Creating blogs with students can be an interesting project in an ESL class. It practices writing skills and creativity. Teachers can have students blog about certain subjects or even have them do weekly blogs on any subject they like. However, blogging on the internet is not always safe with younger children. They can end up on inappropriate websites or even share their blog with the wrong people. It would be nice to be able to have students blog in a secure manner and to not have to worry about their security or their privacy. There are many different blogging site for students but not many for young students. KidBlog is a blog site made especially for children from grade K to 12.
KidBlog has many different account options. It has a free account option where there can be 100mb of file storage space, 2 teachers and up to 50 students. There are also two paying accounts one with 20gb of data (5$/month per class) and the other unlimited ($2/yr per student). Teachers have to create their own account which they can connect with their Google account, login names for every student, a login code so students can access the blog, and also a easy website URL so the students don’t have a hard time reaching the blog. There are many options throughout the site to make it more interactive and personal. The teacher has to create their own personal setting within the blog: theme, timezone and even there is even the option of giving students the chance to blog from their mobile device. Teachers can review and grade blogs, students can comment on each other’s work. It is essentially a closed social media community. Even parents can have access to their children’s work by a guest account the teacher can set up of them.
I could not personally try KigBlog because it required an registration. However, from what I have seen on the internet, the website looks quite easy to use for the students as well as for the teacher. I like the fact that the website offers a free account that has enough functions to be useful in an actual class. I think that having the chance to blog is a great opportunity for students to develop their writing and their creativity. I would use it with really any grade level and give their either weekly assignment or monthly assignments. I think that with using this kind of website it is important that students like the subject they are writing about otherwise the work may become boring and arduous for them. Basically, if they don’t like the subject they won’t like blogging at all.
I think KidBlog is a good tool to use with beginner bloggers and younger students. They will learn to take critique by commenting on their peers blogs and getting comments on their own. For teachers, KidBlog is great because they can review and even grade their blogs directly on the website. I also think that KidBlog is a good way to begin to get to know social media and the internet in general.