This is a guest blog post by Jennifer Reyher (@jenniferreyher), an instructional technology specialist in McAlester Public Schools, Oklahoma. Jennifer participated the 2015 STEMseeds PD Camp a couple weeks ago, and is a regular participant in PLAYDATE OKC and EdCampOKC events.

KidBlog has been an amazing tool in my classroom. My students have become excited to write using KidBlog. My students would yell, “We got a comment!” every time I got an email. This was an incredible way for family members, specials teachers, and other students to engage in the learning occurring in my classroom. This platform helped my students gain the confidence they needed to share what they could do and receive authentic feedback. This was such an effective tool for me that my principal wanted our entire school to blog this coming school year. Our school will have a STEAM classroom next year and we hoped to use KidBlog to share the learning that will occur and allow students to collaborate with other classes. KidBlog has been a free site for schools to use, but you were only allotted 100 MB of space. We wanted to include videos and pictures in our blogs this coming year and would need more space. I contacted Pam Gallagher to see what our options are. This is when the bad news comes in. She informed me that as of September 2015 free usage will be limited to 30 days. I know this is devastating to many teachers who have used this resource the same way I have with wonderful results.

We all know that school budgets are being drastically reduced and teachers are spending more and more of their own money on their classrooms. I hope that teachers are able to find resources that meet their student’s needs and their own budgets. If you or your district are interested in purchasing KidBlog you have a few options.

  1. Teacher Premium for $29.00.This previously costed $36.00, it is 20% off now. I’m not sure how long that price is valid. This allows you unlimited storage, up to 40 students in a class, and allows Co-teaching. A new feature for KidBlog will be an image database for students to include in their blog.
  2. Admin Pro. If you have less than 1,000 students the cost is $2.00 per student. If you have more than 1,000 students it will be $1.00. If you are looking to go district or school wide this is an interesting option. This allows an administrator to manage users,comments, and classes. I think this would be helpful for supporting teachers who feel overwhelmed by creating accounts and managing settings until they get used to the format.

If you are a smaller school like we are it is still cheaper for us to purchase Teacher Premium. We wrote a grant asking for support for this resource. There is no denying the benefits of KidBlog for our students. I think someone will definitely create a site that fills this void for free. A free digital portfolio app that some are already using is SeeSaw. This is web based as well as an app and allows your students to upload videos, pictures, text and more. Please share if you have any additional information or ideas in the comment section. Pam Gallagher at KidBlog was very informative and helped with all my questions, if you have any I encourage you to reach out to her.

 

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One Response to KidBlog Update

  1. Taylor Calvi says:

    Hello! My name is Taylor Calvi and I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama. I thought that your post was great! I think Kidblog is such a neat way to really have you students actively involved with writing and gaining social skills. I think it is awesome how excited they get whenever you receive an email saying that there is a new comment on their blogs. Great post, and good luck with the upcoming school year!

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