Hello everyone! Lately I've been blogging about educational technology and what it means for my future classroom. Today I wanted to keep on that track and talk about a website that I have used before in some of my field experience classrooms.
An important thing to have in our classrooms is a community of learners. Having students collaborate together gives them the opportunity to not only reflect on what they have learned but to see what their peers have thought about the same topics. I utilized a cool tool with a 6th grade class at Lincoln Elementary called Kidblog. The students were working with literature circles and would respond to blog prompts after each chapter that I had provided for them. It was so great to see the children be able to utilize their iPads and connect with each other not only personally but virtually as well.
As a teacher, it was interesting trying to evaluate what the students were saying through blogs. They were not only required to talk about what they were learning through their novel, but to also respond to their classmates with some points and questions. The kids loved being able to communicate with their classmates online and felt like real professionals. I even had some students mention that it made them feel like they were writing for a paper because they had somewhat of a public audience, rather than just writing to their teacher.
As with any type of resource that you use with kids, it is important to know some of the logistics of it. Kidblog is a safe outlet for students to get into the blogging world while being completely protected. If there are parents who are concerned with students putting their work on the internet, it is good to know that there are privacy settings that can be adjusted to fit their safety concerns. It is also important to note that children are not allowed to put any type of personal information in their posts. There is also an educator version of the site where you not only have access to each of your students' blogs, but it sorts out each comment that they make for easier tracking. This way you can not only keep track of your students' progress, but make sure what they are posting is appropriate.
Overall, I love using this site with any students that I work with. I really want to try and use this next semester when I'm student teaching to see what it can all do for me and my kids. I know that there is a lot more that I need to learn about this site and I'm looking forward to learning more as I go!
For those of you who use Twitter, make sure to follow @KidblogDotOrg to learn about tips on implementing this in your own classroom. There is also a Kidblog Facebook page!