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All About Class Blogs

All About Class Blogs

Kelly Tenkely | Teaching

What it is: Class Blogs is a fabulous new way for you to easily create and manage FREE classroom blogs! What makes Class Blogs so wonderful are all the extras that are built in. For example, with Class Blogs you can create a virtual classroom space. With just a few simple steps, you can create an online meeting space for your students to learn and discuss in. Blogs can be used to post assignments; when you post an assignment to your teacher blog, students can submit the assignment and a pingback will be sent to your blog. Class Blogs even has features that utilize SMS so that you can send a text message to students and the ability to host lesson plans complete with supporting resources! Class blogs really offers more than just a blogging platform, it offers many Learning Management System (LMS) solutions making it a great all-in-one tool! Here are just a few of the ways you can use Class Blogs:

How to integrate Class Blogs into the classroom: Class Blogs has features that make it wonderfully useful for any classroom. Blogging gives your students a place to write where they have an authentic audience. An audience of one (the teacher) is SO 1995. To limit your students to that audience is a disservice. I find that when my students write in blog form, the enthusiasm to write increases, the richness of language increases, and the ideas are communicated clearly. Obviously that is a bit of a generalization, I have also had students who don’t want to post for an audience, it makes them nervous to reveal themselves to their classmates in that way. I let those students blog about topics they are “experts” on as they are building confidence in their learning process. Students can blog to reflect on learning; write creatively; write as if they were a historical character, famous inventor, or a favorite literary figure; to chronicle learning (e-portfolio style); or to invite others on a journey of inquiry with them.

Using this type of social media in the classroom is important. It helps students learn digital citizenship, Internet safety, and netiquette in an authentic environment that goes beyond the rules and actually lets them practice it.

classblogs

The additional features of Class Blog make it the perfect place to organize your classroom. Post assignments in Class Blogs as a learning log, as students respond, your original post will get a pingback making it easy to track students progress. Class Blog also makes it easy to extend learning beyond the four walls of your classroom using the virtual classroom features. Create meeting rooms to extend classroom discussions, offer additional learning support, or as a place to prepare students for learning. Class Blogs makes it easy to include podcasts, videos, webcams, private chat areas, desktop sharing in your virtual classroom.

Tips: Class Blogs does not have an age requirement, this means that it is available to k-12 (and beyond) education. Registration does require an email address. If your students do not have email addresses, you can create accounts on their behalf. With Class Blogs you can create unlimited class and student blogs, unlimited free classes/courses, and unlimited free virtual classrooms. Be sure to check out the feature page for a comprehensive list of the awesome features on Class Blogs, you won’t believe what all is included!


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