We only have 5 weeks of school left but I wanted to introduce blogging to my first graders before the year was out. I have been doing a lot of researching over at Twitter to gain my PLN and have found invaluable information regarding technology use in the classroom. I decided to jump full steam ahead with Kid Blogs and love it!...and so does my class. It is a very protected blog for students. Teachers can decide if they want to only have their classroom interact with each other or open for all comments. In any case, the teacher has to approve all comments before they are posted for the children to see. The other great thing about kid blogs is you can connect with other classes who are on KidBlogs - you have a link with a class that you add to your blog roll.
We talked about internet safety and how we write posts and making comments on other people's posts and what kind of etiquette we need to have when responding to a post. We discussed how we don't put photos of ourselves up unless our families say it is okay. I don't allow the children to post photos of themselves if they are working on their blog in the classroom. They are learning to upload photos, make comments, assign themselves avatars, create drafts. A whole new world of vocabulary has opened up to these children.
A few times a week we do a whole class post - we decide on a topic to write and the students tell me what to write and I write it on our blog. I purposefully leave out full stops and capital letters only to hear - "you forgot full stop" or "that needs a capital letter". Finally.... it's sinking in!
I love reading their comments to each other. One really gets a new insight into a child. I love that they are interacting with each other on a different level and are creating a digital footprint of themselves.
Please feel free to leave us a comment on our blog. We would love to hear from you! It's easy: Click here for link. Then click on a comment and post. You are always a "guest" and it will list you as a guest. All comments have to be approved by me before they go "live" so no risk of anything inappropriate.
We do not have 1:1 Ipads in our class, nor unlimited access to laptops, but blogging can still work in your classroom - you just have to be flexible. The only regret I have is I wish I started this earlier in the year, but I will have a whole new class next year and we'll start in the Fall. Maybe we will be able to connect with some of your classes!