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Blogs - public vs private

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Started by agilchrist 04 Jun 2014 10:02am () Replies (13)

Kia Ora,

We have started our GAFE journey this year and we have a few classes using blogs.  Amongst the staff there has been much discussion regarding privete blogs with invited readers and public blogs.  It would be great to hear what other schools are doing to help with the big picture.



  • Kimberley Rivett (View all users posts) 04 Jun 2014 10:12am ()

    Our students from Y0-6 use blogs and we scaffold the process so that the younger students contribute content which is approved by the teacher and their peers before being posted. We allow parents and other students in the school only to comment and again, these comments are on approval before they are posted.

    When they reach Y3-4 we then use googleapps for education and they share content with other teachers and students for comments. The class blogs by this stage are largely managed by the students and by Y5-6 this is entirely the case with students contributing all of the content to both class and individual blogs.

    We have worked to explicitly teach our students about what is appropriate to record in a blog and share. We also show them different examples of blogs and discuss the wider audience. It is great to use twitter to demonstate how quickly people can gain access to blogs but also how powerful a great post can be.


  • Hamish McLean (View all users posts) 04 Jun 2014 10:15am ()

    Morning Amy,


    We are a 1:1 school with 300 students (Year 1-8)

    Each senior student (Year 5-8) has their own blog (google blogger)

    This is public and acts as their relfections/ portfolios of work.  In our view the whole point is to enable the 'world' to act as critiques of student work.  This enables the student to produce work and only publish work they feel is at an acceptable standard for the world to view.  

    But to be honest from an admin point of view, only a handful of blogs have been viewed by the greater world.  These have been students that have presented at educational conferences and have a name for themselves as 'modern learners'.

  • Gail Abbitt (View all users posts) 04 Jun 2014 10:27am ()

    Hi Amy,

    I use Blogs (Blogger) with my Yr12 & 13 media classes.  Like Hamish they are public and in the 5+ years I have been using them there have been no issues.  I think it is really important to set guidelines for use and feel that it provides a perfect opportunity to discuss important aspects of digital literacy/citzenship.  

  • Kerry Guise (View all users posts) 04 Jun 2014 10:38am ()

    We have a variety of blogs in our school; Pod blogs that have 4 classes contributing to them, class blogs for those that want to go down this route and kidblogs that teachers have administration rights to so that the work is published and viewed securely. One class has a link to each child's kidblog from the classroom blog. For children and teachers new to blogging we have 'break outs' and mentor workshops available with children teaching children. Our blogs are mainly to do with learning that is happening in each pod, with the kidblogs more of an e-portfolio showcasing their work. Our library blog is published by our school librarian and student library leaders and is used to bring our library into the hub of the school. Some classes use the library blog as part of their reading stations and have created google forms as a type of reading quest to give the library blog more of a profile in the school as well.

  • agilchrist (View all users posts) 04 Jun 2014 7:31pm ()

    It is great to see one tool being used in many ways.  Thanks for sharing. Smile

  • Allanah King (View all users posts) 04 Jun 2014 7:56pm ()

    I also have had no problems with public blogs, depending on the purpose. We don't use our blogs as a digital portfolio but to promote the home school partnership and writing for an authentic audience for children.

    We use Blogger for its simplicity and intergaion with other Google apps.

    There are a couple of settings though that I think it is good to put into practice.

    I regularly check what the kids have written to make sure it is appropriate.

    And I approve incoming comments so i know what is going on with the blogs.

    For less searchable blogs you could also change the setting so it is less findable. Here is a screen grab to show you where.

    Blogger settings


    To get to the kids blogs they are listed on the side of the class blog like this screen grab.


      Individual blogs


    With ideas on what other people are blogging about you may want to look these blogs.


    where teachers have contributed their favourite blog post of the year over the last couple of years.



  • Rachel Dippie (View all users posts) 04 Jun 2014 8:01pm ()

    I am using google blogger in my classroom with my year 1 class and have with previous classes up to Year 4. The children write straight onto the blog using blog press and I correct their work underneath. We also use it for shared writing, and post of what we are up to during the day.  As I have 5 ipads in my classroom all the time the children are really good at picking up ipads and taking photos of their work as they love being able to share their learning at home with their parents.  All our junior team has public blogs, I have just made sure I have deactivated the next blog widget at the top of the page, as due to the joys of blogs, they can get lead to anywhere. 

    We have spent a lot of time as a school talking about appropriate use with all the classes. The expectations are up on the blog and also sent home at the start of the year with parents. 

    I found that with lots of parents/grandparents etc looking at and commenting on the blog the least complicated the better, hense why we have chosen public blogs. 

  • Steve Trotter (View all users posts) 05 Jun 2014 11:29am ()

    Though we are a GAFE school, we too have gone down the road of KidBlog. Having used 2 different LMS services, Blogger and Wikispaces, I would highly recommend KidBlog - Happy to explain more to anyone that is intersted.

    As for Private versus Public, I agree with you Hamish in 6 years using blog services, I have only ever seen 1 or 2 posts commented on from people outside of our school. In theory it sounds great that the 'world can view our learning' but this is highly unlikely! 

    With this in mind, we decided to keep our blogs private. We also feel more comfortable adding multimedia content, which some parents did not like the idea of when we discussed having content public. I agree with Rachel that the password complications of a private blog are a hassle. As KidBlog allows for Google Login, this solves the problem for our students and teachers.

    Our guidelines sit as a widget on every blog in the school;

  • Hamish McLean (View all users posts) 05 Jun 2014 11:40am ()

    Thats a cool idea Steve!  The guideline widget.

    Our senior students have had their blogs in place for a while now, and the guidelines are autonomous for our them, but for the Y5-6's, the widget idea will be a good reminder for them.  Thanks!

  • Rachel Dippie (View all users posts) 05 Jun 2014 1:46pm ()

    Here are our guidelines. We just have this up with our school values as a widget


    Acceptable Use

    Only ever use your first name or a nickname when you are writing on this or other blogs.

    Never use any other student's last name.
    Never post personal information - such as your home phone number or address
    Never share your user names or passwords or log in as another student.
  • agilchrist (View all users posts) 08 Jun 2014 7:29pm ()

    Great to get so much feedback, very valuable for my to add to the disucssion at schoolLaughing    Setting the guidelines as a widget will be valuable for students and parents.  

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