Imagine a blog site built just for students to use. However, it looks and acts just like WordPress. My personal blog is on WordPress, and I love working within that format! In addition, the blog is private, presumably only in our class. I love the privacy and security! Toward the end of this post, I'm going to give you links to good examples. You'll have to let me know if you can access them.
The teacher creates the class and uploads a class list with passwords. The kids log in and start typing away. So far, we've done simple things. This last post was "summarize chapter three." In essence, students merely wrote the lesson headings rather than really summarize. Soon I'll be giving them harder writing assignments. "Tell me the steps in long division." I'm looking forward to them putting these steps into words.
Since I am a blogger (maintaining both a professional and personal blog), I want to see my students doing their writing online as well. Publishing online is a great practice to learn in a safe environment and helps them see that their work is important to others.
I've added another piece to the puzzle -- an Educreations presentation. I give the students a specific problem they need to solve and talk through using Educreations. This gives me a chance to see exactly how a student solves a problem and hopefully gives me the reasoning too.
In one blog post, I can read, see, and hear how a student solves a problem and can connect writing and math together.
I had one glitch connecting Educreations and KidBlog. The steps to embed the video to the blog were complicated for a 10 year old. Since it's set up like WordPress, I could figure it out, but it was too many steps for the students to put together. So, I emailed both companies. Chris at Educreations, Matt at KidBlog, and I had multiple emails back and forth (and I assume between them) to make the process easier. Once again, I love how these developers work along with teachers to make sure things work easily in our rooms.
Feel free to look at some of the best blog entries below.