Blogging is a great way for students to develop their digital citizenship and writing skills. The subscription-based site, Kidblog, provides kids with a safe platform to publish their writing. Teachers have the option to moderate all posts and comments before publication. I’m currently using this resource with a 2/3 combo and all 3rd and 4th graders.
Many of the skills students practice are the focus of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). ISTE has developed the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for students, teachers, administrators, coaches, and computer science teachers. Those standards include the following six focus areas: 1) Creativity and Innovation, 2) Communication and Collaboration, 3) Research and Information Fluency, 4) Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making, 5) Digital Citizenship 6) Technology Operations and Concepts.
Shown below is a sample student post (which is held for review/editing) and guidelines I provide for the students.
Shown below are some of the skills developed through KidBlog with teacher instruction.
-Use online subscription resources
-Navigate to a web address
-Use equipment for positive and productive functions
-Recognize and respect ownership rights (copyright)
Online Safety and Security
-Do not share personal information online
-Do not use inappropriate or disrespectful language online (proper netiquette)
-Do not share network login information
-Explore the appropriate use of copyrighted material through permission, crediting sources, payment
-Discuss plagiarism and its ramifications
-Engage in online learning activities (i.e. blogs)
-Use proper netiquette
-Critique email [blog posts and comments] for communication clarity, appropriate operations, and etiquette
In the words of one teacher: “My favorite part about Kidblog is that I can access, assess and respond from anywhere. It’s priceless.”