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Getting Started in Classroom Blogging


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Getting Started in Classroom Blogging

  1. 1. Good morning!<br />To login to your computer, please use <br />Username: training123<br />Password: training123<br />Feel free to surf the net until we begin at 8:00am.<br />If you want to get a jump start on what we’ll be looking at, go to<br />
  2. 2. Getting Started in Classroom Blogging<br />Ashley Croft, 5th grade teacher<br />MNPS Summer SWAP Symposium<br />July 22, 2011<br />
  3. 3. Who am I? <br />
  4. 4. Who are you?<br />Go to<br />Find the “Participant Survey” post.<br />Scroll to the bottom!<br />Click on the Survey Monkey link to take this survey.<br />Please only take the survey once.<br />You will have 5 minutes to complete this survey.<br />
  5. 5. Schedule<br />We’ll accomplish as much as we can in these three hours.<br /> 8:00 am Begin training<br />9:30 am (approx) Break<br /> 11:00 am Lunch<br />
  6. 6. Mixer Time!<br />Don’t move until the music starts!<br />Find someone wearing the same color as you somewhere on their body.<br />Shorter person goes first. Introduce yourselves and find out this information:<br />Name<br />Grade Level<br />School<br />Favorite Summertime activity<br />Taller person goes next.<br />You have one song to discuss and find out this information.<br />You will introduce your partner…take notes!<br />
  7. 7. Why are we here?<br />To explore blogging as an instructional and communication aid.<br />To set a purpose for blogging in your classroom.<br />To begin setting up your blog.<br />To explore various online resources for classroom use.<br />
  8. 8. Norms<br />Ask questions!<br />Limit personal emailing and internet browsing.<br />Keep cell phones put away until break times.<br />Minimize whispering and side conversations.<br />Feel free to step out when you need to leave.<br />We will start and end on time.<br />What else should we add?<br />
  9. 9. My Blogging Journey<br />Began in 2004 with a Xanga (old school!)<br />Continued personal blogging for years<br />Started You Make It Happen teaching blog in 2009<br />Made commitment to classroom blogging last summer<br />Created Lion’s Pride blog during 2010-2011 school year<br />
  10. 10. Blogtionary<br />Blog: short for “weblog”<br />Post: an entry on a blog<br />Posts typically appear on a blog in reverse chronological order.<br />Page: an independent place on the blog for information. These are rarely updated, but contain important information.<br />Tags: how people search for posts<br />Categories: how you organize posts within your blog<br />Comment: feedback given to the author, usually written<br />
  11. 11. Activity: Blog Exploration<br />Go to<br />Find the post titled “Blog Exploration”.<br />You will have 15 minutes to complete the blog exploration.<br />You may want to open the form in one tab and the blog in another so you can easily go back and forth.<br />Let’s number off for this activity.<br />#1: Mrs. Grist’s Grade 4/5 Blog<br />#2: Raigmore Writers<br />#3: Our Classroom Book Blog<br />#4: Mrs. Cassidy’s Blog<br />#5: Tidy Teddy’s Travels<br />
  12. 12. What’s the purpose?<br />If it doesn’t have a specific purpose, it’s not worth doing.<br />Potential purposes:<br />To publish student writing.<br />To communicate with parents.<br />To reflect on and spotlight student learning/achievements.<br />To showcase a project/projects.<br />To collect student data.<br />The possibilities are truly endless!<br />
  13. 13. Activity: Blog Purpose Brainstorming<br />“All on the Wall” brainstorming technique can be used online!<br />Go to<br />Find the “Blog Purpose Brainstorming” post.<br />Click on the link to access our Wall Wisher brainstorming board.<br />We’ll brainstorm blogging purposes for a few minutes. Come up with as many as you can!<br />
  14. 14. Setting the Stage<br />Students need to know what a blog is and what you intend to do with it.<br />Have students help you decide on guidelines and safety rules.<br />Communicate these rules, guidelines, and consequences to parents. Require parents to sign permission slips for their children.<br />Don’t skip this part! You have to build a solid foundation.<br />
  15. 15. Potential Roadblocks<br />Time constraints<br />Try to recruit older students, other teachers, coaches, or parents to help you out!<br />Lack of Technology<br />Don’t let this keep you from blogging.<br />Be creative.<br />Ask for what you need—you might be surprised!<br />Student Inexperience<br />They will learn quickly.<br />Stay patient!<br />
  16. 16. Step #1: Choose Your PlatformKIDBLOG<br />PROS <br />No advertising<br />Strict privacy settings<br />Simple and easy to use<br />Meant to manage multiple classes<br />Easy to separate posts by certain students<br />CONS<br />Not searchable<br />Difficult for public to view<br />Limited layout options<br />Less of a “true blog” feel<br />Cannot schedule posts—you have to hit “Publish” on the day you want it to appear<br />Unable to create blog for each student<br />Fewer upgrade options<br />No video/audio/photo posting<br />
  17. 17. Step #1: Choose Your PlatformEDUBLOGS<br />PROS <br />Recently made ad-free<br />Ability to post photos and audio clips<br />Posts can be scheduled for future times/dates<br />Additional controls and functions<br />Numerous blog layouts<br />Threaded commenting<br />CONS<br />Must pay for Pro status ($40/year)<br />Video posting capability<br />Easily create multiple users<br />Up to 50 student blogs<br />Additional layout options<br />More intricate controls <br />Dashboard more difficult to navigate<br />
  18. 18. Step #1: Choose Your PlatformOTHERS<br />Class BlogMeister<br />You must participate in a PD session with the founder to use this platform.<br /><br />This one is still in the trial stages and not available for public use.<br />WordPress<br />Blogger<br />Tumblr<br />This platform is blocked by the MNPS network. You couldn’t use it at school even if you wanted to!<br />
  19. 19. Step #2: Create a Blogging Email<br />This will help you store student usernames and passwords. You’ll also be able to monitor and organize comments.<br />You’ll want to use Gmail for lots of reasons….trust me!<br />Go to<br />Let’s walk through the steps together.<br />
  20. 20. Step #2: Create a Blogging Email<br />Use labels to organize emails you want to keep.<br />I use three labels:<br />Comments<br />Posts<br />Logins<br />You will have all things archived electronically to refer back to as needed.<br />
  21. 21. Step #3: Sign up for a Blog<br />Go to<br />Click on the green box that says “Free!”<br />Don’t worry—you can upgrade at any time.<br />People WILL SEE your username. Choose carefully!<br />Use the Gmail email address we just created.<br />Click “Go to Step 2”.<br />
  22. 22. Step #3: Sign up for a Blog<br />Create a Blog domain.<br />Be careful here. I would recommend something that does not reveal your school name or location.<br />You CANNOT change this later.<br />Your Blog Title can be whatever you would like.<br />Select “Other” under Blog Type.<br />Enter the verification and click on “Go to Step 3”.<br />It may take a couple of tries to get a domain that has not already been used.<br />
  23. 23. Step #3: Sign up for a Blog<br />Hooray!<br />Click “Login to your new blog”.<br />You can always login to your blog by going to and using the login box at the top.<br />To be sure you’re logged in, check the login bar at the top. If you’re logged in, it will say “Welcome, (your username)”<br />
  24. 24. Step #4: Login<br />Be sure you’re logged in (go to if you’re not).<br />Click on “Your Dashboard”.<br />Even if you’re a beginner, you need to use the Advanced Admin option.<br />There is already a post on your blog.<br />To view your blog, click “Visit Site” at the top left corner.<br />
  25. 25. Step #5: Figure Out What’s There<br />Your Dashboard is the “command center” of the blog.<br />Let’s take 10 minutes to explore what is available. Don’t worry—you really can’t mess it up!<br />As you explore, let me know what you want to know more about.<br />Go to<br />Find the “Dashboard Dive-in” post.<br />Use the Answer Garden to tell me what you want to explore further.<br />If someone posts something on there that you want to know more about also, click on it. It will grow!<br />
  26. 26. Step # 6: Make a Post<br />There are several ways to get to the Post Editor page.<br />Click on “Posts” in the menu on the left. Then click “Add New”.<br />Click on “New Post” in the top right corner.<br />Click on “(#) Posts” on your At a Glance box in the center. Then click “Add New” in the menu on the left.<br />Go ahead and type your title and body.<br />Remember to tag and categorize your post.<br />Tags are intended for others to search.<br />Categories are like file folders for your blog.<br />
  27. 27. Step #6: Make a Post<br />When you’re finished, click “Publish”.<br />To schedule a post for a future date, go to the Publishing box. Next to “Publish immediately”, click “Edit”.<br />Schedule the post for a the date you desire.<br />To protect a post with a password, click “Edit” next to the words “Visibility public”.<br />
  28. 28. Step #7: Choose a Theme<br />On the Dashboard menu, click on “Appearances”.<br />Click “Themes”.<br />Now that you have created a post, you can see what your blog will look like with the post.<br />Themes can be changed at anytime.<br />I would recommend leaving it constant once the blog is introduced to students. I changed mine mid-year and students had to re-learn to navigate it.<br />Take one song to play around with the themes.<br />
  29. 29. Step #8: Add a Page<br />Make sure you’re on the Dashboard page.<br />Click on “Pages” in the Dashboard menu.<br />Hover your mouse over the page name for additional options.<br />To add a new page, click on “Add New” on the Dashboard menu (under “Pages”).<br />Let’s practice editing your “About” page. <br />
  30. 30. Step #9: Add New Users<br />Tips:<br />Have students decide on a username and password at the beginning of the year!<br />Go ahead and enter them all into the blog.<br />Click on “Users” in the Dashboard menu.<br />Click “Add New” in the sub-menu.<br />If you want students to be able to post without your approval, make them Authors.<br />I would recommend making them all Contributors so you can approve posts first.<br />
  31. 31. Step #9a: Add New UsersThe Gmail Hack<br />IMPORTANT: DO NOT USE STUDENT EMAILS!<br />Using student emails will limit the amount of control you have over what students post and can access.<br />The Gmail hack will make Edublogsthink you’re entering different emails, but all alerts will go to your email address. Sneaky!<br />Enter (your email)+(studentusername)<br />For example,<br />
  32. 32. Step #9: Add New Users<br />Pro subscribers can Add New Users in bulk (up to 15 at a time).<br />Free users will need to login to each account they create and change the password for the students.<br />Label those emails with your “Password” label in Gmail.<br />You won’t have to keep a paper record of passwords that way!<br />
  33. 33. Step #10: Students Post!<br />Students go to like you did).<br />Login using the username and password they chose and you set up.<br />Make sure they uncheck “Remember me”.<br />They use the Easy Admin option.<br />For previous posts, click on “My Posts” tab at the top.<br />
  34. 34. Step #11: Publicize<br />To get the full blogging experience, you need readers.<br />Email everyone you know…teachers, parents, friends, etc.<br />Encourage them to subscribe by email, RSS feed, or Google reader.<br />Specifically ask them to leave comments for your students.<br />
  35. 35. Step #12: Commenting<br />Teach students how to comment.<br />Model<br />Practice<br />Evaluate<br />I used a PowerPoint to introduce this to students.<br />Set guidelines for acceptable and unacceptable comments.<br />Allow students to help you decipher between the two.<br />Teach students how to be specific and productive with their commenting.<br />Be sure to stay on top of approving comments.<br />
  36. 36. Wrapping Up<br />To review what we’ve done today, we’ll create a Bubble Map using Popplet.<br />Move your chair to share a computer with a partner.<br />Go to<br />Find the “Wrapping Up” post and click on the Popplet link.<br />With your partner, create a map of what you learned about today.<br />One of you will have to sign up for Popplet.<br />Email me the Popplet so I can add it to the MNPS Blogs site!<br /><br />
  37. 37. Wrapping Up<br />Let’s create a Wordletogether to go on the blog about today’s training.<br />Popcorn out words that you have heard frequently today.<br />
  38. 38. Wrapping Up<br />Please email me with any questions at all!<br /><br />When you start your class blog, send me the link! I will compile a list and add it to the MNPS Blogs website.<br />Thank you for attending!<br />