Today's sociology class was my first adventure with student blogging. I spent plenty of time looking for a good blogging platform and considered the different reasons for blogging. Should I have one blog with different authors? How do I control the content if students all have their separate accounts? Why do I need to control anything? Why not encourage them to develop their own voice and have the confidence in them? So, I took the leap. The students got gmail accounts and are entering the blogosphere through the blogspot portal.
As many of my classes this year, this is a work in progress and my students are 'guinea pigs' for the cause. I'm excited to see how this progresses. We will be experimenting with cool web tools and widgets that will make the blog interesting as well as embedding pictures and videos. But the most exciting thing is that they will have the sense of writing for an audience and not just for the teacher. Keep posted to see how this develops. The students will post a link to their individual blogs on our class wiki .
As a word of advice to other teachers, have the students sign up for the gmail account from home instead of all at the same time in class. I lost at least 25 minutes with problems in the sign up process. (More than ten requests for a blog coming from the same IP address will be a problem for Google.)