What is a blog?

A blog is an online journal of sorts. Some people post daily information, some rant about an issue that bothers them, others aim their blogs at a particular audience or topic. Blogs allow you to embed any type of media, including images, videos, links to other web sites and blogs, and even sound files. You can subscribe to a blog and post comments to others' blogs in an interactive way.

Blogs in Plain English

Video from Common Craft, Time 3:01

Anatomy of a Blog

Most blogs include a main home page, a permalink for each entry, an avatar (sometimes), and a blog roll.

Click on Anatomy of a Blog to learn about the parts of a blog.

A Word About Cyber Safety

When setting up your own blog, it is important to keep in mind these tips:
*Remember that the internet is public...what you post can be ready by ANYONE, no matter how private you make your page.

*Tell your students to NOT post their LAST names, their schedules, where they can be found, or any personal information.

*You DO leave a DIGITAL FOOTPRINT behind on the WWW. This means that where you go can be tracked now and years from now. Be proud of what you post. Choose your words carefully. Represent yourself in a postive light. Tell your students that they should be proud for their grandmother and mother to read what they write.

*You may want to use an email account that does NOT identify you personally. I personally use a gmail account that does not have my name on the account. Also, I have a "pen name" on my blog (Techbabble), instead of using my real identity. This protects my digital footprint.

Free Blog Space for the Classroom

Edublogs is by far the most education-friendly blogging interface on the WWW. They do have advertising, but the ads are appropriate for school environments. Also, purchasing space from Edublogs is quite affordable. Edublogs offers a wonderful architecture that allows you to also manage your students' blogs, where your own classroom blog can be the main page, like a "blog campus." Edublogs also has the best tech support around--they have screencasts showing you where to click, as well as direction sheets posted on their extensive tech support page. While there are many other solid blogging tools out there (Blogger, Typepad, Wordpress), you will be hard-pressed to find a gem like Edublogs!


Blogs to Go GaGa Over!

If you have ever doubted the rich learning interface of a blog, all you have to do is look at some of these classroom blogs. These outstanding blogs feature collaboration, vodcasts, podcasts, digital images, student-written articles and critiques, analysis, synthesis, research, and more.

Duck Diaries -K and 2nd graders blog about a duck who built her nest on a K-8 playground.
Mrs. Cassidy's Classroom Blog -1st graders blog, share their work, and even read aloud!

Mrs. Yollis's Classroom blog -this 3rd grade class blogs all the time; they are the 1st Runner Up for Best Class Blog 2010, Edublogs. Look at "Poppa's New Pants" to see technology at its best!

Eagle's Nest Radio & Class Blog -This 3rd grade blog received a comment from author Grace Lin in the class book discussion of The Year of the Dog.

Room 12
Mark Alhness's third grade bloggers in Seattle, Washington, develop their writing skills through this student/author driven blog. Explore the teacher assignments and student entries in the left navigation. This will give you a sense of how one teacher manages a whole class of students maintaining their own individual blogs. Check out last year's student, Abigail, and see how a 3rd grader blogs!

Into the Wild
A 5th grade class blog using many of the wonderful digital online tools out there. Look at the students' literature photostories, blabberizes, and more. This is a media-rich and student-driven class blog.

Emily's Blog -Best Student Blog 2010, Edublog Winner
Billings Middle School --Best class blog of 2010, Edublog Winner

More Awesome Blogs:
If you didn't get enough browsing, check out ALL the winners from Edublogs 2010.

Blog Search Engines

A blog search engine allows you to mine the web for blogs by topic that interest you. There are some wonderful education blogs out there.

Google Blog Search


Coming Soon...All About RSS (Real Simple Syndication). Huh? It's a cool way to grab blog feeds in one place, not to mention syndicate your own blog!