Starting Out Blogging

As the new school year is approaching, new bloggers are emerging. Our class was part of a laptop program last year, and this year it is expanding to all sixth and seventh graders. I am sure that we are not going to be the only new bloggers this school year.

When I first started blogging, I was in Washington D.C. I wasn’t exactly sure what to do, but with the help of Jings made by my science teacher, Miss Sweeney, I was able to stumble my way through the beginning. As I began to explore and use the Edublogger, things started to become easier. Here are my recomendations for starting blogging with your students:

1. Create Jings or have how- to sessions with your students so they can both see and hear what to do to begin with.

2. Let the students be creative. Give them class time to fool around and change the settings, themes, and widgets. Having fun is the most important aspect of blogging in my opinion.

3. Make a list of all of the student blogs so that they can easily visit other students’ blogs. Encourage them to read posts using Google Reader, or other similar programs.

4. Show them how they can find help on their own, using the forums or the Edublogger.

5. Remeber to intigrate blogging into your lessons. Have them answer discussion or essay questions as a post, encourage them to post their writings, have them put portfolios on their blog, or have them get feedback from other bloggers for math surveys or other projects.

6. Get them involved in Student Challenges! One is starting September 6th!

The most important thing to remember when blogging is to have fun! I was fortunate enough to be one of the winners of the Student Blogging Competition hosted by the Edublogger. In my opinion, it wasn’t hard work. All I did was have fun blogging, and post about whatever came to mind! Good luck to all bloggers out there, new and experienced. Have a great school year!

For more tips, take a look at this powerpoint!
Blogging 101

This was posted as part of the Edublogger’s Competition, Share Your Tips in the category “5 tips for new bloggers”.

29 thoughts on “Starting Out Blogging

  1. Abbey,
    What an excellent powerpoint. I might use that at the beginning of next year when introducing blogging to new students.

  2. Excellent post as always Abbey. I also agree with Miss Wyatt — great PowerPoint packed full of ideas.

    Can you give me the link to the Jing videos that Miss Sweeney did for you as the link in your post isn’t correct. I would also be interested to hear your opinion of videos vs handouts. I’ve always found the older less tech savvy people need to detailed instructions that they can print off. Can you tell me what the students in your class prefer? The videos or the handouts?

  3. @Sue Waters, I’m sorry to say that I actually do not have access to the videos anymore. They were on Angel, which is the online resource our school uses, but they were wiped at the beginning of the school year. However, I believe that I can email Miss Sweeney and ask her if she can get them to me.

    Second, I personally prefer the videos, as I was able to see the Edublogs page and hear exactly what to do. I was also able to pause the video and try doing it myself. I think that it would be a good idea to have both, because as you said less tech savvy people would probably prefer something on paper. I think that kids, younger adults, and tech savvy mid- age adults would use the videos, whereas older and less tech savvy people would use the handout.
    I would assume that my classmates would prefer the videos, because after a year of using computers all day, we enjoy and know how to use the technology on our computers.

    Hope this is helpful!

  4. Hi Abbey
    I’ve just started blogging and found you video really helpful. Also the link to the JINGS site provided the very thing I’ve been looking for as far as devising instructions etc. for use with the kids. I’ll be back to your blog in the future…and I like knitting too!

  5. Welcome, Abbey, to the student blogging challenge.

    To make it easier for me when visiting your blog, can you make sure you have the widget for recent comments in your sidebar?

    To make it easier for YOU to find out the weekly challenges, perhaps having my class blog URL in your blogroll would be helpful.

    I hope you enjoy the challenges and feel free to leave any questions on the page where I will leave an answer within a couple of days.

  6. Hi Abbey

    That’s a great slideshow for introducing other students to blogging.I’m going to show it to my students to help them out. You’re giving very valuable advice. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Wow thank you for the link to Jing! What an excellent resource, I will definitely use it in my classes.

    And thanks also for advice to teachers about how to use blogs with their students. A big help.

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  10. I am going to send this post to Ms. Reed ASAP because she is currently debating between Edublogs and wikispaces (I’m obviously going for Edublogs!) Excellent suggestions, but you made some up and took some from other teachers (mostly Mrs. Sweeney). Just an observation, not an accusation.
    For any teachers reading this, definitely go for Edublogs, especially Edublogs Campus if you are doing team’s worth of blogs because after doing calculations for Ms. Reed, for 170 students, including teachers, everyone would have to pay about $8.50 per blog. Expensive, but hey, look at what Abbey did to her post.
    Sorry for long comment…
    Elliot (is at , you might notice we were in the same team from the username, uggh I’m being long again 🙁 or 🙂 UGGHHH)

  11. Just now saw this: this is a tip unedited from Edublogs:
    “How are you monitoring comments and posts on student blogs? Make the process easier using Google Reader!”

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  13. amazing, your blog? no way! it’s gone way beyond! this blog is you! it shows every thing about you. you show who you are and what you like and don’t give a chicken what other people think! now this is a true blog although im in grade six and stuck out here in the desolate frozen waste land of cannada i still take time to read blogs. and altough i’ve just started im giving my self the title of a reveiwer and blogger your my first reveiw and the best blog i’ve ever seen! there may not be awards from your expaditon to the pyramids but on this page but is still fabulouse!


  14. hey abbey its me again! no challenge is not about blogging we just happen to have laptops and one of our teachers created blogs for each of us! but challenge is about gifted kids (special* were cool!), we all are great friends. most of us met in grade 4. now im in grade 7 but some r in grade 6.

  15. Hello Abbey,

    I’m a teacher in British Columbia, Canada and my students come from accross our school district to a gifted program for grades 4-7 called the Challenge program. My students and I are very new to blogging so I had them check out your blog as one of the winners of the Blogging Challenge. We’ve been very impressed with your initiative on your blog. I loved the pic lits that you included and am checking out the link you included so that I can teach my students how to complete these. If you have any advice for my students as they begin creating their blogs we’d love to hear from you.

    Our site is at and each student has their own blog attached to this class site. We’ve only been at blogging for just two months and we only meet once each week so be patient as you visit our site and our blogs.

    Thank you for creating such an interesting, thought-provoking blog.
    Mrs. Bystrom

  16. Dear Abby;

    I love your blog! I think it is a very organized and well layed out. I live in British Columbia, Canada. It’s neat that I am talking to someone in a whole different country. I have a blog as well, but I am new at it. It is called Feel free to post on it.


  17. Hello!

    I am a student at Challenge and I love your blog. I’m new to all this bloging, technical stuff. I live in Britsh Colombia, Canada. Can’t wait untill the Olympics! I’m TRYING to learn to crochet from a book and it’s really hard! but I won’t give up. At least not yet, it’s really frustrating me. A book that’s really funny is called Flush by Carl Hiaasen. Thanks so much! Your blog is awsome!!

  18. Hi Abbey. You have a really interesting blog! I really like your custom header thing “Read, Write and Knit”, since I love to read and write. I don’t know how to knit but my grandma said that she would teach me! If you want to leave a reply or something on my blog, that would be much appreciated! Since I am pretty new at this. Sincerely, Lea

  19. Hi Abby your blog is so cool!! I am from Canada and in Challenge. Please come to my blog and leave a a coment and leave some tips my blog is I was into Knitting for a while, stoped for 3 month and completly forgot how!! So please visit my blog!!

  20. Hi Abbey, I’m this is my first time on your blog, and I really really like it.I love all of the diferent things you can choose from.

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  23. Hi abby,this is my first time on here. I like all the different things that you can put on your blog

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  25. how do u get google translate and a blog roll? i have the same theam as u but i can not get those wigets pls reply sarah kate

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