Today we're setting up our classroom blog or for those of you that already have one we're checking the settings you've currently got.
What is a Blog?
If you're a bit unsure about what a blog actually searching Google tells us a blog is...
a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.
add new material to or regularly update a blog.
"it's about a week since I last blogged"
- What are you using it for?
- Who is going to see it?
- Why am I using a blog?
- Where is my blog located?
- When am I going to update it?
- How am I going to ensure the content is useful for learning?
- Your blog needs to become part of your classroom rather than another thing to do.
- Think replace rather than add
- The schools I've worked in use classroom blogs to showcase their learning celebrations and the process of their learning.
- Blogs are used as a connection point for families, friends and other community members
- Blogs are used as journals to show the learning process
- Blogs are used as collaboration tools to connect with learners and experts outside the classroom
- Blogs are used as landing pages for students to find 'where to next'
- More often than not classroom blogs are open to everyone - anyone who knows the address can see them.
- The schools I've setup use the Blogger platform as that's the one I gave them. It integrates with GAFE (Google Apps for Education) really easily. There are other platforms out there but for the purposes of this challenge we're using Blogger.
- Many classroom teachers update their blogs twice a month, some update them 2-3 times a day and some update them maybe 3 times a term. You need to find a balance that's right for you and your classroom.
- My recommendation is that the students do most of the updating and that it becomes part of their learning rather than another thing to add to your to do list.
- Ensuring content is useful can be tricky, sometimes you just want to say 'Yay, look at what we did' other times you want to get some thinking going on and get a few comments on what others might think. Ask your class, other classrooms and teachers at your school as well as other teachers you know. Have a look around other schools blogs. Here are a few you might like to have a look at:
A name for your blog - you might like to use your classroom number or your class name. At the school I'm with now we use rs (our school initials) 15 (the year blog was created) class name (all our classrooms have names rather than numbers), so our blog addresses are rs15classname.blogspot.co.nz
There are a few settings that I'd recommend changing on your blog these are outlined below:
- Turn off Next Blog navigator bar
- Email yourself when comments are made
- make comments available to all
- remove word verification for comments
- add an administrator email (an email other than yours) to your blog and make that email an admin on your blog
- set timezone correctly
Here's a link to the playlist for all of these videos
If you'd prefer here's the full video with all the settings in one place (note there are no clickable links in this video it just plays through each setting).