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New Tools “Learn to Blog: Blog to Learn”

Anne Davis
McDonough, Georgia, USA
Blog: http://anne.teachesme.com/

Anne Davis is an educator with over 20 years experience as an elementary classroom teacher, an instructional lead teacher, a reading specialist, and an instructional technology specialist. She currently works at Georgia State University in the Instructional Technology Center in the College of Education as an Information Systems Training Specialist. Anne has created numerous blogging projects with students and teachers over the past five years.

Bio Page

Presentation Title
“Learn to Blog: Blog to Learn”

This presentation is for educators new to the world of blogging who wish to learn how to use blogs with students in a safe and teacher-controlled environment. It is also for current bloggers who desire a step-by-step example of how to introduce teachers to blogging. The focus will be on creating blogs combined with instructional uses and examples of web 2.0 tools integrated within the blogging. Blogmeister is a good starting point for beginners as it is free, not blocked, is safe, and there is a community of help support available as teachers are beginning the process of learning to blog. It can be a good place to start to show administrators and others the power of blogging and provide examples of why we need to have less blocking and more educating and empowering of our students and teachers. While Blogmeister is the focus a WordPress example blog will also be shared. This plan can be adapted to any blogging software.

http://k12online.wm.edu/learn.mov (~1min. Run Time; mov; 1.6 MB)
Audio only
http://k12online.wm.edu/learn.mp3 (~1min. Run Time; mp3; 1.3 MB)

Supporting Links

What is “Take My Hand”?
“Take My Hand”

Access Help Desk

[tags]k12online07nt09, k12online07[/tags]


  1. Kevin H.

    Hi Anne
    I use Edublogs and I am curious to know the difference between the systems. I find Edublogs to be great but I wonder if Blogmeister is more classroom-friendly.
    Any ideas?
    Or anyone using both and have some thoughts?
    PS — Thanks for the presentations and for double-tiering it for beginning and advanced bloggers.

  2. Frank

    Nice job Anne!

    Kevin, there’s another option. If you can cajole, bribe, or threaten your IT folks, it’s quite easy and quick to get a blog running on any district computer – it doesn’t have to be a server.

    Generally all that’s needed is the Web infrastructure, available at no cost via a simple download and install of LAMP for Linux, MAMP for Macintosh and WAMP for Windows.

    The last three letters stand for the Web server Apache, the database back-end MySQL, and the scripting language for pages to do their magic PHP or Python.

    You can check out this home-grown solution, running under the security of a password and thus away from the most unkind prying eyes of the Internet, by visiting:
    and clicking on the blogs link.

    You’ll have to authenticate with a low-privilege name and password: tif and fit, both lower case (Technology Integrators Forum).

    You can also visit a “blind” blog running on the same server that was created for this Integrators Forum, though one not catching fire, at:
    using the same tif and fit authenticators.

    The blog used in these setups is GeekLog, and it’s very easy to administer and customize. I even developed an installation method that shares as many common sub-directories and files as possible, with each new blog only requiring the unique files that include the configuration and individualization.

    Sorry, it’s technical and I know your questions were purely in the educational context, but I wanted to mention this consistently overlooked solution. Yes you trade complete simplicity for complete freedom from commercialization, advertising, and exposure to the unpredictable Internet.

    I am glad to provide any details or even assistance to all interested.


  3. Anne Davis

    Hi Kevin,

    I like Edublogs.org too and have used it for some of my blogs.

    I think Blogmeister is a better place to start when you are creating student blogs because every student post and comment comes through the teacher. Also it does not require an email for the students and is seldom blocked in schools.

    Did that answer your question? If not let me know what I left unanswered.

    Thanks for the nice comment!


  4. Magi

    I’ve been using Scrapblog to show my students things, and I’m trying to encourage other teachers to use it. My first target is a very small, self-contained senior government class. I think the teacher can use it for the vocabulary notebook.

  5. Ann Marie Di Iorio

    I totally agree with your statement that blogging in school is a privilege. Your guidelines for a blog
    project for in a controlled school
    environment were excellent. The web sites to create blogs are a great

  6. Julia Kalmens

    I am a beginning blogger, even on the before the beginning stage… I am brainstorming ideas how to use blogging in my job as a Spanish language tutor. I agree that blogging should be targeted at higher level classes, such as Spanish 4 or/and higher in my case.

  7. Frank


    Many ways I’m sure if you just keep in mind that a Blog is a WebLog is a journal of writing or thoughts.

    You could post a short piece in Spanish and the students would be expected to comment or address what you said in same.

    You could post a “story starter” and students would each post a contribution – though that’s a better fit in a Wiki.

    You could read a common story or document in class with a discussion in Spanish to follow on-line. We did a book club this way in my district.

    How about news events either transliterated by you or from a Spanish language news source? Post an article of interest and importance and the students comment in same.

    Or Poetry, or daily observations, or a thematic blog (as most are – let’s say a continuing world-stage event) with daily updates, or…


  8. Julia Kalmens

    Thank you, Frank, for contributing. It’s exciting for me to participate in blogging! I like your ideas very much. I don’t teach a class, I am a tutor, and everything I use should be targeted at individual students with the idea of helping them with what they study in class.
    I have students who come to me because they love Spanish and want to know more, and with them I can do blogging.

  9. Pingback: Final Reflections & Project for K12Online07 Conference | Learning, Teaching & Technology

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