Phipps Files

Live. Laugh. Love. Learn

Major digital project- Step 1 October 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — sjphipps @ 9:08 PM
Writing by JKim1, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License  by  JKim1 

Well, I have put off this project long enough. I think I have used the excuse that I am wayfinding and don’t have time to think about the end result yet. What I would like to do is start every student in my class (24- grade 8) on their own blog. I have decided to use because I have heard some good things about it. It did literally take 10 minutes to navigate and set up the whole class. The first thing I loved about it was the similarity between this site and wordpress. At least now I can pretend I know what I am talking about when directing my students!

My original intent of the student blog was to be a digital portfolio. This being a place where students could post examples of their work, comment on their learning and reflect upon what comes next. I sent home a blog letter explaining the project and a student/parent contract. However, I have since re-thought this idea…of course now that all the contracts and letters were returned!

I think I was scared that parents would “buck” the idea of having their students involved in social media. I didn’t know how they would like the voices of their children being “broadcast” around the world. But now that I have seen some of the amazing work of classmates and twitter friends, I would really like the opportunity for my students to also receive comments. So, I just sent a parent email changing my plan for this blog and wondering if there were any concerns. Already, I am dreading the one email that could negate this project for everyone.

If there are no negative comments (please God!) I will continue with step one for my students. Today, I asked them to write an “About me” post. I explained that the post needed to be personal and informative to the point of encouraging the reader to continue reading but not too personal to give away private information. We spoke about leading questions, adding a quote to our writing and stating interesting facts. I learned that this is a great way to teach writing traits-voice, point of view, word choice etc can all be summed up in this post!

Tomorrow, pending there are no negative emails, we will begin to post our thoughts and opinions. I am going to ask them to post their “about me” writings as well as one reflection on learning. Do those who use blogs in the classroom offer highly descriptive assignments for posting or do you leave it open-ended. I am thinking that I will ask my students to follow a couple scripts until they get the hang of it and then leave it up to them.

I am excited for this adventure and hope to learn from and with my students!


2 Responses to “Major digital project- Step 1”

  1. gcyrenne Says:

    Good for you to get started and to face those fears that you have about putting your students out there. I think it is a great way for them to connect and to see how others will connect to their blogs. What grade are your students? Maybe you could get them connected with Lindsay’s grade 8 students who have also started blogging.

  2. The nice thing with kidblog is that you can moderate all of the posts and comments. I don’t think you’ll have many problems. I know when I spoke with Kathy Cassidy (, she said that she only had one mildly bad thing happen, and it has been years of her blogging. She has done really well with her students, and it’s wonderful to watch her students grow.

    Kidblog is a nice tool, and it looks like WordPress because it’s based on the same code. Best of luck!

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