Module 1: Blogs

Welcome to Module 1!

Week 1 is your Introduction to this project, and therefore we’re exploring blogs. You are currently reading a blog, and this blog will serve as the online home of our professional development project.

Here are your tasks for the next two weeks. Details follow.

1) Register for a WordPress account

2) Learn about blogging

3) Choose two of the following three tools to explore

4) Comment on this post regarding one of those tools

Step 1: Registering for a WordPress account

Register. This account will allow you to comment on these blog posts. You may also want to use your WordPress blog later on, either as an individual blog or as a place to share with your students.

wordpress

click image to enlarge

Step 2: What is blogging? 

Watch this video, Blogs in Plain English

Using blogs in the classroom

Check out the following blogs for examples of how some teachers are using this tool in the classroom.

Step 3: Choose two of the following three tools to explore

Register for one additional account (since you already registered for WordPress).

Here are some ideas for exploring the blogs you choose. You do not need to do all of these things, but do try to spend at least 30 minutes exploring each blogging platform.

  • Write a sample blog post on the WordPress blog that you set up when you created your account. You might write about something you heard about in the news that you think your students would like to discuss,  a thought about the book you’re reading in class, or a reflection on a recent project that your students worked on
  • Play around with the theme of your blog
  • Look at the blog’s settings
  • If available, look at the classroom management tools of the blog
  • Change your profile picture
  • Edit the “about” page of your blog

WordPress. You are using a WordPress blog right now. WordPress is not strictly for educational purposes. It is free, but you can upgrade your services. It offers numerous themes. It does not offer classroom management tools, and therefore may be best for single-user blogs. For more info on WordPress, click here (video).

Kidblog. Built specifically for classroom use. Allows you to create classes and users. More control over what students can and cannot do. Cannot be customized very much. Lots of privacy settings; easy to “lock down.” May be best for younger students. For more info, click here. 

Edublogs. Extremely similar to Kidblog, but with more options and features. May be more complicated to use, but may be more appealing to older students. For more info, click here (be sure to watch the video).

Step 4: Please comment on this post with your thoughts about ONE of the tools you explored. Make sure you’re logged into WordPress before you comment.

Some sample questions:

  • Do you think you would use this tool in the classroom? Why or why not?
  • What do you like best about this tool?
  • What do you like least?
  • What support do you think you would need in using it?
  • Do you have any ideas about how you might use this tool with your students? Or on your own?

Good luck! Please email me or comment on this post if you need support.

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25 thoughts on “Module 1: Blogs

  1. It was pretty easy to set up my WordPress blog, but I was dealing with some lag issues while setting up… It made it technologically annoying. I also set up an EduBlog, which was a much smoother process for some reason. Posting is easy on both platforms. I blogged the same post on both to compare. I like being able to do the quick posts in WordPress – a quick web link, video, photo, quote, or text right up to the blog. The Edublog is set up for my Middle School classes – perhaps to have information on the different projects we do? I liked the idea of having “classes” set up for the blog – but didn’t realize off the bat that there is a fee involved to do so. That option isn’t available for the free accounts.

    I’m not sure yet what kind of use I could do in the classroom. I do have earned student choice days, and being able to do a survey before class time – especially with the Middle School where we do “Listening Parties” – will be able to give me more control over the time. As for the elementary students, I think I might be using this as more of a posting board for parents to see what we are doing in Music – videos of the students singing or playing instruments, photos of creations in class, pictures or videos from concerts and performances, field trips and “in-house” experiences, and virtual “flyers” for upcoming events and performances…

    • Hi Mary, I worked with a middle school music teacher who used her blog for the students to write concert reviews. She also posted videos of concerts and musical performances and had the students comment on them. Even if you can’t give students their own blog (you could, for free, with KidBlog), having them comment on posts is always a good way to engage the whole class. Thanks for all your thoughts!

  2. I actually took a Ed Tech class a few semesters back where we used weebly, blogger, and am currently in the works with our Student Council setting up their weebly student council page. i will definitely explore this with those students, and encourage students outside of PE to blog about their extra-curricular activities and especially during health and nutrition units.

    • We will be looking at Weebly as a group later on! I’m glad you are already familiar with some of these tools. I think using blogs as a reflective tool in a health class is a great idea!

      • Sarah, the third and fourth grade have a weebly website for long term homework, projects etc. We are also posting homework on RenWeb. I like the graphics and the ease of saving but hiding things for future use.

  3. I’ve started a blog for my kindergarten class. I am trying to get into the habit of posting something daily to keep the blog as lively as possible. I think that for my class, this particular set up is a great tool to use in lieu of a weekly newsletter, but only if I can remember to post daily to not leave any important happenings out.

  4. I am looking forward to using my blog in Chumash. The kids will enjoy being able to comment and answer questions about what we’re studying-for example, the actions, dilemmas and choices made by Biblical characters.

  5. I’m re-looking at the modules to see what I see differently with the passage of several months. Having already set up my blog, I’m going to try and post recommended articles for parents, either school related or just interesting ‘food for thought’.

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