3heads-gear3headschatchecklistglobehead-lockhead-plusimaclife-ringlogo-cornelllogo-melbournelogo-northhamptonlogo-portsmouthlogo-small logo-vancouverlogo-yokohamamail-line mail-wings pdf pie-chartplayplugprinter skype website

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

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


Back to Top

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 student’s age 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 are they can be used as their ePortfolio to create an archive of your student’s learning.

Top 10 Reasons for Students to Blog

Image by Sylvia Duckworth licensed under Creative Commons ShareAlike 2.0.

Must Watch Videos

Make sure you watch The Possibility of Student Blogging by Andrea Hernandez and Slivia Tolisano.

This video provides an excellent explanation of the blogging and commenting process, 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.


Back to Top

Examples of Student blogs

Here are examples of real student blogs to check out for ideas:

  1. Jarrod’s Awesome Blog – 10 years old
  2. Heather’s Perfect Posts
  3. Meaow @ Josie’s Blog
  4. Mirian’s Magical Moments
  5. Breana P ePortofio
  6. Come Somersault with Sarah
  7. Austicandproud – 13 years old
  8. Avogadro Salad – High school chemistry blog
  9. Youinnorway – 18 year old from Norway


Back to Top

Tips for creating student blogs

You can use any blogging platform you would 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.

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

Here is some important things to consider before creating your student blog:

Back to Top

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, username mistybp16, blog URL mistybp16.edublogs.org and blog title Misty’s blog.

If you want the students to use the blog for their entire school life then use 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.

We recommend that you keep the Student’s first name as the first part of the blog title if you are 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.

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

Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

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.

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


Back to Top

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 can be used to:

  1. Quickly create student blogs.
  2. Allow students to publish their own posts on their student blogs (and the class blog) OR configure it so all student posts must be reviewed by a teacher before the posts are published.
  3. Control comment moderation settings on student blogs.
  4. Control the privacy settings on all student blogs with just one click!
  5. Quickly enable extra features on student blogs to increase their storage space, enable mobile blogging, allow them to embed any code, access Premium themes and so much more.
  6. Quickly preview all moderated posts and comments in one location.


Back to Top

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 “This is a class blog” (1),  ”No – use if you want them to publish posts on their student blog” (2), choose if you want to moderate posts and comments on student blogs (3),  your preferred privacy option (4) and which users you want to manage your student blogs (5).

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 to create their own blogs using the Edublogs sign up page.


Back to Top

How to 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.

Creating student blogs is as simple as:

1.  Go to My Class >  Create Student blogs.

My Class menu items

2.  Add username, email address, password, blog URL and blog title.

  • 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. 
  • You can create your student accounts with one email account if you don’t want students to use their own email account.
  • If students create their own account using the Edublogs account, and don’t add an email address, you will be able to reset their password using the Edit link under their username in Users > All Users.

Create 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 teacher require students to informed them when passwords are changed so they have a record of the student’s latest password.

This is handy for those students who forget password 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


Back to Top

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.  Add the class blog widget to the desired sidebar.

3.  The widget will automatically open.

4.  Select  ’No’ under Public only if you are using private blogs (1), alphabetical (2), the number of blogs (3) and then click Save.

  • 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


Back to Top

Navigating between dashboards

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

Below is the menu items the students would see if you selected “No – use if you want them to publish posts on their student blog” for what the students can do on the class blog.

Menu items

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.

Changing blog dashboards is as simple as:

1.  Go to My Sites dropdown menu in your admin bar.

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

Changing dashboards

If your students are using the Edublogs app they should see the title of their student blog inside the app.  If a student sees the title of the class blog they need to follow these instructions to add their student blog.


Back to Top

Moderating posts and comments

Student posts and comments can be checked using Dashboard > ReaderMy Class > Student blogs, Dashboard > My Sites or Users > Reports.

Edublogs Reader

The Edublogs 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

Previewing and approving posts and comments is as simple as:

1.  Go to Dashboard > Reader.

Reader

2.  Click on Pending

Click on Pending

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.

  • 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.

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 scroll to the next or previous student post or comment.

Viewing a pending post

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 their blog; where you’ll 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 blogs

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 and choose the date range you want to check.

Reports

Reading Student Posts

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

Reading posts is as simple as:

1.  Go to Dashboard > Reader.

Reader

2.  Click on My Class

Click on My Class

3.  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 dasbhboard.
  • The forward and back arrows allow you to scroll 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 is some ideas worth checking out for your class:

  1. Miss Wyatt’s Student 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. Mr Miller’s Blogging Bootcamp – used by Mr Miller to teach the basic elements of blogging to his students.
  3. 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.
  4. The Student blogging challenge – The Student Blogging Challenge runs twice yearly starting in March and September.  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.

Your Task

We’d like you to add your voice and ideas to our ongoing conversation about student blogging by completing the following tasks:

  1. Have a look at  Miss Wyatt’s Student Bloggers blog and Mr Miller’s Blogging Bootcamp.  Leave a comment to tell us what ideas from the approaches these teachers use with their students would you adapt and use with your students?
  2. Read through the most recent comments in reply to this step and leave a response to another person’s comment.

103 Comments

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


  1. I enjoyed reading the Avogadro’s Salad blog. It is well done and shows what a student can do if they keep with the blogging. I am looking to adapt Mr. Miller’s boot camp and the other ideas posted. I really wanted this up and running by now, but I feel I need the first 9 weeks of school to really get it going setting it up time-wise with delivering content and the like. In the coming years I can move at a faster pace, but I think until I get a firm grasp on the concept, I will need to take my time. I have committed fully to this thing this year, so I will follow through.

    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?

    http://www.mrfrittsscience.edublogs.org

  2. 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?

  3. Hi.
    Delighted to notice here that Fionns blog is initially thought of as a model.
    Very flattered.
    Www,Autisticandproud.wordpress.com

  4. I wish I had know about Mr. Millers blogging bootcamp when I set up my student blogs last year! I plan to use it this year for sure. I also enjoyed looking at the student blog examples.

    This will be my second full year of blogging and I feel I am learning more by just doing it! Trail and error is helping me learn the ins and outs. I feel better equipped this year than last. The teacher challenge has been well worth my time and effort. Thank you for your support. I am hoping I can now have my badge :)!?

    I do have one question…
    I have 15 student blogs. 7 of these students have graduated. I am about to add two more classes to my blog, 6th and 7th grade. My 8th grade will remain. My question is can I separate the blogs by classes so that they appear that way on my widget. They are currently alphabetical in order and it is difficult to go through them all when I really only want to look at what 6th grade has commented on etc. Hope this makes sense and THANKS!

    • Shane Boland Harrison
    • /
    • /
    • Hi Shane

      I’ve organised for Jason to contact you regarding your badge.

      You need to use a unique identify in the student blog title for each class if you want to separate the different classes in your class blog widget. For exanmple, 6 Max’s blog, 7 Emmma’s blog, 8 Liam’s blog. This will sort the blogs in order of their Grade. The blog titles will need to be changed in Settings > General inside each student blog and once changed you will need to open up the Class blog widget in Appearance > Widgets and click Save to update the list.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  5. I was thinking of incorporating blogging into my senior class. Am i correct in understanding that I need to set up my blog (teacher’s) and then I need to set up a blog for each of my students? I then give them the information to log in? That is upwards of 150 plus students for me.

    • Hi RC

      Once you’ve set up My Class using My Class > Create a class you can get the students to sign for their own blog using the Edublogs home page and then use My Class > Join a Class to connect to the class blog. The alternative option is once you set up My Class using My Class > Create a Class is you can use My Class > Invite students to invite the students to create their own blogs using the invite code.

      Let us know if you would like more detailed instructions.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

      • I’m unsure whether to use the Invite Code method of adding student users versus adding them individually with their email address. I would certainly prefer to use the Invite Code as it is easy and saves me from tracking down 50 university students!

        I’m planning to have a class blog to which students contribute blogposts about once a week. There will not be individual student blogs – I just want them to post to the class blog. Am I correct in thinking that I can just distribute a single Invite Code and single invite address and all 50 students can use this to set up their own student account that contributes to the blog? Or should I invite them all individually?

  6. It is a great idea. I would love to use this with my students to promote sharing ideas and peer feedback. Also great tool to engage them in writing in the second language, perhaps knowing that they have a bigger audience.
    Very interesting. Great examples here to see it in use.
    Thank you

    • Hi Barbara. Thank you for the positive feedback. I see your blog is coming along nicely. I suggest you upload a new, and unique, header image to reflect what you are trying to achieve with your blog. Let us know if you need help integrating your students in to your blog.
      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

      • Hi Eugene, Thank you.
        I did change the picture. I hope it stays put as before it was shuffling with other images.
        I haven’t been able to introduce the blog with my class but hope to be able to be ready and confident by September, to start with the new students.
        Thank you for this course. It has been very interesting!

        • Hi Barbara, I see the image is now not shuffling with the other images.
          Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

  7. I enjoyed the post on Come Somersault with Sarah blog. Stories were quite interesting.
    I also reviewed Miss Wyatt’s advice on using widgets and plan on adding more to my blogs.
    My kids are too young to have their own blog, so we will be doing a class one.

    • DeRoxolyn Spencer
    • /
    • /
  8. While being a pre k teacher, my students independently would not be able to set up and reply to
    a blog. But as a class we can do this.

    • mrsdeespencer
    • /
    • /
  9. The first blog I looked at owas Jarrod’s Awesome Blog and I was so amazed at his writing skills. The content was well thought out as well. I began to think that I need to push my children more. I have twin 10 year olds and they are no way on this level.
    Then I looked at Come Somersault with Sarah and enjoyed following her gymnastics career and loved the details she put into her post.
    Finally, I was blown away by Breana P ePortfolio. The details in the layout and design of her blog was great. She covered so many different things and she gave me hope for my students. I cant wait to get them involved in blogging.

  10. Hi,

    At this point in time I won’t be assigning each student their own blog. I think they may be too young/not skilled enough just yet. Is anyone using individual student blogs with Year 1 and 2? If so, I’d be interested to hear how they are using them effectively.

    Thanks

  11. I thought the Mr Millers Blogging Bootcamp was an excellent way to begin blogging with students. The idea that I have taken from this blog is to assign username and passwords. It would certainly have helped when a naive young Year 7 created ‘lovemuffin15’ as her username and it appeared in her URL to her blog. Quite innocently she told me that she ‘just loves eating muffins’.

    • Jennifer Cain
    • /
    • /
    • Haha… this made me chuckle. Gotta love the innocence of some student mistakes!

      Elliott
      Edublogs Support

  12. I love the idea of an intensive time to work on the blog with students like the boot camp. I would really like to spend a block of time working through them changing themes, creating avatars, learning commenting skills looking at creative commons images to name a few. I think I might spend the final week of this term working through each of these and having time for students to work on their blogs now that they are added to the class blog.

  13. I really like this blog. https://avogadrosalad.wordpress.com/
    It was set up well and she used her creativity. She also uses videos, images, etc. Her content is well written. I really enjoyed looking at the student blogs.

    • I agree April. This blog really shows what you can do with blogging. Image if students, instead of doing the old ‘write notes from the board’ or ‘let’s write a prac report’ were able to present what they had learnt, showing evidence, on their blog? Think of the amazing science, or history, or whatever subject you taught, communicators we would be developing? If you haven’t already, I would suggest you check out http://neverseconds.blogspot.com.au/. This is an example of what happens when a young student takes a new idea and runs with it!

      • Stephen Learmonth
      • /
      • /
  14. Blogging is a brand new activity for my students and I want to get them off to the right start. I love the boot camp idea. You are taking time to give the kids the skills they need to be successful and establishing the class guidelines right from the beginning. I like the idea of idea of turning off the administrative rights after the kids have made the 1st style choices and widgets for their blogs. They can get so caught up in changing themes and adding widgets that the writing gets lost. I plan to use the boot camp approach at the start of the next school year along with some the paper blogging techniques that we learned from a previous session.

    • That is a great idea turning off the amin rights. I would have a feeling mine would also be preoccupied with how the site looks and widgets. The first rule of blogging is that only good content ensures a good blog. This should be emphasised with the students.

      • maistirscoile
      • /
      • /
  15. I love Mr. Miller’s bootcamp idea! If I have classes for more than 6 weeks in the future, I will definitely be doing something similar. I usually don’t have enough time with my courses to fit this all in at the beginning, but I would like to try following a loose outline like that as we go. I also loved how Miss Wyatt broke down the student blogging challenge for her students and will borrow from that when I introduce my students to the challenge. Great work fostering student voices!

  16. It is often the simple steps, that come from experience that standout – the Blogging Boot camp has many hints that show experience – changing admin/ editors, the limit to 2 widgits, the working towards a global audience and lastly the simplicity of the RSS feed to check student activity easily!
    I like the order of delivery and that it is limited to an hour a day. It is worth the input at the beginning to set the standard and base skills from which the students can expand their skills/knowledge successfully.

  17. I have really enjoyed this whole challenge. It has helped me be a better blogger and teach my students some great stuff. I really think that blogging is helping my students become better writers and better communicators.
    http://nmccammond.edublogs.org/

  18. The ideas from the approaches used by Miss Wyatt and Mr Miller with their students, I will adapt and use with your students:
    – Subscribe by email
    – Translator
    – Blogroll
    – Recent Posts
    – Recent Comments
    – Archives

    Sónia Abrantes

  19. After I read Miss Wyatt’s advice to her students on using widgets, for my students I advise the widgets :
    – Links – so who visit the blog know the subject referred to it and which topics connected to it
    – Recent comments – to facilitate the update of the readers who visit the blog and stejam interested in reading all the comments left
    – Recent posts – to facilitate the update of the readers who visit the blog and stejam interested in reading all the posts left
    – Categories – if the blog purpose so requires

    Sónia Abrantes

  20. Hello!
    It is difficult to choose between the blogs of students , since all are appealing , interesting and well-organized themes.
    After reviewing them, but I must say I was ” bound” to Mirian’s Magical Moments and Come Somersault with Sarah.
    But without a doubt , I prefer the Jarrod’s Aweome Blog due to the play of colors for easy viewing , simple organization and the diversity of tools used without making the blog a resource festival or the monotony of just one.
    Sónia Abrantes

  21. Hi all,
    Miss Wyatt’s advice to her students on using widgets is clear and direct. When giving advice to my students, I would also recommend that they use the widgets provided by Edublogs and consider a clean and professional looking theme with minimal distractions. My students are adult learners so their blogs can be used as their ePortfolio to create an archive of their learning and to impress potential interviewers.

    Thanks for reading,
    William

    • William Shebansky
    • /
    • /
  22. I liked the Come Somersault with Sarah blog. She did an excellent job of organizing her content. It wasn’t overwhelming to look at. She also has great visuals, embedding photos and videos. She chose good widgets and the blog is very easy to navigate.

  23. I really enjoyed looking at the powerful writing on Breana P’s page. I really thought that her sections split up her ideas well and help direct visitors to specific places within the blog. Using what I saw I think I would like to add another page for my students titled “What I learned this week”. I am thinking of giving each student an opportunity to post a comment on that page for example – one focus student per week. Is it possible to do this on my blog without students having their own blogs as I don’t think that my students are quite ready to manage their own blogs.

  24. Wow! I have just had a good look at both Miss Wyatt’s and Mr. Miller’s blog pages. Will definitely be using both of these in the future. I am still learning how to get my own blog up and going and found these VERY helpful for me to follow as well. I was a bit unsure of how I would ever have children writing their own blogs but these have allowed me to see what needs to happen before this takes place. Very inspirational. Thanks for allowing me to see them!

  25. I really enjoyed looking at all the blogs. Was very impressed by the quality and confidence. They have obviously be guided very well by their teachers. I am definitely not up to this stage as yet, but it has given a lot of ‘food for thought’.
    Love some of the Widgets they use…very appealing for children.

  26. There were so many great blogs in the list of student blogs! I enjoyed reading the posted thoughts in Jarrod’s Awesome Blog. I was also impressed to see that he gave proper credit for the photos on his blog that were not his own. The inclusion of videos were a nice touch in Mirian’s Magical Moments. I found Fionn’s Austicandproud blog absolutely fascinating. He provided such powerful and interesting insights into how he senses and feels about things.

    For my Third Grade National Parks blog (http://ksandora.edublogs.org/), I don’t think that I will create individual student blogs because it will not be an ongoing blogging situation – it is short term project. For my Canada Connections blog, each first grader has their own blog (http://kidblog.org/CanadaConnections2015/). Right now, most children have only contributed one blog post, but we have talked about continuing our communication and sharing what we are reading.

  27. Some of my favorite student blogs that I looked at were Jarrod’s Awesome Blog, Miriam’s Magical Moments, Come Somersault with Sara, and Breana P ePortfolio. I liked Jarrod’s Awesome blog because it had lots of questions for the students that were open ended and he uses lots of good images within his posts. I liked Miriam’s Magical Moments because she talks about different events that happened in her life and uses videos and images to show what she has done. I liked Breana P ePortfolio mostly because of the way her pages at the top are set up even if she hasn’t expanded them. She has pages for math, reading, science etc. and this would be good if you were going to do a lot of blogging across subjects. I liked Come Somersault with Sara because she discusses things she has done and uses lots of images and videos to show what she has done. Then, she asks a question about whatever topic she was discussing to involve other people in the post. After reading the advice on widgets, I completely agree that widgets should not be too distracting or noisy and be used for a specific purpose that you want to convey. A widget may be cute, but it is important to also be pertinent. One widget that I saw that I’d like to add to my blog is the flag counter because if and when we go to a more global community, it would be nice to see the different countries that have viewed our blog. After looking at student bloggers blog and blogging boot camp, I liked how they had weekly assignments that progressed one step at a time. I would have to start much smaller in Kindergarten, but I like the idea of having a very set idea of where you want your students to begin with blogging and where you want them to be by the end of your instruction.

  28. Well, as a primary grade teacher it should come as no surprise that the student blogs I really like are by some of the youngest bloggers. Jarrod’s Awesome Blog, Come Somersault with Sarah, and Autisticandproud were all great examples of young writers sharing their lives, feelings, and thoughts with a world-wide audience. These blogs felt so authentic and charming. I loved that Jarrod thought his blog was awesome, and he always spoke from the very real perspective of a child. Sarah shared everyday as well as special moments in her life, even sharing the spotlight with her siblings. Fionn shares the challenges, as well as the joys of being an autistic child. His blog was amazing in its depth of understanding while still writing to those “life-changing” events in a young teen’s life, such as acne, body odor, clothes, and social networking.

    Once again, my “elementary” love of color and motion draws me to widgets. I don’t find them to be distracting from the content. I think they add a personal touch to the students’ blogs. I think Sarah’s swimming fish are demonstrative of her playful attitude so readily evident in her numerous photos. The BrainPop, Jr. Pop a Joke widget made me smile, and is one my own students will love. As for me, I want the revolving globe for my own blog.

    I am a real newbie at blogging and my students are young so I am going very slowly into this interactive technology. I am posting on the blog and I am teaching my student’s how to comment to the blog question. Next school year I hope to more fully integrate blogging into my curriculum as I become more comfortable and confident with student blogging.

    • Sandra Holley
    • /
    • /
  29. My favorite of the student blog was Jarrod’s Awesome Blog. I really liked that it felt kid friendly and seemed more like reading something from a child’s perspective than some of the other student blogs. This is important to me because my students are very low functioning and some of the subject matter on various student blogs I looked at would be confusing to them. While the topic on the most current blog post (if he were prime minister for a day) was something my students would not necessarily be familiar with, they would be able to stick with it. I especially liked that he included a lot of images which would help keep readers interested. I noticed a few widgets added–a visitor map for one thing, which was really neat–and I particularly liked the watch widget to show the current time in Australia.

    While I don’t think my students are ready for their own blogs right now, I do have a few students in mind that this may be a good project for. I would like to have them look at some student blogs now to give them an idea of things they could blog about.

    • Thanks for you comment. I’m glad you have found a blog that is useful to you and your class. If you need any help setting up the blogs for the students you have in mind, please feel free to contact our support team and we’d love to offer any assistance we can! 🙂

  30. I enjoyed reading all the example of student blogs. Come Somersault with Sarah was a pretty amazing blog for a third grader. She has her blog divided into three categories, which made it very easy to read. She used the widget; Shelfari to display her favorite books in one of her categories, My Favorite Books. On her home page she embedded a short video of students practicing for their upcoming concert.

    In Heather’s Perfect Posts, she included so many interesting posts. Her video of Wolfy was hilarious. It was obvious she has spent a great deal of time working on her blog. The Adverb activity is a great way to make an “old boring worksheet,” quite fun.

    Some of the widgets used on Student Blog examples included:
    • Clocklink-free web clock. Just embed the code.
    • Scribd-$8.99 per month in iTunes. It is a digital library of ebooks, audiobooks, and comic books. It also includes iPaper. iPaper allows users to embed documents onto a web page. Love it, but expensive.
    • ClustrMaps-Keeps track of people who visit your blog.
    • Calendar
    • Facebook widget
    • Pinterest plugin
    • Tweet plugin
    • Search widget
    • Hit counter widget
    • Translator widget
    • Voki – avatar creator that talks.
    • Achieve Widget
    • Shelfari Widget – your favorite books displayed.
    • Flag counter – visitors recorded by country flag.
    • Virtual Pet plugin (myspace)
    • Word Cloud widget

    Mr. Millers Class Blog: Blogging Boot Camp and Miss W’s Blogging Challengers are fantastic ideas. I absolutely would consider do this challenge with my 8th grade students. I would collaborate with a subject teacher too. The students would build the blog with me, and then use it in the classroom such as science, language arts, social studies etc. I already emailed my principal!

  31. I like Miriam’s magical moments. This is a nice way to document events in her life, like a modern journal. The videos of her playing piano are just amazing. She also has a lot of images on her All About Me page. I did not feel like this page was cluttered with widgets like some of the other student pages. Also font color is easy to read. On some of the pages the font colors change every paragraph this is hard on the eyes. That would be something to teach about to students when having them build their own blogs. I love Mrs. Wyatt’s advice about widgets. Students need to be aware of widgets that flash and are noisy. This will take away from their content. Also they keep in mind their design and make sure the widgets flow with their template. I would definitely have my students limit the number of widgets they add to their site. They should be focused on the content of the blog not the widgets, even though those can be fun and interesting. I like that Mr. Miller starts them as admins, but takes that right away to have them focus on the content of the blog. I could see kids changing their template weekly if they had the right. He is right on with my ideas on adding widgets. Miss Wyatt like Mr. Miller outline the activities they want students to complete with their blog. This is a nice way to outline your expectations and allow students to work at their own pace. The timeline seems perfect for 3rd-8th grade. If I was teaching HS you may be able to combine some of those weekly activities. Younger students may need to spend more time practicing with each skill.

  32. I have two favourites from the student blog examples.
    1) MEAOW @ Josie’s – I like her widget on recent comments, and I LOVE the theme (Actually, I’m thinking of using it now!)
    2) Miriams – I like how she interspersed video with text, and just a scroll down the page and I can see how much she likes pets, without even having to read a word.
    http://nancyvculture.edublogs.org

  33. My favorite student blog example was Breana P ePortfolio. It was very visually appealing. I also like the comments in addition to the layout of the page. The comments were not lengthy and included bullets for each reading. I also like the variety of fonts that were chosen.
    Our parish has not started using blogs for students yet. It is being newly introduced to faculty and staff members at this time. Recently there was an online class that taught a small amount of using blogs in the classroom. Some of the teachers are beginning to catch on and we hope to have more participating in the future.

  34. Since our district is new to blogging, most of the blogs are still controlled by the teacher. Teachers want to be able to moderate the student posts and comments and be in control of when they are visible on the web. I looked at several of the student blogs and spent the most time on Miriam’s Magical Moments. I noticed that she has gotten an award for her blog and it well deserved. She does a great job of documenting her life experiences through writing and pictures. She is well versed and totally engaged in life and living it to the fullest. I enjoyed getting to know her through the blog.
    Here is an example of a blog from a teacher in my school district. Ms. Votaw teaches Computer Lab and used a blog to get responses from her students.
    http://www.tangischools.org/Page/22629

    It would be interesting to see some of our students creating their own blogs, but for now we are still working on getting teachers to see the value in blogging with students.

    • Hi dspears

      We see a wide approached used to managing student blogs. Some teachers do want to be able to moderate all posts and comments; while others are happy for their students to publish their own posts and comments.

      Which ever approach is used my personal opinion is that teachers need to be added as a user to their student blogs. This enables them to quickly help their student if needed and if something does need to be edited they are able to do it quickly.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  35. Hi!

    I have students attached to my class blog. Is there a way that when they log on, they only see their blog and dashboard and not theirs and mine?

  36. I have to commend all the students on their blogs. Each one was presented differently, but a lot used similar widgets. It was a good insight into what students are interested in!

  37. Jarrod’s awesome blog was my favourite because the assignments were simple but fun and allowed him to blog often and efficiently. He was able to take the lead on his own blog and share his learning!

    • Dallas Montpetit
    • /
    • /
  38. My favorite was MEAOW@ Josie’s Blog loved how it was set up and eye catching and easy to read. I love the idea of student blogs but struggle as an art teacher with 1 hour per grade per week. The way my blog is set up is student based although they just work on the design that’s there. i have a photographer and a journalist each week who set up the post and plan it all out to report on current learning. It’s a good reflection tool. I would like the idea of a blot as an online portfolio but maybe that is something to work on for the future.

    http://leahsharp.global2.vic.edu.au

  39. My favourite student blog was Miriam’s Magical Moments – I think the way she has written about her travels revolutionises the old fashioned journal students used to make whenever they asked what they could do in aid of missing school due to their family holidays. This way the rest of the class can see what and where that student has been and the travelling student can also keep in contact with friends whilst away.

  40. This was very interesting, but I’m not sure I’m at this stage yet – although one of the classes is very keen to set up their own blogs. I will see what happens when we go back to school after the holidays.

  41. My favorite student blog was Avogadro Salad, a High school chemistry blog by Sarah A. http://avogadrosalad.wordpress.com/ The student is in high school so it is a good comparison for my students. She does an excellent job of creating a blog title that pulls you in and keeps you interested with videos, graphics and links to other sites. And in the meantime… you learn something fascinating! The blog posts are also relatively short so holding the interest of the reader is a piece of cake. This is a very well done example; I was shocked to read it was by a sophomore.

    I reviewed Mr. Miller’s Blogging Bootcamp in order to figure out what things I wanted my students to know. I also reviewed Miss Wyatt’s advice on using widgets. I will introduce my students to widgets but I would like them to use them sparingly and as needed as I feel like it will take away from all the hard work they will be putting into their blogs in the forms of photographs and writing. I requested that my students select a theme that has page tabs at the top (so it’s relatively consistent across the classroom) and that is somewhat simple (flashy graphics and bold colors may not compliment every photo that they post).

    Amy Capalbo

    • I meant post title, not blog title in the 3rd sentence.

    • Hi Amy

      Thanks for telling us which student blog you liked the most and why.

      It is more common on photography blogs to have less widgets so the focus is on the photos.

      I wouldn’t exclude some of the themes with the pages links in the left sidebar or right sidebar. Themes like Hum, Flounder, Blogsy Lite, Drop work well with photography blogs. I’ve seen a really lovely photography blog where they’ve used Hum with a black background. The black made the photos really stand out.

      For those that prefer the frontpage to have thumbnails of their photos I would check out the themes under the Portfolio category on the Appearance > Themes page.

      The other popular themes have been those with sliders like Fifteen, Magazino, Sixteen.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  42. Now that I have all blogs working 🙂 Is there a way to alphabetize them after they are created? I see how to when I set up the widget but no way to do so afterwards.

    • Hi peyton20

      Student blogs are listed by blog title in alphabetical order in the class blog widget, by blog URL in My Class > Student blogs, by order created in Dashboard > My Sites and their posts are displayed in order of when they are published in the reader.

      The only one that allows you to change the order they are listed is the class blog widget.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  43. When I had a student log into their new class blog, it went to my dashboard instead. I entered them all in under My Class. What’s up?

    • HI lhaskell

      When student blogs are attached to My Class they are added as a user to both the class blog and their student blog. If they log into their account using the Edublogs.org homepage it takes them into the dashboard of the class blog first. They just need to go to My Sites in the admin bar and use the dashboard link next to their blog name to navigate to the dashboard of their student blog.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  44. I have created all my student blog pages. However, when students log in and go to dashboard, it goes to my dashboard. Any ideas why?

  45. Amazing blogs! My favorite would be Jarrod. I am amazed with how clear and concise his thought are – very well done at that age. His ‘voice’ comes through clearly. I was impressed by how he presented his information and pictures on the post! Great job!

    • Marg Grosfield
    • /
    • /
  46. http://autisticandproud.wordpress.com/
    This was my favorite site, as the Fionn’s blog was personal and real due to his disability of Autism. I loved reading about his thoughts and feelings concerning his grandmother’s death, and how he was not able to show his true emotions. I have worked with students who have Autism and it was interesting to have an inside scoop on how he deals with things and even the writing.

  47. Hi Sue,

    I have already created my student`s blogs (e-portfolios). http://essexcounty.edublogs.org/ We have posted our first learning experience this week, which was making patterns. I posted it and they helped name and describe their patterns as they are grade ones. As the year progresses, I hope to get them to post meaningful work and make comments such as 3 stars and a wish for each one.

    • That was fun to see the Vines you embedded in the post. I haven’t come across that before on educator blogs.

      Do you know if many other educators are using Vine?

      Dan Leeman, Edublogs Support

      • No, I haven’t seen it before. I love that they are so easy. Kids are making it themselves, too. A great way to show learning and kids can talk to it during interviews. Great assessment piece.

        • Melanie Essex
        • /
        • /
        • Melanie, I loved checking out your blog! There are so many different types of wonderful tools used in your posts. I too am impressed by seeing your Vines! I discovered Vine through my own children (three teenagers) and have often thought it would be something I’d like to try with my students (I teach Computer K – 5). My only concern has been the possibility of the children coming across inappropriate content while in the Vine app. Have you had any problems with that?

          Vine Kids just recently got released, but I looked into it and it seems like it’s just a way for young children to view Vines, not create.

          With your inspiration, perhaps I’ll go ahead and try Vine with my students!

          Thanks,
          Karen

  48. What fabulous student blogs. I particularly enjoyed Josie’s Blog; writing about the football her inclusion of other details made it interesting to all. A good example of writing about something you are passionate about, rather than a prescribed topic often brings out the best. A good tip from Ms W to include an example of how a student might write back was also useful.

    • Yes, I think that can be said of blogging/writing, reading, exploring – do what you are passionate about! There’s no better way to grow as a learner than to be passionate about something 🙂

      Dan Leeman, Edublogs Support

  49. I have added my students to our blog and given them each an avatar. A little later in the year when they have more experience with keyboarding we will work on building their own avatars and making comments. I can use their student blogs to post pictures to create a digital portfolio for now until they start doing their own blogging. They can also receive comments and start the process of blogging by dictating their thoughts to me and I can type it for them initially.
    Here is my link to our class blog with student blogs.
    http://kidblog.org/MrsLeonardandMrsDsKindergarten/

    • Your blog (and classroom activities) look like a lot of fun! What a smart way to get students involved with technology early, and adapt as their skills continue to grow.

      Dan Leeman, Edublogs Support

  50. I have attempted to add four student blogs. I left the password blank for a random one to be emailed to my class account. Can I go in and change the password now to one I create? I see no email sent to the class gmail with the passwords.

    • Hi Linda

      Please let us know the URL of the blog that you didn’t receive the password for. We will need to manually reset the password for you.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress