How to Get a Classroom of Kids Blogging in Under 5 Minutes!

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kids online bloggingDon’t you just love it when someone thinks logically about a problem and comes up with a simple solution to solve it which everyone can enjoy? Well, this time it’s teachers who are on the receiving end of a well-thought-out plan.

Kidblog.org is a service designed by teachers for teachers. They have made the process of creating and monitoring a class blog safe and efficient. Sign-ups are fast and simple, making it easy to co-ordinate a whole class of new students. At the same time, the blog’s privacy and security is protected by default. This makes life incredibly easy for the teacher, allowing you to get straight in to the fun bit of blogging!


The primary differences between Kidblog and any other free blogging platform is the default class-only privacy level and the superbly easy way of bulk-adding user accounts for students without requiring email addresses and confirmation of invites. Anyone who has ever tried to set up a group-run blog can attest that it’s sometimes a little tricky to ensure the technophobes verify their invites. Imagine doing that with a class-full of kids! The Kidblog system means you skip all of that fuss and move on to the blogging straight away. If you have your .csv file ready, you could sign up and have your kids blogging in less than five minutes!

kids online blogging

Setting up a teacher account

The teacher account is a straightforward sign-up: choose a password, add a few details and you’re in.

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Create a New Class

The blog creation is controlled by “classes”. The theory is that you’ll want the class to collaborate on a blog together, with all members as users of that blog.

blogs for kids

The class name is the blog name, which becomes part of the URL for the class blog too. You’ll want to set up initially as one class, even if there’s smaller group projects within the class, since the default privacy level is for students to be able to see other classmate’s work. If they’re not in the same class, they won’t be able to see it (or you’ll need to change the privacy).

blogs for kids

You’re limited to 200 kids per class, but it’s suggested that if you need more usernames you simply start a new class, add the new users to that and then invite them to the original class. You can easily keep adding classes every school year and importing the users from older classes. This gives the kids a little continuity, too.

Privacy and Security

Permissions for viewing posts are set by default to “Class members only”, so only the people you’ve added to this class will be able to see posts. It’s also possible to add more teachers to administrate and to add parent accounts as guests if you want to enable parents to see the classwork. Comments are set to be moderated by default, so teachers will be able to block any of the nasty comments made by certain kids. If you do choose to make the blog public, you can continue to filter unsolicited comments.

blogs for kids

Add Users

Adding users can be done individually or as a bulk upload, which is recommended.

kids blog

The bulk upload involves creating a .csv file with just name and password. You can do this easily by using a spreadsheet with a column for name and a column for passwords, then exporting it as a .csv file.

kids blog

Once the users are added, they can log in and start writing straight away. Don’t worry about the usernames – your kids won’t need to memorise those!

Groups

If you’ve got several groups of kids in the one class all working on different group projects, you’ll want to set up appropriate “Groups” each with relevant names.

kids blog

Once the groups are set up, kids viewing the blog can look at posts just by one person or filter to show just relevant groups.

For Kids

Tell your students to go to the blog URL (you find your blog URL by clicking on the “Go to Class Blog” link at the top of your dashboard). Kids can click on the “Log In” link and they are given a drop-down list of names to choose from. So, they only need to remember a password!

Once logged in, they can browse their friend’s posts or filter for groups using the drop-down menu. They can write posts which must then be moderated by the teacher before publishing.

Overview

Kidblog is based on WordPress, but has been customised with a teacher’s needs in mind. It’s free, uncluttered, ad-free, easy to set up and private by default. No information is collected from students and the teacher remains in control of all activity. My only request to Kidblog would be to add a few more default themes so that there can be a little more variety!

kids online blogging

I strongly encourage all teachers and other facilitators of kids activities to have a go at using Kidblog. The possibilites are endless: writing groups; book clubs; assignments; group work; uploading photos of artwork; team spirit and post-game analysis; practise blogging in a second language; or getting kids to simply list off the most interesting things they learned that day. What will you use Kidblog for?

If you want more to read, here’s some articles you’ll love:

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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16 Comments - Write a Comment

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WendyElf

Getting kids to write is always a potentially exciting challenge! I would have leapt at the chance to get them blogging thanks to your informative article, and am almost disapointed I didn’t get to read this earlier! As a school we have just discovered a wonderful way to get them involved in writing/blogging and networking in a safe way. http://www.radiowaves.co.uk/riversdale is our ‘channel’ on ‘Radiowaves’ – ‘a safe, social learning environment that makes it easy for schools to deliver fun learning activities through blogs, audio podcasting and video’, as their blurb goes….
Check it out – everything is moderated (as our station publisher the kids have kept me VERY busy all this half term holiday giving the ok for their words to go live). We have found it an excellent resource, especially as an alternative to facebook, which they shouldn’t be on anyway. (They do a basic account free, which was brilliant, but we upgraded when we realised how useful it was, and when we realised how much the kids were writing!)

Thank you for your articles aimed at kids/teachers/education/oldgeeks. I learn a lot on MUO, and pass it on down to the kids! (A bit like one of them penguins going hunting for the (ICT) fish in the big ocean, and coming back and regurtitating the info back …. )

Angela Alcorn

That site looks awesome. Your kids seem to be really getting into it, too! Thanks for sharing.

Reply

WendyElf

Getting kids to write is always a potentially exciting challenge! I would have leapt at the chance to get them blogging thanks to your informative article, and am almost disapointed I didn’t get to read this earlier! As a school we have just discovered a wonderful way to get them involved in writing/blogging and networking in a safe way. http://www.radiowaves.co.uk/ri… is our ‘channel’ on ‘Radiowaves’ – ‘a safe, social learning environment that makes it easy for schools to deliver fun learning activities through blogs, audio podcasting and video’, as their blurb goes….
Check it out – everything is moderated (as our station publisher the kids have kept me VERY busy all this half term holiday giving the ok for their words to go live). We have found it an excellent resource, especially as an alternative to facebook, which they shouldn’t be on anyway. (They do a basic account free, which was brilliant, but we upgraded when we realised how useful it was, and when we realised how much the kids were writing!)

Thank you for your articles aimed at kids/teachers/education/oldgeeks. I learn a lot on MUO, and pass it on down to the kids! (A bit like one of them penguins going hunting for the (ICT) fish in the big ocean, and coming back and regurtitating the info back …. )

Reply

Srivatsan Venkatesh

When I was in 8th grade, we used NiceNet. But we only used it once or twice and then we ditched it.

Reply

TechGyo

Its awesome concept for young bloggers, made possible with WordPress!!

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Blog marketing

Nice post……I like it…

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JazMinderr

this is really useful!

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Kea11

my teacher started us on something called glogster. Its pretty good and makes neat posters

Angela Alcorn

Thanks for the tip – I’ll take a look at Glogster. :)

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