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Welcome to the eleventh and final step in our free professional learning series on class and student blogging!

The aim of this step is to guide you through the process of setting up your student blogs.

You may already have student blogs or this might be something that’s not on your agenda currently.

Whatever the case, it’s still a useful exercise to explore the topic of student blogs. If your students already have blogs, you might get some new ideas, or be able to share your own experiences with us.

If you won’t be having student blogs this year, maybe the information will be useful to store away for the future.


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Why Educators Use Student Blogs

Educators normally start of with a class blog where the teacher writes the posts, and the students respond by writing comments.

This gives the teacher time to increase their skills while gradually introducing their students to blogging, and educating their students on what is required.

However, as the age of students increases, educators are more likely to have them to write posts on their own student blog.

Student learning and writing improves faster when each student has their own blog as ownership is an important part of blogging. We all have increased motivation when we feel personal ownership. Students are more motivated by their own blogs when class blogging is done well.

Another key benefit of student blogs is that they can be used as an ePortfolio or digital portfolio to create an archive of your students’ learning.

Top 10 Reasons for Students to Blog

Image by Sylvia Duckworth licensed under Creative Commons ShareAlike 2.0.

Must Watch Videos

If you haven’t already seen the following videos, we encourage you to take a look.

The Possibility of Student Blogging by Andrea Hernandez and Silvia Tolisano provides an excellent explanation of:

  • the blogging and commenting process,
  • the impact of quality blogging on student literacy, and
  • the importance of writing as part of a global audience.

To learn more about the benefits of student blogging in higher education, watch this video by students from the University of Western Australia.

Further Background Reading On Student Blogs

Check out Different Approaches To Using Student Blogs And Digital Portfolios on The Edublogger for more background information on student blogs.

This post uses a continuum to demonstrate the different ways that student blogs are used.

Continuum student blogging Edublogs


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Examples Of Student Blogs

Looking at other blogs is a great way to get ideas and inspiration. This is something you could do as the teacher, but it can also be beneficial for students to explore other student blogs.

Here are some good places to find student blogs:

  1. The Student Blogging Challenge list of participating students
  2. Team Two Eagles — Becky Versteeg does a great job of blogging with her grade two students
  3. The Geelong College Middle School (note, some of these are public and some are password protected)
  4. Jurupa Hills High School Photography
  5. SCHS Open Studio — high school ceramics

If you come across any specific examples of student blogs that you think are worth sharing, please let us know. Leave a comment with the URL so we can add to our list and provide inspiration to others.


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Tips For Creating Student Blogs

You can use any blogging platform you like including EdublogsWordPress, and Blogger, however, when we write detailed instructions they will refer to Edublogs.

You can adapt this information to the blogging platform you are using.

Unsure about what blogging platform to use? Edublogs is based on WordPress software that’s designed for education which makes it an excellent choice. 

Want to connect student accounts with your school’s username and password?  Check out CampusPress — Edublogs premium solution for schools, districts, and universities.  Learn more about CampusPress here.

We’ll now go through three important things to consider before creating your student blogs.

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1. Student Usernames, Blog URLs, And Blog Titles

Educators normally use the same name for both the student’s username and blog URL. Keep them simple and easy for the student to remember.

Most educators use a combination of their student’s first name followed by numbers that might represent the year, class number, and/or school initials.

This is done to:

  1. Protect the identity of the student (by not including their last name)
  2. Ensure their username is unique (as Edublogs has close to 1,000,000 users).

For example, you could have:

  • Username mistybp16
  • Blog URL mistybp16.edublogs.org
  • Blog title Misty’s Blog

If you want the students to use the blog for their entire school life, you might consider using a combination of letters combined with a number that represents the year they started school or are finishing school.

Your student’s username is what they use to sign into a blog dashboard and is displayed on posts and comments they write.

Username

Student blog title

The blog title is one of the first things a reader sees when visiting a blog. Unlike the URL, the title can be changed easily.

We recommend you keep the student’s first name as the first part of the blog title if you’re using My Class. This makes it easier to identify a student blog from the Class Blog widget. The Class blog widget is used to list all student blogs attached to My Class.

Remember, you can always change the blog title any time via Settings > General in the student blog dashboard.

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2.  Add Yourself To Your Student Blogs

Always add yourself as an administrator to your student blog.

This means if you need to edit/delete a post, page, or comment you can quickly access their blog from your blog dashboard.

We’ll show you how to do this using My Class tool below.

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3. Moderate Comments

Educators either prefer to let their students moderate their own comments or they moderate all the comments for their students. There are pros and cons to each approach.

Sometimes, educators moderate to begin with but then hand over responsibility when their students demonstrate that they’re ready.

We’ll show you how to moderate comments using My Class tool below.


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Create Your Student Blogs

Now you’ve done all the research, it’s time to create your student blogs!

The easiest way to set up and manage all student blogs is using My Class.

My Class is a management tool that teachers use to:

  1. Quickly create student blogs with or without a student email address.
  2. Allow students to publish their own posts on their student blogs and/or the class blog.
  3. Control comment moderation settings on student blogs. Either the teacher or student can be in charge of comment moderation.
  4. Control the privacy settings on all student blogs with just one click! Blogs can be public, private, or somewhere in between (e.g. search engines can be blocked or only logged in users can visit blogs).
  5. Quickly view and/or moderate posts and comments in one location in the Reader.
  6. Quickly enable extra features on student blogs such as allowing embed code. *
  7. Configure the settings to ensure all student posts are reviewed by a teacher before the posts are published. *

*Note: My Class is available with free blogs; however, Edublogs Pro allows for teacher moderated posts and using embed code.


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Getting Started With My Class

To get started you first need to Create a Class as follows:

1.  Go to My Class > Create a Class.

Go to Create a Class

2.  Select the options that work for you, such as:

(1) Select ‘This is a class blog’

(2) Select ‘No – use if you want them to publish posts on their student blog’

(3) Choose if you want to moderate posts and comments on student blogs

(4) Choose your preferred privacy option

(5) Decide which users you want to manage your student blogs

My Class settings

3.   Click Save.

4.  The My Class menu should change to the menu item shown below.

My Class menu items

Once you’ve created your class there are two options for creating student blogs:

  1. You create the student blogs using My Class > Create Student blogs
  2. Students create their own blogs using the Edublogs sign up page

We’ll walk you through the first option.


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Create Student Blogs Using My Class

The following instructions explain how you create the student blogs yourself using My Class. Refer to the create own student blog support page if you want students to create their own blogs and attach their blog to My Class.

You create student blogs as follows:

1.  Go to My Class >  Create Student blogs.

My Class menu items

2.  Add their username, email address (optional), password, blog URL, and blog title.

  • If you leave the email address blank their user account is created using our no email option and you will be able to reset their password using the Edit link under their username in Users > All Users.
  • All passwords are stored encrypted in our system and can’t be viewed by anyone, including the user. Record your students’ passwords in a spreadsheet as you create their account if you use our no email option.
  • This creates their student blogs, adds them as a user to the class blog, adds you as a user to their student blog, and connects their student blog with the class blog.

Create Student blog

We recommend you use the preset password option and record their username/password/blog URL in a spreadsheet as you create their blogs.

Some teachers require students to inform them when passwords are changed so they have a record of the student’s latest password.

This is handy for those students who forget passwords or provided the wrong email address.

spreadsheet

3.  Click Submit.

Once you have created all your student blogs they will be listed in My Class > Student blogs where you’ll be able to view all pending posts, pages, and comments.

Student blogs


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Add Student Blogs Link

You and your students can easily add a link to all student blogs in the sidebar using the Class Blog widget as follows:

1.  Go to Appearance > Widgets.

widgets

2.  Drag the class blog widget to the desired sidebar.

3.  The widget will automatically open.

4.  Choose the options that suit you and then click Save.

(1) Select ’No’ under Public only if you are using private blogs

(2) Select alphabetical under order

(3) Select the number of blogs to display

Please note:

  • You can only use ‘Blog Name Only’ if you have more than 10 student blogs.
  • Any time you add any more student blogs to My Class, you update the Class blog list by opening up the Class blog widget and clicking Save.

Class blog widget

5.  The widget will look something like below in the sidebar of your class blog and the sidebar of a student blog.

Class blogs


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Navigate Between Dashboards

When you set up My Class, your student users are added as users to the class blog and to their own student blog.

The menu items the students see depends on which dashboard they are logged into and what settings you have set in My Class > Settings.

If your students see limited menu items it means they are logged into the class blog dashboard and need to navigate to their student blog dashboard.

You change blog dashboards as follows:

1.  Go to My Sites drop-down menu in your admin bar.

2.  Click on the dashboard of the blog you want to access.

Changing dashboards


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Moderating Posts And Comments

Student posts and comments can be checked using any of the following:

  • Dashboard > Reader
  • My Class > Student blogs
  • Dashboard > My Sites
  • Users > Reports

The Reader

The Reader is the fastest way to check all pending posts and comments on your student blogs.

This allows you to preview posts and comments and publish them with one click!

You would use the Reader if you used the following My Class settings:

My Class settings

The Reader is also where you and your students can read and comment on each others’ posts.

You preview posts and comments as follows

1.  Go to Dashboard > Reader.

A number next to the Reader indicates there is a post or comment pending review.

Reader menu

2.  Click on Pending tab

Pending tab

On the pending page, posts and comments are listed in reverse chronological order based on the date they were submitted.

3.  Click on Read More if you want to read the full post or click on Publish if you are happy to publish the post.

  • If you selected ‘I must approve all posts’ students aren’t able to edit the post once it is published.
  • If you want the students to do further edits, you need to leave the post as pending or change the post to draft mode by opening it in edit mode.

Click on Read More

This displays the full post and allows you to select from the following options:

  • View Original — when you click on ‘View original’ it loads the draft post on the student blog where you can see what the post will look like when published.
  • Edit — clicking on Edit opens the post inside the dashboard of the student blog where you can make edits to the post.
  • Publish — to publish the post, click on Publish. Please note if you selected ‘I must approve all posts’, students aren’t able to edit the post once it is published. If you want the students to do further edits you need to leave the post as pending or change the post to draft mode by opening it in edit mode.
  • The forward and back arrows allow you to navigate to the next or previous student post or comment.
  • You can send a private comment to the student by selecting Private comment, adding the message and then click Post Comment.

Private Comment

My Class > Student blogs

My Class > Student blogs and Dashboard > My Sites is where you’ll see all your student blogs listed.  Here is where you can use the Dashboard link to access a student’s blog. You’ll also see the number of published and pending posts/pages/comments on their blogs.

Clicking on pending under a student blog takes you to the pending post or pending comments page inside their student blog dashboard where you can edit, approve, or publish the post or comment.

Student Blog page

Reports

Reports, via Users > Reports, allows you to run a report on a specific student.

It allows you to check comments they’ve submitted on any blog, or posts they have published for a specified date range.

Reports

Reading Student Posts

The Reader automatically feeds all published posts from all student blogs and the class blog into the dashboard of every user attached to My Class. This is where you and your students can easily read and comment on each others’ posts.

You read posts as follows:

1.  Go to Dashboard > Reader.

Reader

2.  Click on Read More if you want to read the full post.

Click on Read More

This displays the full post and allows you to select from the following options:

  • View Original — when you click on ‘View original’ it loads the draft post on the student blog where you can see what the post will look like when published.
  • Edit — clicking on Edit opens the post inside the dashboard of the student blog where you can make edits to the post (only visible to the teacher).
  • Add New Comment — allows you to add a comment to the post from inside your dashboard.
  • The forward and back arrows allow you to navigate to the next or previous student post or comment.

Read view

Getting Students Started

There is a range of different approaches teachers use to get their students started.

Here are some ideas worth checking out for your class:

  1. Miss Wyatt’s Student As Bloggers links to posts on basic blogging for students. The Student Bloggers blog contains basic skills for students to follow to learn to blog.
  2. Have a look at Welcome to blogging, Today’s class assignment and Explore your blog on Blogging with Mrs. C for ideas on how you can introduce blogging to your students.
  3. The Student Blogging Challenge runs twice yearly starting in March and October.  It is made up of a series of 10 weekly tasks all designed to improve blogging and commenting skills. Participating in the Student Blogging Challenge is a good way to develop your students’ blogging skills while connecting with a global audience.
  4. We have a Blogging Bootcamp course just for students. Set your students this course if you want them to learn about blogging at their own pace. Or you might pick and choose, and work through certain steps with your students.

Your Task

There are two choices for your task depending on whether or not you have student blogs:

  • Do you have student blogs? If you do, your task is to leave a comment and tell us how they work. Do you have a good system in place or is there something you’d like to do differently? Hopefully, you have tips and examples to share with others.
  • If you don’t have student blogs, leave a comment and share your thoughts on adding student blogs in the future. Is this something you’d like to investigate one day? Or are you happy just having a class blog or educator blog? Tell us the reasons why or why not.

Note: If you’d rather complete the task as a blog post, feel free! Just pop the link in a comment for us to look at.

As an added bonus, why not reach out to a student blogger and offer them some encouragement? There is a list of student blogs for the Student Blogging Challenge. Any of these young learners would love to hear from you. This is even something you could do with your class.

Finally, We encourage you to read through the most recent comments in reply to this step and leave a response to another person’s comment.

115 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. So are all students able to see everyone else’s blog posts at all times? My students write fashion blogs so they are required to do formatting and include photos and so on. Is there the capability of attaching a word, pdf, publisher file and have it be visible to the rest of the class?

    • Rebekah Marsh
    • Hi Rebekah,
      Thanks for your question.
      You can control the privacy settings however you like. So you can choose whether you want student blogs to be public, private, accessible only to logged in users, or password protected for example.
      You can certainly add images, and other sorts of files like PDF and Word documents. You can read more about that here.
      If you have more questions, feel free to contact us directly and we can help.
      Thanks!

      • Kathleen Morris
  2. My students are all setting up blogs and joining the class, but it appears that for the last few students who joined, their names / links to their blogs are not appearing on the Class Blog widget-just their avatars. I can still access their blogs via my dashboard, but not via the class blog list. Please help!

    • Hi Mr. Cooper,
      Sorry to hear you’re having trouble with your class blog list. I’m sure we’ll be able to sort this out quickly. Could you email your blog URL to support@edublogs.org when you get time?
      Thanks!

      • Kathleen Morris
  3. This is very help article

  4. How do I connect already created student blogs to my class blog? When I try to add them to my student blog list on my class blog, even though I say it is an existing user, I get the message that the blog already exists. I know that! Please help! Thank you!

  5. Thank you for using my “getting students started” post! (#3 in list) I am in the process of restarting my class blog, so the post is currently not published. It should be back up by next week.
    Mrs. C

    • Kae L Cunningham
  6. I teach 3 sections of the same class. I would like to create a “My Class” for each section so that my students from 1 period don’t have to sift through all the posts from the other periods. Is that possible?

    • profeheinecke
    • Hi there,

      Good question and we are following this one up by email for you.

      Thanks,
      Kathleen

      • Kathleen Morris
      • I am in the same situation. Please help me understand how I can set it up so my three classes will have separation.

        • Hi there,
          Do you want students from each class to be able to read and comment on posts from students of the other class?
          Hear from you soon,
          Kathleen

          • Kathleen Morris
  7. Wow I liked this Resourceful post about setting up a student blog. Quite lately it has started to become important for students to have their own blogs so that they project their skills & talents in various ways. As a matter of Universities have gone serious about Student blogging & are using it to assess the students. Find more about it here http://www.shoutmeloud.com/should-blogging-be-used-as-university-assessment-tool.html
    A well deserved step towards equality while judging a student.

  8. Help! I set up my students blogs as their own account using a Google email however because they are not 13 they don’t actually have access to the email part. One of my students cannot login at all and I am thinking they changed their password even though they deny it but they have no idea what it could be. Anyway I can reset that password? I cannot figure it out. I can’t set them up a new one either since the email has been used. Thanks!

  9. We have worked with class and student blogs this year and so far everything works out nicely. Thanks for all the support, I think the teacher challenge was very helpful!

    Is there a way to get certain statistics about my students blogs? I have read about the google analytics and have looked through the widgets, but nothing seemed quite right. I’d like to see things such as which post got the most comments, who of my students is the most productive one, who has the most “clicks”, who frequently edits (changes dates above all), … the students blog overview isn’t very clear when it comes to certain stats.

    Thanks in advance
    https://forestdweller.edublogs.org

    • Forestdweller
  10. Please help! I tried to create blogs for each of my students. When I hit “Create blogs” after entering all the data for all the students, the site processed them, but only 8 appeared and all of the rest of the data were deleted. I started over for the rest of the students and added a handful more. That worked. Then I did it again for the next batch of students and all of the data vanished (again), and the pages were not created. BUT when I try to reenter the data for these students, I am told that their sites already exist. I am beyond frustrated and need help so I can get the kids started this coming week.

    • Hi Ms. Almasi, adding a quick note here to say we’ve been helping with setting up your student blogs through Edublogs support.

      Also adding the Edublogs support email address here – support@edublogs.org so others can contact us directly if they need help.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  11. I created my student blogs this year with me adding all of them. It was so much easier than last year trying to explain to the students how to do it. It was more leg work on my part, but not too much trouble.

    • Hi Mr Fritts, I personally think it is easy to create the student blogs using My Class > Create student blogs. Can be a bit more initial leg work but can make it easier.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  12. I just created my student blogs. However, when I look on the dashboard of a student, I just see the class blog that I created.

    • Hi Berita

      Please send an email to support@edublogs.org so our support team can help you.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs | CampusPress
      @Edublogs_Eugene

  13. Both teachers use great strategies to introduce students to the blogging platform. I’ve already done a short “Getting Started” tutorial with my class to set up their user accounts. This took a lot of time. I would like to create a reference page like “Students as Bloggers” for them to refer to. I like how Mr. Miller has covered blogging vocabulary over a a few days. I would adapt the lesson topics of day 7, 8 and 9 as students are preparing to and media to their posts.

    • Hi Ms Lane

      Congratulations on completing the Teacher Challenge!

      I hope you don’t mind, I shortened your twitter feed and added the Class Blog widget to your sidebar for when you add Student Blogs.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs | CampusPress
      @Edublogs_Eugene

  14. I just created my student blogs. However, when I look on the dashboard of a student, I just see the class blog that I created. How do I change it so they see their own blog?

    • Mrs. Beard

      If you mean the information in the Reader feed, this is different for each user. What you will see when logged in can be different from what your student sees when logged in. The Class Blog Reader area will show all the content from all the blogs from your Student Blogs network.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs | CampusPress
      @Edublogs_Eugene

  15. Just a quick question…If I set up a class, with student blogs, is there anyway to cancel the class and still keep the individual student accounts?

    • Professor Cross
    • Hi Professor Cross

      Your Student Blogs will still be active, but you will not have access to My Class features.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support
      @Edublogs_Eugene

  16. Just checking this was the last step for the student blogging steps? Thank you for all the resources and assistance. I started my blog with edublogs with the name and my posts were displayed as dwilling. I changed to Blogger, where my posts I think were showing as Dearne. Apologies for the confusion but I decided to go with Blogger so students only had one login to remember – their Google account. Woo hoo do I receive a badge now 🙂 ?

    • Hi Dearne

      Congratulations on completing the Teacher Challenge!

      We have emailed you details on how to access your badge.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

  17. Mrs Wyatt’s blog did not open. Mr Miller’s Blogging Bootcamp displays many great features and learning session ideas. I like the lesson structures/plans to introduce blog elements. I have been doing Blogger each Friday as their learning journal. I have found blogging assists with literacy and word-processing skills. I like how the lesson planning allows for many features of a blog and how each student can build upon their own blog in coming years.

    • Hi Dearne

      Thank you for letting us know about Miss Wyatt’s blog. We checked the link, and it is working.

      I’m sure your students loved your approach. Congratulations on finishing the teacher Challenge!

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

  18. Oh my goodness, I’ve done it! took me all weekend but finally made it. Promised my students we’d all me blogging on Monday so had to figure it out. Thanks to the mighty Edublog team for all your support!!!

    roll on tomorrow!

    • Great work. how did the blogging go? There have been so many features of blogging I had not thought about this PD has included. I am even more excited about continuing the blogging theme during next term now I have had experience this term.

  19. I am asking this in the wrong place and I feel it is a dumb question but the answer is eluding me.
    I simply want to share posts from other blogs with my class. I can’t get my head around this task which I feel should be straightforward.

  20. Hello,

    I really like how Miss Wyatt and Mr. Miller have set up student blogging like a student quest. There is a clear weekly structure and vision with challenges and obstacles that the students must address to progress through the course. I like the way Mr. Miller calls it “blogging bootcamp” – a catchy title with a reward of greater student freedom at the end of the rainbow. These types of challenges and rewards have a high appeal to the age of students I work with (grade 4).

    As this school year progresses and in future years of blogging with students, I hope to have more forward planning in place ahead of time and be confident and comfortable enough to release more control to the students so they are more empowered to chart the course of their own learning.

    Thank you again for all the fantastic resources provided here!
    Ms B.
    http://msboychuk.me

  21. I think Mr Miller’s Blogging Bootcamp is better for younger students so it would be a more appropriate approach for my own students. Since the whole process seems quite time-consuming collaboration between teachers would be another strategy. Students could learn the basics at computer classes and then practise in my English classes.
    Is it possible to involve different subjects/different teachers in a class blog?

    • Maria João Carvalho
  22. I really like the detail of Mr Miller’s bootcamp and will certainly use it next year. This year I had my students (11 and 12 year olds) set up their own blogs, including the name of it and their password. Over the course of the year some of the students have forgotten their passwords but have then had to use the ‘reset password’ link to fix it up. I found this a valuable learning exercise for them as 1) they stop relying upon me to be the password guru and 2) it will help then with other sites they many use in the future. I only had one student out of 47 whose parents did want them to have a blog so he complete the blogs using Powerpoint. I was wondering if I set up one that was completely anonymous it may prevent his parents concerns? Perhaps I need to point out the benefits and safety in a better way? I also discovered that even though my students have admin privileges for their own blogs they don’t constantly change components, so i would probably keep this for next year as well.

    • Stephen Learmonth
  23. Before I choose which way to allow students to create their blogs, I have a question or two that I am confused about. I think the best way to sign students up would be to create the blogs for them, but with over 150 students, I think that way may not be the best option for me. I think I will let them create their own blog and tie it to mine. That is where my questions lie.

    If they tie their blog to my class, will I still be able to monitor their blog’s posts and comments? Do I have administrative power over their account? I want to be totally sure about this before I go full in. Any help would be great.

    • Hi Mr Fritts

      Apologies! I didn’t realized we hadn’t answered your question “I have several students whose parents want them to post anonymously. How can I set their blog account, etc. up in that manner so that they post and comment anonymously?”

      If the parents aren’t comfortable with their child’s first name being included as part of the username and blog URL then the best option is to set up their accounts using a pseudonym for their username and blog URL.

      Provided the student blogs are connected to the class blog via My Class you will have access to all their student blogs to monitor posts and comments. You will also be able to decide if you want to moderate all posts and comments using My Class.

      There are pros and cons with students creating the accounts themselves. It’s less work for you if they create their own blogs however if you decide to use this approach then it is important that you provide detailed instructions that guides them through the steps and provides instructions for their username, blog URL and blog title.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  24. Mr.Miller’s bootcamp has an excellent plan of action in introducing the class to blogging step by step. I might use it and licence the children at the end with the award of a badge and their very own blog.

    • maistirscoile
    • Hello maistirscoile,

      I agree with you. I think the use of badges to parallel landmark student learning can be a valuable tool that can move student learning towards desired outcomes.

      Best wishes for successful student blogging!
      Ms B.
      http://msboychuk.me