Teacher Review for Blogger

Great independent publishing platform

Chris C.
Technology coordinator
Heathcote School
Scarsdale, United States
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Social Studies
My Rating
Learning Scores
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Knowledge gain
Student-driven work
Teacher-led lessons
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
Special needs
How I Use It
I use Blooger in 2 ways: ps10tech.blogspot.com as a class portal with curriculum guides, resources, etc. I also post homework assignments, blog posts students have to read and comment on, as a way to extend the connection to the computer lab beyond the times I see them face to face. http://ps10tech.blogspot.com/p/student-blog-directory.html - this page has links to two sub-pages of student-controlled blogs. These are two classes I work with, giving students control of their own blogs to use as teaching tools. We use the blogs to talk about digital citizenship, digital footprint, positive messages, speaking to a broad audience, website design, etc. They are great, engaging platforms to cover a wide variety of teaching points across curriculum areas.
My Take
Bogging is a great activity with students and Blogger is a great platform to get students started. We are a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) school so using Blogger is easy as it is integrated with our overall platform, but it is also very easy to set up even if you are not a GAFE school. I have set up 3rd and 5th graders with independent Blogger blogs. They created blogs with direction from me on name and overall vision (digital portfolios). I give them opportunities to do free-writes as posts, as well as specific "guided" posts where I give specific parameters on title, content, etc. Blogger is a great platform because the students love the independence, the ability to customize the look and feel of the blog, add widgets, and create an overall individual personalization to their blog. Students are excited about writing, designing, checking their audience statistics (which is a great way to talk about audience means, reach or their writing, digital citizenship beyond the classroom, etc). They have taken to writing and designing behind the classroom, working on their blogs outside of school. The one downside I do is is the inability to moderate posts. If you have a single class blog you can have multiple authors, but you need to invite authors via email so if your students don't have email that is a problem. But even if your students do have emails and you make them authors on a single blog there is no post-moderating, meaning any "author" can publish a post without any greater approval. This might be a shortcoming for teachers concerned with students publishing without teacher approval.