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Saturday, July 18, 2015

blogging with kiddos, part 2

Welcome back to BigTime Literacy! Today's BigTime Blogging Challenge prompt is to write "This I Believe" posts, so if you'd like to go ahead with that, please do! I need to continue with my Blogging with Kids series. (Check out my first post in this series here.) Today I'm going to give you a tour through Edublogs and also share the Google + method you'll need to use if your students don't have their own email address.

Edublogs
I'm going to venture to uncharted water, friends! I bring you my very first screencast! I thought it would be much easier to talk and show the dashboard of Edublogs rather than writing about it. So, click the image below to go see the video (still working on embedding it; so many steps!)


How did I do? Super exciting stuff!

Creating User Accounts and the Google + Method
With edublogs, the students you create blogs for will need an email address. Perhaps they won't have one, but no fear! You can use the Google + method!

If you took a look at the video, you've already heard about how each child will need the following information for blog completion:

It might be possible that your students do not have email addresses, but you'll use a version of your gmail to get around this. Google email address work like this: you can use a + within the email address to use one email address for many accounts. In my case, my email address bigtimeliteracy@gmail.com is used to create all my student bloggers accounts.

You're going to add each child's user name to the email. For mine, I use a formula to keep things consistent. I like to use first name - last initial - and their "S" number (that our school uses for their ID.) So, one student might be, "mikem8721." I like having the child's first name in the user name so it's easy to know who is writing what when I'm reading blogs.

For the student's email, this is where you need google plus. Let's carry on with my sample student, Mike M. His "email" is going to be mine: bigtimeliteracy@gmail.com but I'm going to add the + and his user name:


bigtimeliteracy+mikem8721@gmail.com

What happens is that google is going to ignore everything after the plus, and his notifications will all go to my gmail. I get notified when comments are published on their pages. The comments still go to my students, too - I don't have it set up to moderate publishing of posts or comments. I know some teachers would like to see everything first, but in my world: ain't nobody got time for that! In the instance that something inappropriate goes though, I use it as a teaching moment with kids, and provide consequences as necessary.

Google + method is cool, right?


Make sure you take a look at the video for more details about the URL and blog name, too!

Alright! Well that's enough for today. I'll be back on Monday the 27th for a little bit more on getting the kids started on their first posts!
Get the details for this challenge here!


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