Kidblog Offers Safe and Simple Interface
T eachers often share with me their excitement and frus- tration about elementary
student blogging. They are excited
about having their young students
write in a collaborative environment, but they are perplexed
about how to choose the right
tool. Although there is no shortage of blogging applications out
there, student blogs have unique
requirements: They need to have
certain safeguards, and they must
be simple to use. Kidblog (www.
kidblog.org) offers a free, easy-to-use interface, and it’s safe for the
Our entire third grade class—68
students and four teachers—are
now blogging, thanks to Kidblog.
The setup for all student accounts
was less than 10 minutes for each
teacher. Training teachers took
about 20 minutes, and teaching
the students how to blog took two
30-minute class periods.
The key to successful elementary
blogging is to find an application
that allows students to focus on
the writing and not the writing
tool. The interface must be clean
and child friendly. An effective
blogging platform offers a variety
of publishing options that include
embedding images and us-
ing multimedia. However,
it’s important to select a
program that does not offer
too many bells and whistles
or is too complicated for
children. Kidblog is ideal
because it has:
password to view students’ posts and
comments. Privacy settings block
unsolicited comments from outside
Another advantage is that Kidblog
does not collect any personal information from teachers or students.
Kidblog removes obstacles so your
students can begin writing and commenting in an authentic collaborative environment.
—Scott Meech is an ISTE intern. He recently
earned a graduate certificate in school administration and supervision focusing on instructional technology at Johns Hopkins University.
Adding Titles to Movies Problem: When adding titles to movies, my students do not leave the title on the screen long enough for it to be read completely. Here’s a solution: Test if the title is on the screen long enough by playing the movie and having someone who has never seen the title before read it out loud. if an average reader can finish the entire title comfortably before it goes off the screen, it’s fine. if not, adjust the timing so the title will remain on screen longer.
This tip comes from
Steven Katz, director
of educational technology
at Country Day School in
Escazú, Costa Rica. He
maintains three websites:
katz.com, and www.cdsnews.net.
If you have a tip to share, post it on the comment wall on the L&L group page of the ISTE Community Ning at www.iste-community.org/
group/landl or e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org.