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Curriculum Corner – Using Blogs With Students

Getting students involved in blogging can have a real impact on learning and teaching in the classroom. The best way to experiment with student blogging is to just jump in head first, but the following should help provide a framework for getting started.

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Setting Guidelines and Expectations

An important part of using an online tool with your students is educating them on appropriate online behavior.  In many cases, it is ideal to develop these guidelines and expectations together with your students.

Your class blog provides an excellent opportunity to educate students, parents and other readers on proper online behavior such as:

  1. Types of personal information that is appropriate. For example, what are the rules about use of last names, IM, images and personal contact information?
  2. What makes a good post or comment?

It is best, whenever possible, to lead students in discussions about these important concepts and have them come up with the guidelines themselves.

Here are examples of different ways they are used on class blogs to help you with the task:

The Two Page Blog Guide For Parents by Kathleen McGeady is an excellent idea for a parent resource.

If you want to include Online Safety activities as part of the process then, Larry Ferlazzo’s The Best Sites For Learning Online Safety post is a good starting place to identify suitable resources.

Once you’ve decided what you want to include in your rules and guidelines it is now just a case of publishing them on your blog.

You would normally publish them on a Page rather than in a post because pages are ideal for important information like this that you don’t expect to update frequently. However, if you also wanted to discuss your rules with your students and readers you might write a post like Miss W. has done.

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Commenting

Comments extend the conversation beyond your blog post allowing your readers to interact with you and each other. It’s amazing how even just a few comments can make student realise they are writing for a global audience — for many is incredibly motivating. Comments are an important part of both the readers and blogger’s learning process.

Commenting is a skill that takes time to develop for many students.  It is common to start out with short replies such as “I like this!” or “kewl”.  It can take some teaching to lead students to great commenting posts.

Here is a list taken from the blog Integrating Technology in the Primary Classroom:

BY “QUALITY COMMENTS” I MEAN

  • writing the comment like a letter (greeting, body, closing, signature)
  • using correct spelling, punctuation and spacing,
  • reading over the comment and editing before submitting,
  • complimenting the writer in a specific way, asking a question, and/or adding new information to the post,
  • writing a relevant comment that is related to the post,
  • not revealing personal information in your comment

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  1. The Edublogger – Set Up Your Blogging Rules and Guidelines
  2. The Edublogger – Teaching Commenting Skills and Editing
  3. Edublogs Help and Support – Engaging With Readers Through Comments

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Add to this page!

We would love your ideas, files, or links to add to this page. And of course, we will credit you and provide a link to your blog for anything we use.

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