Category Archives: Blogging

Let’s Give ’em Something to Blog About


Need something to blog about?  Plinky may have the answer.  Like my favorite quickie daily inspiration,, offers daily ideas for topics to blog about.  Of course teachers will find them useful to inspire students.  The

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prompt listed today suggests using third person to describe the scariest moment in your life.  Me?  I’ve got a humdinger about discovering that I had a fear of heights, AFTER I had reached the top of the Duomo in Italy.  Really bad timing!

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Presentation Information UTM 9/12/09

In my neverending efforts to keep myself from losing things that I’d like to keep track of by putting them on this blog, I offer some of the links I used in today’s presentation regarding Blogging and Voicethread: Give students a reason to write and an audience.
Parent information letters from Bud the Teacher
New Zealand Student Bloggers
Room 24 Colorado
Mrs. Heaton’s Class, South Carolina
Mr. Smith’s 4th grade, Hannibal, MO
There are many more terrific education/classroom blog examples in the world. Google them. Check on wordpress. Follow the links offered by the educators above. The possibilities are endless. Educators are a creative, innovative bunch of people! Hooray!
A few free blogging options:

Kevin Hodgson's Blog Kevin Hodgson highlights student creations on

his blog.  The create a variety of different movies

throughout the year.

Mike’s Grade Fives offers examples of students and teacher carrying on educational discussions via their collaborative blog.

For a terrific collection of different Voicethread ideas, please scroll down to the Voicethread entry or click here.

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Sue Waters has a handy-dandy top five list of common blogging mistakes. I wish I’d read this BEFORE I started blogging. Since I’ve been proselytizing about blogging lately, I thought it might be nice to warn my converts. Consider yourself warned. You are are now free to make the same mistakes, learn from them and rest assured that I would NEVER say “I told you so” because well, I can hardly remember what I said 15 minutes ago much less. . . What was I talkin’ about?
Blog! Make mistakes! Blog some more! Forget to blog for a while. Redeem yourself by blogging again!
And by the way, under #4 blogging mistake regarding pingbackNOW I know what a pingback is! Thank you Sue Waters!

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G-mail Accounts for Students

I have not tried this myself, yet. I would check the acceptable use policy at your school before putting this into use. The method came from one of the groups I belong to:An additional description of this method comes from Kim Cofino who suggests using this for elementary students.

Gmail for Student Accounts

The problem that many teachers face when having students create user accounts for web applications is that most applications require a valid e-mail address to create the account. There is a solution that I learned from Alice Mercer about harnessing Gmail to create “fake” accounts that applications will recognize as legitimate.

Create a legitimate gmail account at (e.g. Then, you can use that base account to “trick” web applications that require e-mail address to create user accounts. The way it works is that you add a + and a student name/alias after the gmail user name (e.g.,,, etc.)

The web applications will recognize those addresses as real e-mail addresses, but students never see an inbox. They cannot send nor receive e-mail because you haven’t actually created an e-mail account for them; they don’t have a password to sign into Gmail. Any e-mail (i.e. registration confirmations, etc.) that are sent to the username+name@gmail accounts will be delivered to the Gmail inbox that only you can access.

I have used this to register students for blogs, wikis, and other Web 2.0 applications. The one catch is that it does not work when registering students for Google applications, like Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Notebook, etc.

Here are those instructions as steps:

1. Create a legitimate Gmail account at (e.g.
2. Add a + and a student name/alias after the Gmail user name (e.g.,,, etc.)
3. Start registering students for web applications
4. Check the inbox of your Gmail account periodically


Filed under Blogging, Classroom Practice, Cool Tools, Web 2.0, Writing

Edmodo and Wiggio, Microblogging with Students

These two sites offer opportunities to microblog with students. Edmodo has a place to post a calendar, assignments and files. Wiggio was designed by college students who needed a better way to collaborate. You can send all kinds of e-mails and messages, work on files together, poll the group and keep a group calendar. I may set one of these up for parents this year or use it with the writing project or . . .


Filed under Blogging, Classroom Practice, Resources, Web 2.0, Writing

Summer Reading and Blogging

Clara shared this article from today’s Commercial Appeal. Blogging is a great way for students (and teachers as well) to stay connected to their summer reading and each other. While this is a great tool for AP English classes, many grade levels could benefit from this type of collaboration. Thanks Clara!

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CommonCraft Video-Blogging, RSS

Lee LeFever has created videos for all of your “what in the world is that and how do you do it” tech needs. For our blogging discussion, I am including links to Blogging and Blog Readers (RSS). Trying to access these at school? No problem. These are from Teacher Tube, which should be accessible at school. To find more videos from Lee Lefever, just search for CommonCraft or “in plain English” at Teacher Tube.

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