This weekend I finally got my class blog up and running for my major project. I am using Edublogs and I am very grateful for the Alec’s connection with Sue Waters, by mentioned his name I was able to upgrade to the “Pro” account free for a year! Check out @suewaters on Twitter.
- I am very happy with my choice to use Edublogs. It is quite user friendly so far and it is powered by WordPress, so a lot of the features are similar to my reflection blog for this class.
- I signed up for a course on how to set up a classroom blog through the edublog website. This came as a recommendation of Sue Waters when she upgraded my account to pro. I was in a bit of a hurry to set up my blog because I would like to get it running with my students and their families so I opted to read and follow the step by step guide. It can be found here, it was very useful. I admit, I followed most of the steps initially but then I started to skip around and learn how to set up my student blogs on the side. I will finish this up in the next few days!
- I haven’t told my students or their families that I am creating a class blog yet. I expect they will be excited, I have high family involvement in my classroom and I hope we receive a lot of comments on our blog! I have told some fellow colleagues and my administrator about my class blog and everyone has been very encouraging and excited about it! This helps me stay engaged and motivated! I am excited to share this with my community.
- I have reached out to Kathy Cassidy, who is a blogging guru! She teaches in my school division and I was at her school during my first teaching contract. I am have asked her a few questions and I hope she has some expert tips for me!
- This afternoon I looked over our general school divisions technology and media release forms with my principal. We found these to be quite cohesive and will cover consent for my classroom blog. I will however send out a similar more simple consent form as a courtesy and information piece for my families. I will share this when available.
Challenges and frustrations
- I am happy to report that my successes outweigh my challenges right now in regards to setting up my class blog! But I have not yet introduced this to the 21 Grade 2 students in my room…. stay tuned! I have decided I might use our Grade 8 learning buddies for support the first few times we set up our blogs.
- I faced a tiny road block when I tried to create and add my student blogs to my main page. Each of my students need a username, password and email linked to their account. I decided to create a common class gmail account and use this for each student. I am just working on the logistics of this. I also tried to set up my student usernames and passwords tonight
- I have also spent FAR too much time picking out the theme and colour scheme for my blog! I am not sure why I care so much about how it looks! First impressions are important I guess? I have likely tried out 10 different themes and now have settled for a rather boring and simple option…
I will be using twitter soon to find out if there are any other primary classrooms in Saskatchewan or beyond who would like to connect with my room!
I found this video on the Edublogs Teacher challenge website that I mentioned above. There is so much you can do with students blogging! I can’t wait to get started!!
“Blogging really transforms the writing process from something rather one dimensional to something full of possibility. We write for a purpose… how can we ask students to write with purpose if they are only writing for their teacher.. ”