Mrs. Yollis is a 3rd grade teacher who teaches her students blogging skills on her blog:  Mrs. Yollis’ Classroom Blog.

Yes, at the K-8 level posting, commenting, inserting images and widgets skills need to be taught and then monitored.  Here are Mrs. Yollis’ personal thoughts about blogging taken from her wiki,  Educational Blogging.

My Personal

Thoughts About Blogging

Blogging Takes Time

  • A class blog? Individual student blogs? What is right for you? I decided that giving every child a blog was not something I wanted to tackle at this point. First of all, I wanted to teach directed lessons about posting, creating images, and composing quality comments. Having a class blog allowed me to direct all my lessons at one site. Controlling the lessons and the publishing allowed me to work at my own pace. If I wanted to publish once a week, I did. If I felt like I wanted to publish more, I felt free to do so. Having several individual blogs to proofread and moderate would have been overwhelming for me.

  • Currently, I allow students to earn their own blog. They can earn their own blog by contributing ideas/writing to groups posts and by demonstrating consistently good commenting skills. Once a child is ready, I let his/her parents set up the Blogger account at home, and I will link the child’s blog to our classroom site. The parents must be the administrator and comments must be moderated. If problems arise, I remove the link from our class blog. Allowing children to earn their way to a blog is powerful. They want to be linked to our class blog to increase their readership. In addition, it encourages parents to take an active online role with their child.

  • Monitoring posts and comments can be a real challenge with a large class. Developing a management plan that works for you is essential. Possible ideas:

~ Pair students up to practice commenting. Students can help each other proofread.

~ Assign publishing days throughout the week. Students will then be able to prepare for their publishing day.

~ Train parents and have them come in and assist with the writing and publishing. Determine the standard of writing that is acceptable and have parents help with the process.

Strengthening Language Skills

  • Teachers create blogs for a variety of reasons. I use the blog to share what we are learning in class and to strengthen language arts skills. As a class, we discussed the standard of writing that is acceptable for third graders and each student blogger must meet that standard to get a post or a comment published.

Staying Professional

  • Most of the 2.0 tool require a user name and password. I use Mrs. Yollis or some other professional title as a title whenever I join a site. I never mix personal information or photos within a site. If I like a site and I would like to use it in my personal life, I join under a different name.

Rescued hummingbird chick photo: Mrs. Yollis

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About Donna

Changing educational paradigms motivate me to share new technology as well as the admirable work of others who integrate contemporary research on how people learn with supportive, free digital applications and resources. Do teachers ever have enough time or money? Perhaps my discoveries will expedite the journey of a busy educator seeking a 21st Century 'true north' of his or her own.

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