Student blogging–where to turn?

So after The Reform Symposium I’m newly charged with getting the blogging thing rolling, both for myself and my students.  This morning I spent a few hours working through edublog, edmodo and kidblog.  I got myself/class set up and added a pretend sixth grader (my six year old son, Jacob).  I played around with how the blogs and comments worked, how the settings and protections were different and closely looking at the cleanness of each space–I don’t like cluttered pages and many students need the same.

I haven’t come to any great conclusions, yet.  The one main issue for me is edublog’s need for an email address.  I took Sue Waters recommendation to use one gmail account.  I’m still not sure where to go with that.  I need to retrieve each email for each student I add, then pass that info on to the student?  It seems like too many steps and I feel like I’m missing something.

Kidblog has the cleanest, most intuitive approach and since we’re talking sixth graders, I’m leaning in that direction.  Edmodo got the shortest trial since my mind was beginning to numb at that point.

The bottom line–the idea still works for me.  We start with a class blog, one kid per day, blogging about the day.  Then around Christmas, we move into individual student blogs.  I read Nick Provenzano’s posts on student blogging and his Blogger’s Cafe idea.  It’s a comfort to see folks thinking in the same direction I do and to know I’m not too late to the party.

Now I’ve got to finesse my Back to School Night presentation into a scaffold for tech integration.  It was always addressed as a separate subject, but this year, I need tech and tools to be integrating into the presentation as much as I integrate it into regular core curriculum.  I’m ready.

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