Guest Blog Post by Ron Farrow, eLearning Contributor
While we all strive to give our students more writing opportunities every day, we struggle with how we can do so online in a safe and meaningful way. Social media can be a great tool for engaging kids in the writing process, but how can we ensure that our writing is meaningful, and that the instrument we use is safe and secure? Kidblog may be just the solution.
Kidblog is a powerful blogging site for teachers. The simple interface allows teachers to quickly setup a class site for their students, and control every aspect of the blogging experience from who can view the posts, to who can comment. You can have the posts locked down to only you and the individual student, or you can share your class blogs with classes from around the world. You control the environment and have the flexibility to change this environment at any time.
Kidblog can be used in a variety of ways. You can set up student blogs for daily writing journals, research journals, lab notes, digital pen pals, short story writing, and so much more. And, the recent updates make the user interface even more intuitive and user-friendly. Now the site has an even cleaner appearance. Preferences and site permissions are a simple click away. There is also a new blog view called tiles, showing more of your class blogs on a single screen.
I started as a music teacher for the Farmington School District in 2002, where I taught 5th and 6th grade music as well as High School Percussion. As a music teacher, I had the opportunity to experiment with many forms of technology in the classroom including smart boards, tablets, recording studio equipment, etc. I took this passion for technology and education to the district-wide level in 2010 as part of a leadership cadre for our district, then, in 2012, I became the Educational Technology Facilitator for the district. I joined the Cape Girardeau School District in the Summer of 2013.
I believe technology is the future of education. But it's more about the change in instruction than the devices themselves. We are in a very exciting time for education! It can be scary to have such a paradigm shift in teaching. However, students now have tools to access a world of information that was previously inconceivable. Through technology, we can foster more creative learning environments, differentiate instruction to meet the needs of every student, and create productive, responsible, digital citizens for future generations.