How to start a blog in 4 easy steps

4 steps to starting a blogWelcome back! You have decided to remove the walls from your classroom and safely connect your students to the global community. I am going to share 4 easy steps. It will be easy breezy and you will be up and running in under 20 minutes. Read the 4 easy steps to starting a blog.


Find a blog platform/host

The initial step to getting started is finding a home to put your blog. There are so many options. However, you must remember safety is first. I prefer Edublogs. The reason I prefer Edublogs is because it is WordPress based. Which means if you were to leave your school district you could export (switch over easier) all of your hard work with you. You can also use Kidblog.org, Blogger or Weebly. Edublog is very easy as well. You can host several blogsites on Edublog under the same login. Edublogs lets you easily create & manage student & teacher blogs, quickly customize designs and include videos, photos & podcasts – it’s safe, easy and secure
Kidblog is very simple as well. Kidblog is defaulted to allow students to post and for you to approve the comments. Whatever you read make sure you read the Terms of Service to make sure you are in compliance.

Share purpose of blogging and establish background knowledge

Good digital citizenship should always be initial lesson taught before allowing the students to log onto the world wide web. It does not matter if you are teaching elementary, middle, or high school. So discussing and modeling good digital citizenship and Copyright rules are important. ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) has created student, teacher, and coach rules to follow as a guide. ISTE Standards for Students state

Creativity and innovation
2. Research and information fluency
3.Communication and collaboration
4.Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making
5. Digital Citizenship
6. Technology operations and concepts

You can actually reach out to your media specialist to offer lessons on where to find digital resources such as images and teach them proper citation.
Here are a few online resources that could make teaching it easier!

Digital Citizenship
Common Sense Education
Teach in Ctrl
ISTE

Copyright
Schrockguide.net


Start blogging

In order for you to be on your merry little way to a differentiated classroom, you have to start blogging. Here are a few ideas to get you started just in case you have an idea block and can’t think what to do!
Give the students a writing prompt. That way the students do not have think of a topic. You are still maintaining control and expectations. Many of our students love using visual cues, so since you taught copyright rules you can share picture sources to help enhance their blog posts.

Blogging Prompts
Seventh Sanctum
Scholastic
Portent
Picture Sources
Wordle
Eduscapes
Morgue File
Flickr Commons

Be happy
That is the final step.

Blogging is another instructional tool that can take your students and classroom to another level. What a better way to show parents and the community of what is happening academically within the walls of the school. Secure blogging has allowed me to collect data for my IEP goals and objectives, and create a passion for writing for some of my most reluctant writers.

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