Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tales of a Third Grade Blogger (or, The Year Social Tech Broke)

My twin boys have been blogging throughout the summer.

They've got lists of favorite books, reviews of favorite video games, and a variety of stories and poems about bunnies, battlefields, and everything in between that an eight year old boy might dream about.

And now, after a talk with their teachers, they've got an audience.

Turns out their teachers (same ones I wrote this letter to) are crazy about the idea of their students blogging. And so, they've given my boys permission to do their weekly home/school connections via their blogs.

Not just that, but they want the boys to teach blogging to the rest of their classmates.

Raising a literal bevy of third grade bloggers.

My wife was the one who talked with the teachers during parent night and relayed this information to me; I meanwhile was Mr. Babysitter handling the after-school kid crowd. I can't express how happy I am and how proud I am both of my kids and their teachers. I feel like my little corner of the world just tripped into the 21st century.

This afternoon, my principal wrote a blog post about the changing nature of education and the worthiness of social media in the classroom. Earlier in the day, Bob -- who you should be following (and helping) -- showed me the latest article on Facebook and social tech ubiquity. And now this. All in one day.

Makes me feel like 2009 is the Year Social Tech Broke.


  1. I'm very pleased for you and your children that they will have this opportunity. I'd like to have my eighth graders blog as well and was planning to use, but found their policy (like that of many other sites I've been eyeing) does not allow accounts for those younger than 13. I am researching what's allowable according to CIPA/COPPA rules. Do you know of any blogging sites that are ok for younger kids or if different rules apply for the school setting?

  2. The blogs are legit accounts under my name and I allow my kids to 'guest blog' on them under supervision.

    What you need to do is connect with yr parents and work out similar situations.

  3. I am so glad to hear that their teachers were open to the idea! I am trying to work more social tech into my lessons this year. So far, I have a Twitter account that I use to communicate with my students and 1/3 have signed on. We also have a class wiki that they are experimenting with. We've discussed SMS texting and Twitter as genres in Writer's workshop. Since I teach 5th grade, I am going slow and emphasizing safety!

    I'd love to be able to share your sons' blogs with my kids - will you send me the links? @Teacher_Tracy

  4. I have been using blogging for the last year and a half and had a huge recent set back. Two posts were added to a student assignment, using cursing, insulting my students, the school, and I.

    All student identities are anonymous so no one can track them, but parents are unwilling to give students emails, and therefore cannot get IDs. I also monitor all comments, and therefore caught it pretty quickly. This has never happened in my year and a half of blogging assignments

    Any advice for this? It's so disheartening to take so many small steps forward and then one giant leap back.


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