For those educators out there still looking for a safe and controlled environment for their students to blog you might want to consider using Kidzlog. I’ve blogged about it before, but like any good tool, it’s worth sharing with as many people as possible. Kidzlog is quite a neat little piece of software (free with limited use, 20 dollars for the full version) that will help introduce you and your students to the concept of blogging, this is it. It installs easily on a PC or Mac computer and allows you to control the style, content, and syndication (yup, you can send your students’ work out to the world in RSS).
The best part of Kidzlog is that you don’t have to publish your work to the Internet. By allowing you to view the web site from a local folder you can have complete control over what the students publish and do several “classroom blogs” so other students can share or practice writing during learning centers time (more elementary oriented). You can upload it to a website to share with others if you like, as well as publish an RSS feed for the blog. Publishing requires the knowledge of uploading something to the web via FTP, but is actually quite easy with one click publishes after the login information is entered. One of the really nice features is its ability to include pictures along with text. You simply draw what you want to go with what you’ve written and “publish.” This helps students that are still developing literacy skills and need a visual aid to help them. Give it a try and tell me what you think!