Kidblog is a creation for teachers by teachers. An Edinboro University student Chris LaFuria is integrating blogging into his student teaching experiences for his students. His cooperating teacher, Ms. Barbara Beebe and the Language Arts department showed an interest in blogging and Chris took the lead by discovering KidBlog and working into his practice.
KidBlog is absolutely FREE! This is a great selling point, but FREE junk is still junk. KidBlog is not junk. It is a powerful blogging platform that features an intuitive student publishing interface, full privacy settings, IPad App publishing, secure SSL logins, and much more. An advanced feature, also free, is the ability to embed Web 2.0 tools like Prezi, Animoto, and Glogster. The downside is the 500 mb of upload space, but that can be easily overcame through outside file sharing programs like Dropbox, Box, or Google Drive.
KidBlog is a great resource for teachers in districts which do not currently have classroom management systems that allow for student blogging and file sharing. KidBlog really sells the safety and control aspect that is so important to teachers especially teachers whose immersion into technology may just be above their ankles. The platform, I believe is Wordpress, and that makes it easy to navigate, publish, and manage student blogs.
I like the "Blog" page. Here real teachers using the program in their classrooms share ideas and successes. It would be nicer if these were archived in a sidebar. It would make it easier for explorers to find quick associations with teacher of similar stories. The posts contain videos and pictures that really help to tell the story. Check out 1st grade teacher Karen Lirenman's post by clicking on the picture to the right.
"Over a million K-12 students have a voice at KidBlog. . . Set up your class for free in 20 seconds." Is a nice opening and selling point. The banner at the bottom suggest well of 2 million blogging students. That is exciting to see and know.
The support is strong within the website and on YouTube which has several tutorial videos to help teacher bridge the digital divide. Below is a great video created in 2010 which suggests KidBlog is making a lasting impression. This video features Katie, a KidBlog blogger sharing her own story with the program.
After Chris has a chance to really get deep into his experience with his students, I will interview his, maybe his students, and link it to this post.