Comparison of Blogging Services for Teachers 
    This chart was created by Richard Byrne to help teachers quickly identify the blogging service that meets their needs.

    Weebly for Education is Perfect for You and Your Students

    Weebly is perfect for creating classroom websites, student e-portfolios, and websites for assigned projects. Our drag & drop website editor is stunningly simple to use, and appropriate for use with students of all ages. Weebly enables your students to express themselves creatively using a variety of multimedia features, all within a protected environment that you control. Weebly was named one of TIME's 50 Best Websites of the year,

    ESC Region 11 list of links and resources
    for blogging in Education
    Blogging in the Primary Classroom
    Presentation by Megan Pettit, Dual Language 1st Grade Teacher
    Cannon Elementary 
    Why have a Class Blog?
    • Students have an authentic audience for their writing and that has an impact on the quality of their posts and comments.

    • Students revisit and reflect upon the lessons when they read the posts on the blog. The learning doesn't stop when the chapter or unit ends, commenting keeps the learning alive.

    • Students learn how to navigate around the Internet and how to present digital information in a variety of ways.

    • Students and parents have opportunities to participate and contribute to an online community. Teaching this skill to students in elementary school helps prepare students for more individualize online collaboration in the middle and high school years.

    • Students practice a letter-writing form, when they comment. Letter-writing form is a third grade standard.

    • Students learn about geography by tracking our visitors and sharing comments with our blogging friends. Skyping with blogging buddies brings geography to life!

    Things to Consider
    Thoughts from Mrs. Yollis' 3rd grade class.
    Blogging Takes Time
    • A class blog? Individual student blogs? What is right for you? I decided that giving every child a blog was not something I wanted to tackle at this point. First of all, I wanted to teach directed lessons about posting, creating images, online safety, and composing quality comments. Having a class blog allowed me to direct all my lessons at one site. Controlling the lessons and the publishing allowed me to work at my own pace. If I wanted to publish once a week, I did. If I felt like I wanted to publish more, I felt free to do so. Having several individual blogs to proofread and moderate would have been overwhelming for me.

    • I have learned that not every child is ready for the responsibility of a blog. I allow students to earn their own blogs by demonstrating responsible work habits in the classroom and by consistently contributing to our class blog via quality comments. Once a child is ready, I have a parent meeting and we discuss all the elements of a student blog. I have the child's parents set up the Blogger account at home, and I link the child's blog to our classroom site. The parents must be the administrator of their child's blog and comments must be moderated. If problems arise, I remove the link from our class blog. Allowing children to earn their way to a blog is powerful. They want to be linked to our class blog to increase their readership. In addition, it encourages parents to take an active online role with their child. 

    • Monitoring posts and comments can be a real challenge with a large class. Developing a management plan that works for you is essential. Possible ideas:

    -  Pair students up to practice commenting. Students can help each other proofread.-  Assign publishing days throughout the week. Students will then be able to prepare for their publishing day.-  Train parents and have them come in and assist with the writing and publishing.
       Determine the standard of writing that is acceptable and have parents help with the process.

    Strengthening Language SkillsTeachers create blogs for a variety of reasons. I use the blog to share what we are learning in class and to strengthen language arts skills. As a class, we discussed the standard of writing that is acceptable for third graders and each student blogger must meet that standard to get a post or a comment published.

    More from Mrs. Yollis' on Educational Blogging:  http://educational-blogging.wikispaces.com/Curriculum+Examples
    Once on this page, look on the left side for more topics.  (Creative Commons, How to Write a Quality Comment, Sample Blog Posts, What Students Write About, Privacy Issues, etc.) 
    Student Typing Skills
    Knowing how to type is an essential skill. Here are some ideas to get your students typing:
    • Every day we have a 30 minute silent reading period. During that segment, student take out their wireless AlphaSmart computer and work on the typing tutorial for 5-10 minutes.

    • Stickers are given as each tutorial is completed.

    • Reward ~ once students pass the lessons in the tutorial, they are allowed to type their grammar homework.

    • Reward ~ once students pass the lessons in the tutorial, they are allowed to type their writing during our Writers' Workshop lessons.

    • I wrote a grant and purchased these AlphaSmart computers six years ago. They were around $250 each. Now you can buy a mini-laptop computer for nearly the same price. Consider writing a grant and purchasing computers for your classroom. Then the students can use an online typing tutorial daily.

    • If you only have one or two computers in your classroom, set up a rotation schedule so that students can get on an online tutorial a few times a week. 

      Here are links to a few online typing tutorials and games:

    http://www.powertyping.com/rain.shtml - there is a button on the upper left "tell me how" that explains the game.