(It was great meeting so many people today who are eager to try Blogging. I've added a new link - see Tools to help you expand the use of your blog below)

What is a BLOG?

  • Blogs (an animated video on Brain Pop - geared toward students from Grade 3-8+ - No registration required)
  • Blogs (an animated video on Brain Pop Jr geared toward students from K-3 - requires registration for a free trial)
  • Blogs in Plain English ( a Common Craft Video) - A short introduction to Blogs - How they work and why they matter

Blogging can be used for a variety of different functions:

1. Class or school news

Some teachers are turning to a blogging program to take over or replace their time-consuming and paper intensive class newsletter. It can be an excellent way to communicate home with students and family. One solution suggested for students who do not have internet access at home was to print out a copy of the post and put it into their agenda to go home. When a blog is being used as a one-way communication tool home, you can turn the commenting feature off, so there is no discussion happening on your blog, just the information you post.
Here are some examples of schools using blogging with their classes (teachers doing the blogging):

2. Interactive sharing of thoughts and ideas

Some classes use blogging as a way for students to practice writing skills and communication with a real audience. This requires the teacher to monitor and moderate the discussion on their blog. Two examples of classrooms where students are blogging are Grade 3 is Great! and the Dreamteam. In both these classes students love to get comments back on their blog (appropriate and positive comments).

TOOLS to help get started blogging

The same tools (listed below) are used for both types of blogs, it just depends on what your goal for using the blog is.
Here are some links to help get you started:
Blogger (a free blogging program)
How-to-Blog was created by Troy Comish (MISA/ICT Lead, VP of Cameron). It has step-by-step directions on how to create a blog using Blogger
Tutorials on how to use Blogger
Google Sites (a free blogging program with terrific Google Calendar and docs integration)
Introduction to Google Sites
WordPress (a free blogging program)
Video tutorials

Edublogs (a free blogging program)
Tutorials on how to use Edublogs
Posterous (a free blogging program that allows you to email your posts, including audio, video and image files)
Videos about posterous

TOOLS to help you expand the use of your blog

Edublogs Teacher Challenge Explore this site to get ideas to challenge yourself and your students. Pick and choose. Jump in at any point.
58 Interesting Ideas for Creating Blog Posts - Check out the whole series of "Interesting Things" Docs by Tom Barrett