language. Last year I started my 4th and 5th graders. They primarily responded to a prompt because that is how the writing assessment is set up. They are beginning keyboarders and I felt that it was a different way of preparing them for the experience of thinking an keyboarding at the same time.

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