These are my notes from Matt Hardy‘s WONDERFUL presentation on February 9th on Classroom 2.0 Live about Blogging in the classroom and the platform he co-founded, KidBlog! The official title of his presentation was “Using Kidblog to Document Student Learning.” I listened to the audio-only version of this presentation available via the iTunes-U channel of Classroom 2.0 Live. I titled this post “A Vision for Interactive Writing, Student Publishing, and Digital Portfolios in the Classroom” because that summarizes a lot of the ideas Matt shared in this preso. If you’re not aware of Classroom 2.0 Live, definitely check out their website and try to attend their Saturday morning LIVE sessions! If you miss a session, however, the archives are GREAT to download and enjoy afterwards! For more resources related to interactive writing and student blogging, check out the “Interactive Writing” page of “Mapping Media to the Common Core.”

It’s important to NOT just view students as ‘contributors’ to a collective, shared space as a classroom blog
– Student blogs are a link from the classroom homepage

Key is “students individually publishing meaningful academic content for an authentic audience”
– those words are chosen very carefully
– this is not about just maintaining a classroom blog

Concept of creating a digital notebook within the context of a social network

“The notebook is dead. Long Live the Notebook!”

Blogs are a great way to manage the workflow of work we do in school
– not just relevant to English / Language Arts classes

Communication + Reciprocation = Motivation (in the context of classroom interactive writing)

In traditional writing (like the “6 Traits of Writing”) publishing is ABSOLUTELY and unfortunately an ‘afterthought’

The new writing process should have PUBLISHING at the front and center of the process
– revising is organic and ongoing
– we’re using a digital workflow
– commenting and conversations lead to updates / changes
– can be community-based conversations about revising

Get students publishing in individual spaces
– realize the RECIPROCATION feedback loop is key
– students need feedback, even if it’s 1 comment

Advice: You as a teacher should write a post that everyone in the class can relate to, preferably around academic content, so students can leave comments around your content

I want students to understand the importance of sharing academic work
– this is your ‘learning portfolio,’ your ‘learning notebook’
– it needs to “feel academic” from the start

We drive all our book club roles / activities through their blog

Understand your blog as a teacher is the ‘glue’ which can hold together all the different platforms and websites which your students are using to create and share content
– embed that content into your blog!
– don’t just link: EMBED that content so it’s directly available on and in your blog and comments can ‘flow’ around it
– then blogs can become this amazing evidence of learning

The blog answers that very challenging and slippery question: “What Did You Do in School Today?”
– the blog becomes a WINDOW into what is happening in the classroom

Examples of embedded content from various sites available on (Matt has created this content as demos)

Evernote can be used as your ‘digital junk drawer’ to keep all kinds of notes, then curate those artifacts in your blog

Consider using learning management systems like Edmodo to handle daily interaction issues like “I forgot my homework” and Kidblog to publish work

Teachers should ARCHIVE their Kidblogs at the end of the year, this will preserve them for later years but allow the content there to ‘live on’ for archival purposes
– no new posts/comments can be added to those blogs

Kidblog released a free iOS app in October 2012
– for non-iOS users, you can use other WordPress apps since WordPress is the basis/back-end for Kidblog
– the web-based version / browser based interface for KidBlog is mobile friendly so an app isn’t needed

Kidblog has just recently added new servers to address increased user loads and demands!

Great idea for parents: A blog commenting party!

Kidblog is developing an ‘export’ feature to package up content and take it another place


If you enjoyed this post and found it useful, subscribe to Wes' free newsletter. Check out Wes' video tutorial library, "Playing with Media." Information about more ways to learn with Dr. Wesley Fryer are available on

On this day..

Share →
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Sharing from Matthews, North Carolina! Connect with Wes on Mastodon.