How I Use It
I support teachers in a K-12 public school setting with 1:1 iPads in grades K-12. Working closely with classroom teachers, we have started using Kidblog to set up simple,secure individual blogs for students in our elementary buildings as low as grade 1. There is a bit of set up on the part of the teacher and is best completed from a computer using the the KidBlog website as opposed to the app on the iPad. Once the blog options are selected, composing and posting blog posts from the iPad using the app is incredibly smooth! The app integrates with the iPad camera roll, so it is easy for kids to snap screenshots from other apps and include pictures and even video of projects to post on their blog! Teachers have control on whether kids can post with out approval and whether comments are allowed and must be moderated before they show up or not. Teachers can make the blogs public or more private, allowing viewers to only view the blog posts with a password if they wish for this. I do suggest starting with group posts to provide explicit instruction in how to create and post an entry, and maybe small group work at first to gradually release the responsibility of posting to the student. Consider whether you are ok or not with things like phonetic spelling...do you want to use this a "portfolio" of growth or a showcase of "polished" writing? Do you want to have the blog act as a communication tool for parents? a personal journal? a reading log? a reflection of learning log? or a place to publicize personal exploration like "genius hour" work? You may find that requiring all posts and comments to be moderated results in quite a lot of emails notifying you that something needs your approval? If you have students or assistants you can trust to help moderate, the teacher does have the option in the set up to assign other "moderators."
I love the flexibility that this tool gives the teacher. Overall I think it is the best blogging platform for schools where blogging is new and there is some skepticism about whether they should be public or more secure since the teacher has so much flexibility in privacy settings. Older students might not appreciate the title "kid," so for my high school students I will probably explore other options, but for grade 8 and under I'm comfortable recommending this as the best option to introduce blogging!