Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Setting up three blogs…

…and wondering about future potential uses with my third graders. There will be more on that later, if you can stick with me!

I set up blogs on Blogger, Word Press, and 21 Classes. With the crafty things that I do, I was already familiar with Blogger and Word Press, both of which came highly recommended in a couple of crafting communities for more than just blogging. 21 Classes was new to me, but that particular site looked easier to navigate than the other educational blogging site available.

I’m done babbling now, because I need to address issues to meet my homework requirements for the class that I’m taking. It’s always good to tell my students that I also go home and have to complete homework!

All of these sites had very easy instructions for setting up a blog. For all, the process was self-explanatory and I did not need to search for further instructions. As for who can see the blog on each site, 21 Classes made it very easy and clear to set up controls for this. I’m not sure about the other two sites, because it took several clicks on each site to attempt to locate such functions. That would be something to check out before deciding to do something with my students, so I can further research that later as needed.

As of now, if I were setting up a site for my students, I would use 21 Classes. There are many options easily listed to choose from for setting up a safe environment for children. I also liked the “layers” for a classroom page where the students could log in and then the space for individual student blogs.

I’m currently not sure at this time what type of information I would give to my students prior to getting started with blogging on a class site. Certainly, it would be curriculum driven, but as long as they were blogging, many state and district language arts requirements could be met.

Setting up all three blogs was actually very easy and did not take much time. As I’m currently writing this in MS Word, I’ll soon see how easily it is to copy/paste this into a post in each of the blogs.

If you made it this far, you deserve a medal! (GOLD!) I am not sure at this point of the benefits of using blogging with my 3rd graders. They are just learning to navigate around the keyboard: it takes them an incredibly long time to log in to sites, let alone typing up any text. The jury’s out, but I do have an open mind for exploring available technologies with my students.