Sunday, January 9, 2011

Activity 1 - Advanced - Extention

10 Things
You Should Know about Blogging with Students

  1. If your students are at least middle school aged, most of them know more about blogging than you do...and if they don't, they will figure it out fast!
  2. Administrators and parents don't know much about blogging and are all but afraid of it.
  3. Don't underestimate the power of blogging with students. Students who you have a hard time reaching in the regular classroom will come alive online.
  4. Choose your platform wisely. Choose it wisely for your private life. Choose it wisely for your professional life. Choose it wisely for your students. And avoid mixing the three.
  5. You need to have a discussion or blog posting to set up rule about blogging. This could be similar to allowing students to help create a "class constitution." A place for students to add rules as they find a need is a good idea as well.
  6. You yourself need a plan for handling inappropriate posting. The last thing you want is for the beautiful blogging atmosphere you have created to become a place for harassment or bullying.
  7. Let them post! Let students create their own posts as well as responding to your posts.
  8. Promote readership by having student constructively respond to other students posts.
  9. Let them play! Show students new tricks like wordle, flickr, googledocs, ect. to add to their postings.
  10. Read other blogs to get ideas for your blog. Get inspiration from every resource you have. Your ideas for postings topics don't have to come from electronic resources. Find a good old book of journal topics and use some of those. Just keep them posting!


  1. Great list! I tried the CoolText too - thanks for the idea.

  2. Thanks for sharing all these wonderful tips Jessica. They are a great resource for people who are both experienced or new to blogging. I would "tips for blogging" and "tips for student blogging" in your labels as well, as people often google that term. I like the cool text heading too and that is something new to me. It certainly adds to the effectiveness of your post.

  3. Great post. I'm using blogs as portfolios with my sixth graders this year. It was a slow start, but they are really into them now.

  4. Jessica
    Great post. I think your idea of keeping a list of guidelines about posting and adding to it as needs be, is a good one. I have been blogging with my students for two years now, and it is one of the issues I need to further address. What platform do you use for your students? I use Edublogs.

  5. Terrific post! Can I share this with colleagues? Lots of people in my school are blogging with students and could use the advice!

  6. Jessica,
    Thank you for the list. This is the first year I have set up individual blogs for my 4th graders. I am using and the hashtag #comments4kids helps get lots of people to comment on their blogs. So far it is going well.

    Looking forward to more learning and sharing through this blog challenge.

  7. Dear Jessica, I think your post lays out some excellent ideas. I especially like your encouragement to let them have fun, post about things that interest them and go beyond the typical school writing. I know I struggle with this a bit...probably because I worry about the eyes of those above me looking to see if I'm doing enough "serious & scholarly" things. Somehow they don't see learning how to blog, use tech appropriately and safely is an accomplishment in and of itself.

    You also said..."# If your students are at least middle school aged, most of them know more about blogging than you do...and if they don't, they will figure it out fast!" I agree with the fact that they learn fast. Sort of. I see that kids this age come in pretty much 2 categories. The ones that are just like what you learners because they aren't afraid to try things and they have probably learned something else that they can apply to blogging. It's the other category of kids that are hard. They are the ones that are very dependent on someone showing them every step of the way and when they get stuck, they can't problem solve. They take up so much time when you are teaching these skills. I get frustrated that they just won't try on their own a bit...and then come to me and say "I've done this and it didn't work...what should I try next." Instead they just give up and wait for someone else to "fix" it. I've tried partnering them with tech proficient students and that helps a bit...but soon the techie kids get tired of doing everything for them, too.

    I think the gap gets wider and wider between these two types of students. It's my dream to help the latter category learn to see blogging as a puzzle to be put together.

    Do you ever have this with your students? How do you help the ones without confidence

    Thanks for your post and I"m looking forward to reading more that you write.