Wordpress.com is blog hosting website. There is also a partner website-Wordpress.org that will allow you to download the program. However, it is very detailed and heavy in the html language. For beginners and users that do not want to worry with the HTML settings--I highly suggest Wordpress.com. If you can type an email-you can blog with this site.
Wordpress.com even offers many tutorials that will help you get started with the basics.
I try to blog something everyday for my students. Somedays it is very basic in nature--just a quick review of what we accomplished in the class and any materials the students might need to reference. Others days it is more reflective in nature. These days are my favorite because it forces me to take a moment to see what worked and what didn't work and why. I try to feature pictures of my students as well. (They LOVE catching themselves on the blog.) Writing a post is very easy. If you can type and email-you can type a blog post.
This summer I spent some time trying to figure out how to marry 21st century skills, collaboration, communication, and organization for my classes. I wanted something that would be simple to use for time management purposes--but would look professional and be user friendly for my students. I also wanted to model writing for my students. I spent many hours reading blogs last year and decided that would be the perfect outlet for me to use this year.
Here is my blog:
My students are trained to check the blog daily. If they have any questions--they know they need to go to the blog first. They are also learning to ask questions of each other and and me via the commenting feature. It is nice to see them taking care of each other.
My goal is to have each of my students create their own blog at the start of 2nd semester. During November students will be taking turns "guest blogging" on my blog.
I asked them to tell me their thoughts about the blog. Here are some of their comments:
How has having the blog helped you?
- It has helped me a lot. I have needed help before and I have forgot things about projects and it has given me information I have needed.
- I love using the blog because if I forget what we talked about in class it is always on the blog.
- The blog has helped me so much this year. Whenever I don't understand an assignment, I go to the blog and there are ALWAYS extra instructions and tips.
- The blog has helped me because when I am absent or confused I can access the blog wherever I am.
- The blog has helped me Tremendously. It has helped me because if I am out sick I just cheek the blog and all my assignments are right there at my fingertips! When i get back to school I am all mostly caught up!
- The blog is always a great help to me. It's a neat way to get resources for class, and to connect the classes in a way.
- The blog is useful for downloading resources such as handouts. Also, it is great to know what we did the other day if we were not here without even mentioning it to the teacher. We can even submit assignments from home!
- The blog has helped in unthinkable ways. It's fantastic when your sick or absent, you can go on the blog and finish you work and not be a day behind. It is a whole lot easier to do assignments . When Mrs. Yates has a sub we get a lot done and really enjoy those days where I can work by myself.
Why is blogging important?
- Blogging is important because it can easily spread information through a group of people or just one person. You can also limit who sees the information.
- Blogging is important because it is always available and constantly up to date.
- Blogging is important because it lets the teacher and students communicate. It also lets the parents see what is going on in the classroom.
- Blogging helps us know what's going on in our daily lives. Using a blog for school is helpful, because we can easily see if we had any assignments on there. The comment section allows us to easily access other students or our teacher is it is needed.
How does the ability to comment help you with the blog?
- Commenting has helped me because if I have a question, I can just comment and Mrs. Yates will reply. It is also helpful because other students can see my comment so that Mrs. Yates does not get the same question a million times.
- The ability to comment has helped me to earn a pride paw, and get me interacting with more of my classmates.
- If I have a direct question and I comment it, then my teacher or another student has the ability to help with a possible solution.
- The ability to comment has helped me with the blog because anytime I have a question or concern on any assignment or blog that has been posted I can just comment and ask that question, usually i get a response by Mrs. Yates or another student within that hour.
- If I have questions or concerns, I can comment on the blog and Mrs. Yates gets back to me within the hour. If their is a problem on the blog I can leave a comment and it gets fixed lighting fast. It also allows me to share my opinions about the day and the class.
Check out some different blogs. How do you think blogging will help with your instruction? Will it be a means for personal reflection? A way to communicate with students & parents? A collaborative project from your PLC/team? (Please reflect below.)
Some blogs worth viewing-