Common Sense Review
Updated February 2013

Kidblog

Safe, supportive blogs boost kids' writing skills, digital citizenship
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Common Sense Rating 3
  • Kidblog's dashboard is the go-to page for getting started and accessing all features.
  • All posts are listed for easy review.
  • Teachers can create classes, add students, adjust privacy settings, and more from the dashboard.
  • Adding a post is much like using a word processor -- kids will take to it easily.
  • Access is easy from the Kidblog homepage.
Pros
This straightforward, safe, and free platform helps teachers provide kids with a positive blogging experience that supports 21st century skills.
Cons
Some of the great features are only available to premium account holders.
Bottom Line
It's a go-to resource for quick, safe, and easy student blogging.
Andrea Zellner
Common Sense Reviewer
Researcher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

Content creation on the web is generally an engaging activity for students. Kidblog provides efficiencies so students and teachers can focus on creation.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

Kidblog advocates teacher management of student privacy. Providing a safe space for student exploration is the focus of this product.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

Safeguards and security are built in through teacher options for privacy settings. It's easy and efficient.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

Use Kidblog as a platform where your students publish their writing, audio, visual, or video projects. With the easy embedding features from other services like Edmodo and Glogster, the sky is the limit in terms of the creativity kids can bring to their Kidblog projects. As a teacher, you can also create a class blog as a way to communicate with parents. Include information about daily happenings in the classroom, upcoming deadlines, and learning tips for students.

The ability to adjust privacy settings on Kidblog provides an opportunity to respect (and protect) your students' privacy, but it also serves as an invitation to discuss the issue of online privacy and safety with them. Ask your students to discuss issues like who can see what on their blog, versus other blogs on the Internet. Also, be sure to share with your class clear behavioral norms around acceptable content. Having these discussions is a great way to encourage critical thinking about the ways students interact on the web.

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What's It Like?

Kidblog is a blogging platform intended primarily for kids, as moderated by teachers, librarians, or school administrators. The site requires an adult to create a classroom or school account with only an email address. There's also a one-click option through Google's universal login, making it very convenient for any Google Apps for Education users. After creating an account, teachers follow a set of links to set up multiple classes, add or delete students, adjust privacy settings, post a message, and get kids blogging on their own.

As a blogging platform for kids, one of Kidblog's strengths is that kids aren't required to provide an email address in order to use the service. Students can get connected using just some general information: an URL, their teacher's name, and the class name (as created by the teacher) are all they'll need. Students can then select their name from a class list previously imported by the teacher. Teachers can manage and moderate their students' blogs, and additional features include the ability to allow private commenting, easy content embedding within blogs, email support, and free themes. For those with iPads, there's also an app available.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Blogging is a great way to support students as both writers and creators of digital content. Kids' writing instruction can be much more meaningful when they know they'll have an authentic audience for their work. Using Kidblog, a student's audience could include peers, parents, family friends, other teachers, and even the public. Additionally, as digital creators, publishing on the web is a great way to encourage students to learn an important 21st century skill. They'll get a chance to practice digital citizenship in a safe, closed environment, rather than jumping right into the deep end when they're older. Here, teachers can manage and moderate blogs for multiple students, and the no-email sign-in helps make Kidblog a safer space for learning.

For teachers, Kidblog has a strong social media presence, with a support blog, Twitter feed, and Google+ page. Teachers are encouraged to share ideas, interact with others, and contact the site's support staff with any issues or requests for new features. As with any Web 2.0 tool, these features are crucial in ensuring kids' learning outcomes. On top of that, Kidblog's features make the process efficient so teachers can focus on what matters most: kids' learning.

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