If I have Limited Access to Computers, How Do I Have My Students Blog?

A third grade teacher in my district emailed me the following queries about blogging with her third graders:

“I established the blog with blogger.com and have been using it as part of my students 30 minutes/week in the computer lab. Unfortunately, I do not have access to the computers any other time during the week. If I did the students would be using the computer much more than they are. I have posted two items each week on the blog. One is related to the current HM story and it asks them to respond to the question that is posed. I have been using this for the students to get used to typing on the computer and being able to form reasonable sentences

I am having trouble with blogger, the computer assistant maintaining the computer lab says that it is their server that is causing the problem. The students try to post and it won’t accept their post, very frustrating. I hoped to move the students into having their own blog and then writing to each other in January. Third grade standards indicate that students need to know how to write a friendly letter and I thought this would be a fun way to write to each other and practice the skill. Any suggestions?

Also, do you have any other suggestions about how to use the blog in an entertaining/educational way since my students have limited access to computers?”

I have some ideas … but thought it would help to ask the experts. Any ideas?

This entry was posted in Blogging, Change, Literacy, Technology, Uncategorized, Web 2.0. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to If I have Limited Access to Computers, How Do I Have My Students Blog?

  1. Dave Sherman says:

    We are doing some cool stuff with blogs and wikis in our district, and we have a similar situation – one very busy computer lab for each elementary school. Here is the page to access our different schools’ blogs.

    http://blog109.org/communities/default.aspx

    Maybe this teacher could contact one of our teachers for some discussion. At my school, each of our classrooms is equipped with an LCD projector connected to a computer, so they can work on blogging as a class project. A TV would work as well. Then the teachers assign specific blog homework. We are fortunate to have students with internet access at home. I think a portable laptop lab would be good, but that is kind of expensive. That would be the principal’s or the PTA’s job to find the funds. Of course, that is a long term solution not a short term solution. I wonder if there is a different way to schedule the computer lab at her school. Maybe a flexible scheduling model might work, where a teacher has much more time in the lab one week, and then a different teacher has the time a different week. Just a thought.

  2. Brian says:

    Great ideas Dave – I know at my own school the lab is not scheduled out every minute of the day and teachers can bring their students in on their own to do special projects during those down times – so that could be an option too.

  3. Jody Hayes says:

    Hi,
    My year one (first grade) and I blog using classblogmeister (all articles etc go through teacher to be approved) and are finding it great. (link here if you are interested in the set up page etc http://classblogmeister.com/1.0/)
    What about finding out if there are labs available in lunch time etc -once kids know how to log in and out they are pretty independent. We have three computers in our class and blog at literacy time (or any other time we can). We have ‘blog buddies with a Year 5 & 6 class at our school – they come and help us edit, log on etc so great learning for both children in the pair. Maybe a collaborative project between buddies could get you access to your computer lab time and yours also.

  4. Brian says:

    Thanks Jody – great ideas! I just started using Blogmeister with my fourth graders myself – I’ll pass on your recommendation.
    Brian

  5. Pingback: Learning Is Messy - Blog » Blog Archive » A New Horizon?

  6. mark says:

    We have the problem of most subjects other than ICT having a poor share of lab access. It was mooted by the head that teachers should group children for lab use in small numbers, tho’ I don’t think any more members of staff were offerred, which in most cases makes it impracticle.

    I wondered if one staff member could be assigned to lab cover to supervise all students, who in groups were given assignments to come into the labs.

    There’s also the offline approach – use other devices to record electronically – PDAs, laptops off-network, word-processors(alpha-smarts), mobile phones with bluetooth to sync to PCs… etc etc.

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