Below is a SAMPLE first blog post…this is one that I used with my fourth graders many moons ago that started off our blogging adventure. (Feel free to use!!) During class we’d discussed the many do’s and don’t’s of our classroom blog, and also how we wanted others who read to “see” us. It was a VERY long conversation! Students knew that other adults, as well as other students, would be visiting our blog and they wanted to come across as intelligent as possible, 🙂
By setting the “tone” for what and how we wanted the blog to work, the expectations were in place before we’d even logged on. In addition to the student safety pieces we’d discussed, we also talked about web netiquette and what made a “good” comment versus a “blah” one. Also, spelling errors weren’t a focus for my classroom, I was more interested in what thoughts they were trying to convey rather than whether or not they spelled them correctly. Each teacher (and class!) can make that decision for themselves. That being said, students were way more critical of each other than I could have been about their errors on the blog.
There are so many support systems out there, like #commentsforkids. That stream on twitter will generate more traffic for your class posts to help show your students what a global audience can really look like! There are also a multitude of blogging platforms out there…blogger, kidblog, wordpress, etc. Do NOT be scared of blogging with your students!! I can’t stress this enough! You have complete autonomy of your “space”. I always set my comments settings to where I had to go in and approve them before they could be “seen”, to ensure no personal info was shared. I used a generic title & my kids didn’t use their real names. It was a safe space!
Good luck with blogging in your classroom! I hope you see as many benefits as I did from the relationships that I was able to develop from both my students and my parents throughout the years.
It’s time to get blogging! We’ve talked about the different do’s and don’ts for blogging…but I wanted to add a couple more here. Read through these and post a comment about the rule you think is MOST important and why.
1. Don’t give out any personal information like telephone numbers, home address, school name or parent’s office address.
2. Don’t use your real name as your log on name.
3. Make sure you’re not simply typing “Yeah” or “That’s right” or something equally boring.
4. Learn how to use “smileys” to show how you are saying things. Read the smileys sideways – they make a face. 🙂 or 🙂 is a smiley face. You are happy and smiling when you speak….let me see that personality!
5. Adhere to the same standards of behavior online that you follow in real life.
Be ethical. Don’t believe anyone who says, “The only ethics out there are what you can get away with.” If you encounter an ethical dilemma in cyberspace, consult the code you follow in real life. Chances are good you’ll find the answer, 🙂
OK, put these rules to the test and comment letting me know what you think!!