Paul – great questions – my responses:
Do you approve and/or edit every student post? How much editing do you do?
Yes I do. I use Class Blogmeister as my student blogging tool and it automatically sends every student post to an email account and an administrator tool and you have to give permission for the post to show on the blog. The same is true of comments others leave – they don’t appear on a student post unless I say it is OK (BTW – I have never had someone leave an inappropriate comment). I can edit student posts as well, however I don’t do it that way. I just don’t approve the post and have students go over it with me and they make the changes themselves and re-post. There is a way to leave comments for a student about their work, I haven’t tried that yet.
How time consuming is the process? (I notice that you were working at it on a Friday evening!)
The approval process (the way I do it described above) is a snap. I read a post or comment and either approve it or not and move on. Students note the next day if their post didn’t show up and then know they had too many errors and get to work editing. I took 40 minutes that night because students had left about 50 comments and 5 posts that day, which is unusual, and I was reading some to my wife as I went. If you spent time editing it would take longer, however some teachers I have talked to don’t have every student post at once -I can because my 5th graders all have wireless laptops.
Do you have any related tips for teachers who are holding back out of concerns in this area?
1) Class Blogmeister is safe to use because of the built-in safety measures. 2) Posts tend to be shorter writing pieces to deal with (at least so far) so are easier to deal with. 3) Students are motivated to do their best work because it becomes public, hence they are more focused and serious about their work. 4) My students’ writing has improved markedly in a short time.
OK so I’m tagging the following bloggers and any other teachers that have their students’ blogging to add their experience to Paul’s inquiry. No pressure here, just if you would like to share how you handle blogging in your classroom – it seems that your comments should be a valuable resource for all of us.
LisaBlogged with Flock