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The Ultimate Guide to The Use of Blogs in Teaching

Free Blogging platforms for teachers and students :
A- Edublogs
The world's most popular educational blogging service, Edublogs lets you easily create and manage student and teacher blogs, quickly customize and include videos.

B- Blogger
This is a free weblog publishing tool from Google, for sharing text, photos and video. This is probably the most user friendly blogging platform out there. You can set up as many blogs as you want and right from your Google account.

C- Wordpress
This is another great blogging platform for students and teachers and is very easy to use and completely free.

 How to set up a blog
It depends on the kind of blogging platform you are going to use but generally speaking, the process is very easy and takes only a couple of minutes. Here are some  tutorials : How to set up a blog on Edublog How to set up a blog on Blogger How to set up a blog on Wordpress.

 Things to pay heed to when setting up a classroom blog
  • Choose an appropriate blogging platform for your situation
  • Understand why and how you will use it in your class
  • Understand the features you and your students will need to use
  • Set up your students accounts
  • Know what to do when students forget their log in information and keep that info safe
  • Make sure that all of your students will have fair and equal access to computers to get the job done
  • Let parents and guardians know what you are doing
  • Set the rules for students
  • Create a code of ethics.
Ways to use blogs in your classroom
Here are some ways on how teachers can use blogs in their classrooms:
  • Provide further assignments for students to work on
  • Have students work in small groups to write and post summaries of content covered in class to build a compendium for content covered over a semester
  • Get students to do their writing assignments in the form of blog posts
  • Encourage students to post comments on each others postings
  • Use blogs for peer learning. Get students to read their colleagues writings and underline spelling and grammatical mistakes
  • Use blogs for classroom projects where students can include videos, clips, audio,, text and images
  • Teachers can create a specific section just for website links and references to other interesting content online.
  • Use activities, games, puzzles to enrich students learning experiences
  • Use blogs to conduct an online survey in relation to your students learning needs. You can also include parents in the surveys. Check out these free survey tools for teachers.
  • Post  your classroom guidelines and code of conduct on your classroom blog for students to review
  • Publish a list of the objectives ( general as well as specific goals )
  • Challenge your students to write, record and post tutorials about certain concepts of things you teach them
  • Use a section in your blog for classroom news where to communicate the general classroom news. Work with students to identify the kinds of information they would like to share with their parents, then engage them in writing and posting daily or weekly news updates
  • Post weekly challenges such as a riddle or brainteaser that requires your students to think creatively and critically.  Ask students to post their answers on the blog then discuss the solutions with the whole class at the end of the week. This will tremendously improve their problem-solving skills
  • Again use your blog as a communicative tool both with your students and their parents.
 Examples of successful blogs

 Here are some examples of some of the best blogs nominated for Edublogs awards for the year 2011.
Webliography :
 1- Blogs in Education 2- Connecting through blogs 3- 11 advantages of using blogs for teachers 4- Moderating and ethics for the classroom instructional blog 5- Should all learning professionals be blogging 6- Resourcing the curriculum 7- 14 Steps to meaningful students blogging 8- 15 Awesome ways to use blogs in your classroom 9- My 17 point check-list for teaching good writing and blogging 10- How to set up a classroom blog: ten essential steps 11- Educational Blogging 12- A List of the best tools for teachers to create blogs for their students