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SW Student Blogs

Getting Started!

ALL South Western School District students age 13 and over have a WordPress blog account!  This is a nice tool to use with your students because the district has access to manage the blogs, posting, and account information since we host the program.  If you use outside tools, we may have little or no control over student access or the content. The South Western blog site can be accessed at: http://blog.swsd.k12.pa.us/wp-login.php.
Attached below in PowerPoint format are Student Directions for Creating a SWSD Blog  - feel free to edit/post/distribute! 

More Tips!

1) Use Google Form to Collect Student Blog URLs

A google form is a quick and easy way to capture student blog URL's to you, and then you can post the URLs on your web page so they can access each other's blogs!
Here is an example - see the form link under "share your blog" -  http://ehmisblog.swsd.wikispaces.net/
Also notice the individual class pages on the right.  This allows students to access/read each others blogs.

2)  Use Google Reader to Read your Student's Blogs!

Another option is to add the student blog URLs to the google reader so you can read all student blog posts from one place and keep track of what you have and haven't read....
Google Reader Help: http://www.google.com/support/reader/?hl=en

3)  Discuss importance of being a polite and responsible cyber citizen!

Its really important that we teach students positive online behaviors and manners!  After all, their online behavior reflects back on them (and us)!  Consider having them sign a "blogging contract" at the start of a project - it will provide a ceremonious way of talking about the subject and making sure everyone is on the same page!  We have a bloggers contract posted below in Word Format.

4)  Examples

Supporting Docs - posted in attachment section below.

EHMIS 8th Grade Blog Project - Intro PowerPoint

Other Blogging Options

1)  Google Sites

LINK: Access through your SWSD Google Apps Account - look for the SITE link

Google sites provides a simple blog feature that call an "Announcement Page" . 

We also have a SWSD Google Sites account, so any blogs you create on a google site can be completely managed, secured, and protected by you (or SWSD).  This is a great option if you already have a Google Site website created for your group - keeps everything in one place AND if you just need a really simple blog.

Google Sites Help:  http://www.google.com/support/sites/?hl=en

2)  Posterous

LINK: https://posterous.com/

This site may not be the best for use with/by students, but this is a VERY EASY blog to use for your running classroom blog because you can post to it through email!   To create a new post, you just email "post@posterous.com" your email will automatically be posted to the blog.  The subject line becomes the Post Title, the email message becomes the text, and any attached files or pictures automatically get "embedded" online for you.  You can always access the site, log in, and make changes to your blog - how it looks, add widgets and other features, create more sophisticated blog posts, etc.

Example posterous blogs

Bryan Tayman,
Jan 31, 2011, 9:56 AM
Bryan Tayman,
Jan 31, 2011, 10:38 AM