Naysayers before we even begin

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Nov 27, 2006, 7:22:07 PM11/27/06
to SupportBlogging!
Well...we've heard David Warlick, Chris Harris and Will
Richardson...finally some teachers in our school want to start a
literature blog and we have a parent who has come forward about the
dangers before we even begin. This gentleman has extensive job
experience using technology and "knows" about the dangers of the web.
While we will try the approach that this is the very reason to teach
his sixth grader now how to use this technology responsibly I am
wondering if there are any good numbers out there to support the growth
of blogging in education and the numbers of kids who are blogging on
their own...any data will be gratefully accepted and appreciated. We
want to blog!!! Thanks.


Nov 29, 2006, 5:28:46 PM11/29/06
to SupportBlogging!
I highly recommend you get in touch with East Lothian in Scotland. Ewan
McIntosh ( has lead a revolution there... they have a
really high number of people - pupils, teachers, and even parents(!)

Check out John Connell's blog for more links

You'll find quite a bit of good information and advice at the
Scotedublogs wiki (

Let me know if you need/want more suggestions!

Neil Winton


Nov 30, 2006, 6:46:19 AM11/30/06
to SupportBlogging!
I would look into David Warlick's BlogMeister or other blogging tools
that have very strict levels of moderation. That is, with BlogMeister I
have to approve (and\or edit) every article before it appears, and I
have to approve (and\or edit) every comment before it appears. It is a
lot of time but I'm willing to devote the time. Others have told me
that Word Press\Type Pad have these levels of moderation but I haven't
been able to look into them. BlogMeister is buggy but I know how it
works and I haven't had the time to find another tool that offers the
same levels of moderation. It also offers a great group of fellow
teachers and students that provide an audience and can send in comments
to the students-- the MOST important thing ultimately!

Whenever someone has brought up safety concerns I show them how I
moderate everything with BlogMeister. Some teachers have their students
use pseudonyms which, I would think, would appease any nay-sayer.

Gordon Brune
5th Grade Teacher

Miguel Guhlin

Nov 30, 2006, 8:50:17 AM11/30/06
If you're looking at a solution you can implement at work in a school district--and you have the District support to accomplish it--I would encourage you to use b2Evolution. It is a blogging platform that allows one to create a "parent" blog--imagine an entire campus--with "child" blogs (e.g. organized by teacher or function). So, a campus blog site would look like this:

Parent Blogs: Ronan Elementary School - the parent blog would have its own RSS feed and display publically available posts from ALL child blogs.

Child Blogs:

a) Ms. Harfouche's 5th Grade Class: Students in this class are focused on sharing their writing and artwork with others. Children whose parents have signed the parent permission form (sample form here: will have their work displayed on the Web, and their posting may appear on the parent blog for the Ronan ES. Other children whose parents haven't approved publication of their work via the Web may either use pseudonyms or their work is published in protected mode. Protected mode means that only people who have an account to login to the blog can view the content that is protected.

Comments left by Web visitors outside the school community are moderated and require teacher approval prior to posting. The same goes for school community visitors, although postings by those folks are tracked.

b) Mr. Vasquez' 2nd Grade Class: Students in this class are focused on sharing their growing understanding of science concepts. To that end, they write about what they are working on with plants in their campus greenhouse. They illustrate their work, and record themselves talking about what they do.
While the names of these teachers are fictional, it's exciting to see how this b2Evolution--a free, open source blogging platform--is used. Others are also using it at the district level (Check out Dean Shareski's setup and description here - ).

Hoping this is helpful,

Miguel Guhlin
San Antonio, Texas
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