What is a blog?
A blog is a short form for a web log or weblog. It is web-based publication consisting of short articles posted, in reverse chronological order. Blogs have been compared to journals or diaries because the content is fuelled by personal experiences.
The author of a blog is called a blogger. A blogger writes an article or post. The post is a text entry that can include photos, videos, links, or other digital media.
Reading blogs is not passive. The reader actively engages with the author by writing comments stating their opinion, suggesting topic-related resources, or offering encouragement. The author can then respond to the comments, creating a dialogue about the text.
In education, a school can have a blog reporting about topics relating to the school community, a teacher can have a blog to communicate with students and parents about classroom activities, or students can have their own individual blogs as part of school assignments.
Kidblog.org is a Blog Service Designed Specifically for Educators
There are many services for blogging. Some require a yearly subscription and others do not. One of my favorite options is Kidblog.org. This service is easy to use. Teachers can instantly create a class with a blog for each student. There are many reasons this is an excellent option:
- Maintain Control: Teachers maintain control over all student blogs and accounts. They can easily add, edit, and delete accounts.
- Protect Privacy: Student blogs are private and are only viewable to classmates and/or the teacher. Teachers can elect to make posts public.
- Moderate Content: Teachers can moderate all content posted to blogs including articles and/or comments.
- Establish Guest Accounts: Teachers can create a guest account to permit parents or other users to read only or read and comment on posts.
- Require No Personal Information: Accounts are created by the teacher. No personal information is required for students, nor do students need an email account.
- Bulk Account Creation: Adding student accounts can be fast! Upload a plain text file or spreadsheet with user information.
- Easy Login Options: The blog has its own unique URL. However, if students forget the address, they can visit kidblog.org, type in their class name, and then select the correct option from a list.
- Create a Blog Roll: Connect with other classes that blog. A link to their blog will appear in the blog roll widget. Now students can read and comment upon posts written by other classes from within their school or from around the world.
- No Ads: There are no banners, rotating images, or other advertisements placed onto the blog.
- Personalize Blog: Teachers can give students the option of uploading their own profile picture or avatar and select a theme for their blog. Once this is set, teachers can restrict access to the profile to prevent students from changing their display name.
- Custom Navigation: The blog has a built in navigation structure. However, teachers can set categories and tags, to organize and filter blog entries further.
- Straightforward Tools: The writing tools are similar to most word processing programs allowing students to easily format text, insert pictures, add a link, and more!