Thursday, August 1, 2013

Setting up Teacher Blog Accounts

Blogging in the Classroom

Setting up a Teacher Account

The teacher account is a straightforward sign-up: choose a password, add a few details and you’re in.

Create a New Class

The blog creation is controlled by “classes”. The theory is that you’ll want the class to collaborate on a blog together, with all members as users of that blog.
blogs for kidsThe class name is the blog name, which becomes part of the URL for the class blog too. You’ll want to set up initially as one class, even if there’s smaller group projects within the class, since the default privacy level is for students to be able to see other classmate’s work. If they’re not in the same class, they won’t be able to see it (or you’ll need to change the privacy).

blogs for kids

You’re limited to 200 kids per class, but it’s suggested that if you need more usernames you simply start a new class, add the new users to that and then invite them to the original class. You can easily keep adding classes every school year and importing the users from older classes. This gives the kids a little continuity, too.

Privacy and Security

Permissions for viewing posts are set by default to “Class members only”, so only the people you’ve added to this class will be able to see posts. It’s also possible to add more teachers to administrate and to add parent accounts as guests if you want to enable parents to see the classwork. Comments are set to be moderated by default, so teachers will be able to block any of the nasty comments made by certain kids. If you do choose to make the blog public, you can continue to filter unsolicited comments.
blogs for kids

Add Users

Adding users can be done individually (I prefer this method, it's been easier overall) or as a bulk upload, which is recommended.
kids blog
The bulk upload involves creating a .csv file with just name and password. You can do this easily by using a spreadsheet with a column for name and a column for passwords, then exporting it as a .csv file.
kids blog
Once the users are added, they can log in and start writing straight away.


If you’ve got several groups of kids in the one class all working on different group projects, you’ll want to set up appropriate “Groups” each with relevant names.
kids blog
Once the groups are set up, kids viewing the blog can look at posts just by one person or filter to show just relevant groups. I like to set mine so that All groups (or members of that class) can read the posts.

For Kids

Tell your students to go to the blog URL (you find your blog URL by clicking on the “Go to Class Blog” link at the top of your dashboard). Kids can click on the “Log In” link and they are given a drop-down list of names to choose from. So, they only need to remember a password!
Once logged in, they can browse their friend’s posts or filter for groups using the drop-down menu. They can write posts which must then be moderated by the teacher before publishing.


Kidblog is based on WordPress, but has been customised with a teacher’s needs in mind. It’s free, uncluttered, ad-free, easy to set up and private by default. No information is collected from students and the teacher remains in control of all activity. There is a small selection of default themes, so you can determine your "style".
kids online blogging
Try Kidblog! The possibilites are endless: writing groups; book clubs; assignments; group work; uploading photos of artwork;  share links to other on-line projects (Glogster or Voki or Prezi) ; or even use it as a Learning Log where kids can share what they learned that day. What will you use Kidblog for? No really, please feel free to share!

My Experiences with Kidblog Thus Far....
Last year we blogged Response Journals via Kidblog... and for the first time ever, grade 7/8's were actually making authentic comments on each other's work! We also blogged for a Social Studies Project with a UN Peacekeeper (I lucked out having a friend from the RCMP who went to Southern Sudan for the Referendum and formation of a new country), this was quite a cool and memorable experience for the students... It really made the Current Event "Real"!