Blogs (shorthand for web logs) provide a unique collaborative writing environment that can add an interactive and connective dimension to writing. Blogging provides an online author a forum for sharing thoughts, reactions, and reflections as well as for linking what they have read, online resources, and others’ writing within a blog post. Through the use of feature settings, blogs can also provide opportunities to the author for feedback through comments.
Guidelines for Use
Carroll County Public Schools purchases a limited amount of blog licenses for instructional and professional development use from Edublogs. This is the only approved blogging tool for use with students.
- Please read the Edublogs Terms of Service
- When using this type of writing environment, it is important for all participants to practice ethical behavior and digital citizenship as outlined in the ISTE NETS for Students.
Best Practices – Curriculum Connections
- Create book discussions (great for literature circles or book reports)
- Post prompts for writing
- Communicate with parents and students about classroom news, policies, and events
- Journal writing online
- Publish student work (writing, photos, video, etc.)
- Identify how a blog will be used to support specific learning outcomes.
- Plan for how you will use an instructional blog, how you will assess its effectiveness, and how you will evaluate its use by students. Use the Web 2_0 Planning Form to help with your planning.
- It is recommended that you share your plan with your administrator and content area supervisor.
- Request a CCPS Blog account via the Technology Request Center. (internal only)
- Once you have your account and login information sent to you, spend some time learning how to set up your blog. Edublogs has some great resources and tutorials. If you have never used a blogging tool before, plan to spend at least several weeks learning how to set up the blog and practice using it before attempting to introduce it to your students.
- It is highly recommended that you choose the setting that requires students to login to your blog before they can comment. There are some issues with other settings that require emails to be entered when leaving a comment.
- Contact Paula Sandridge for assistance in batch uploading students into your blog.
- Communicate your instructional plans with students and parents about the curricular goals, expectations, and safety measures for your instructional blog. A sample letter is included in the Resources section that you can adapt to your project.
- Ensure that the following safety measures are addressed throughout your usage:
a. Ensure that identifiable student information is not posted.
b. Use only first names and last initials (if necessary) or allow ‘nicknames’ that do not reveal personal information.
c. Student photos must have appropriate parent release and permission (check with school office staff for a list of students whose likeness or work cannot be posted – FERPA).
d. Your students should keep their passwords confidential.
- You are responsible for the content on your blog. It is your role to promote its effective instructional use.
- Establish and explain the written language expectations for posting and/or commenting on a blog. Conventional written language rules should be followed and all posts and comments should be of educational substance.
- Establish a process for the reporting of student concerns or problems.
- Ensure that you are monitoring all activity on your classroom blog as well as any links that have been included within a post or comment. You may want to set your blog comments so you have to approve them before they are published to the web.
- After your blogging project is over, contact Paula Sandridge to remove your blog. If you wish to use your blog again, also contact Paula for more information.
- Computer with Internet access.
- An account with the Carroll County Public Schools Blogging Tool. To request an account, please enter your request using the Technology Request Center. (internal only)
Tutorials and Resources
- Web 2_0 Planning Form
- Example letter with Parent Permission Form that you can adapt for your needs
- Student Blogger Permission Slip with Parent Permission Form (upper elementary language) that you can adapt for your needs (thanks to Michael Fosnot)
- Student Blogger Permission Slip with email example developed by Kathleen Brunnett, North Carroll Middle School and Laurie Owings, Shiloh Middle School.
- Edublogs Users Guide
- Handouts, Worksheets and Professional Development from Edublogs
- Carroll County Public Schools Blogging Tool