The Blog About Blogging

B(The Central Pen, 2014) 

Source: There are many websites on the Internet where you can create a classroom blog, such as Weebly, Blogger and others listed later in the article. 

The Mighty Blog

One of the worst things that an author can do is assume that the intended audience knows what something is – that is, that they have the background knowledge to follow what you as an author are writing. It seems that most people have some understanding of what a blog is, or at the very least, they have heard the word blog and hopefully connect the word to the Internet.

This is a blog entry about blogs, or more specifically, about blogging. It seems reasonable that before I take you, the reader, down the path of learning about blogs and their applicable uses in education, that a definition of what a blog is should be made. If I was in the classroom, I would create this definition through the ideas and words of my students – a powerful teaching technique. Since I am looking at a computer screen and have no idea who you, the reader, are, I am now left with creating this definition for you.

So what is a blog? First of all, a blog is located on the Internet. A blog may or may not have a unique web address. Many times blogs can be located on websites. For instance, news websites sometimes have blogs written by specific authors, but the website itself is not focused solely on blogging. Alternatively, a website may be focused solely on blogging. Some of these websites may include many different bloggers, or the website may have only one blogger.

Okay, so I know where blogs are and the different places blogs can be…but you still haven’t answered the question of what is a blog? A blog is a short piece of writing that is generally authored by one person and can be either fiction or nonfiction. Wow, that’s awfully broad. What goes into blogs are as diverse as the people who write them. People use blogs to write informational text, opinions on various topics, and they can even be mini-diaries. A blog can literally contain anything that the blogger wants to put in it.

Blogs in the Classroom

     The ways that blogs can be used in the classroom vary almost as greatly as blogs themselves. I have included a variety of ways that blogs can be utilized in the classroom setting. Depending on grade level, content area, access to technology and student background knowledge with computers, the suggestions may need to be altered. You, as an educator, know your class the best.


As an educator, blogs can be a great way to introduce students to a variety of writing styles and genres. If you can find a great blog as an educator, you can introduce your students to the blog and give them time to explore the blog themselves. If you find a blog/blogging website that is full of good information, you can guide your students to the website and have them use the blog as a resources. Make sure your students learn to cite their sources though – just because the information is not coming from a book does not mean you shouldn’t cite it!

As an educator, you could find two or more blogs that are written on the same topic (informational or opinionated) and ask students to compare and contrast the varying opinions and facts.


Blogs are great for writing. First, students can use blogs to find information and then write about that information. Students can read a blog and write their reaction to that blog. Students could even construct a response to the blog post and write it, and if possible, send those responses to the author of the blog.

Of course, blogs are a form of writing. If you have the technology and the proper permissions, you can create a class website that includes student blogs. This can be a powerful tool, especially if the student blogs do make it onto the website. I know from experience that when I see my own writing on a website, it gives me a lot of confidence and pride. Imagine that – giving students confidence and pride in their writing!

I do not have the technology available at my school to have my students create blogs online. If you do not have the technology to put student writing on blogs, then perhaps you could use the same idea to create student “blog books” that make their way into the classroom library. I have the technology, but I do not have the permission. If you do not have permission to post student work, it may not be the end. Work with your principal and parents on various ways the blogs can be posted. Some parents may be okay if the work is password protected (perhaps a good idea to begin with). Another idea is to have each student create pen names so that their real names never make it to the Internet. Combine that with password protection, and you should be able to convince most (if not all) parents to allow their child’s work to be published online.

Blogs for Educators

There are many blogs designed for educators. These blogs, often written by educators, help to give teaching ideas, classroom management ideas, and share information about various topics in education, among many other topics. Here is a list of various educational blogs

As a blogger myself, I am working on a new website designed to help catch the interest of students, and help aide educators in their quest to teach literacy. The website is called The Fairy Tale Blogs, and is written from the perspective of various characters from fairy tales, nursery rhymes and other folktale. Currently, there are four “bloggers” on the website – B.B. Wolf, Prince Charming, Peter Pan and Cinderella. After each blog there are suggestions for educators on how they may use that specific blog entry in their classroom. The blog is still in development, and will not be fully ready to share/advertise to the public until the end of the Summer when there will hopefully be enough entries for the website to be functional. Consider this a sneak-peak:

Some Standards

Blogs can be used to learn about any content area, and virtually any topic. That said, they can be used to teach/learn many different literacy standards. Some of these standards are listed below:

  • Retelling
  • Compare/Contrast
  • Opinionated Writing
  • Informational Writing
  • Persuasive Writing
  • Narrative Writing
  • Determining Themes/Main Ideas
  • Perspective/Point-of-view
  • Print Concepts
  • Shared Research

Classroom Blogs

Where do I get my own classroom blog? There are a number of websites that you can use to create classroom blogs. First, check with your principal/IT department to see if there is already a blog system set up for your school. If not, then there are still options. I have listed a few free blogging websites below. Depending on your preferences, you may opt to use the pay options that some of these websites offer, as not all of their features are available in the free versions. For example, on, you have to pay more for password protected pages.


Educational Impacts


Upside: Students get to develop their writing skills through blogging. The power of the blog is that the students get to see their writing in digital print on the computer – and others can see it too! Their work is published, and that can help to inspire and motivate students to write. If the students choose pen names, that can make the experience even more  fun. If blogging is right for your classroom, there are a number of free blogging sites available. 

Downside: Depending on school policy and parent consent, creating student blogs may require you to jump through hurdles. Further, while there are many free blogging sites out there, they often charge for features that classroom teachers may want, such as password protected pages. 


You can use blogs for almost any writing standard, such as writing opinion and perspective/point-of-view pieces, informational texts and narratives. 


Since student work is saved to the blog, you can assess their writing from there. This cuts down on paper, and adds the benefit of being able to grade the work anywhere. One item to consider is how well students are trained in typing. Students may make mistakes they would not normally make when producing hand-written work. 


Blogs can be used in many different ways in the world of education. They can be used in the classroom for reading purposes, for writing purposes, for learning information in literally all content areas, they can be utilized to learn more about the craft of educating. So, what are you waiting for? Blog on!



Starting a Blog | The Central Pen. (n.d.). Retrieved February 25, 2014, from

Pin It On Me!

pinterest-logo(Gordner, 2014)

Pinterest: What is it?


     I have been told many times that when it comes to teaching, do not try to invent the wheel. It is quite appropriate to use the ideas of others in your classroom. Further, it is even more appropriate to use the ideas of others and tweak them into your own style. In today’s Internet crazy world, the teaching ideas you can get are not limited to the ideas of other teachers in your building or district. With the Internet you do not need to have subscriptions to dozens of expensive magazines to learn new teaching ideas. The Internet is a wonderful tool, and Pinterest is a website that offers a large variety of ideas from everyday teachers, and from professionals specializing in following teaching trends. Best of all – it’s free!

Pinterest is not exclusive to teaching, it has a wide-variety of topics in which one can explore. Pinterest is a form of social media, and you must have a profile in order to use it – you can easily connect it to your Facebook and Twitter profiles, among a variety of other websites. Your Pinterest profile is different from other types of social media. You are asked to create different boards, or files, where you will share various forms of media. You can search Pinterest for whatever topics you are interested in, such as teaching, and if you see something that you like and want to remember, you can hover your cursor over the picture, and select “Pin It,” then you will be given the option of pinning your content into whatever board you would like.

Pinterest: How to Use It

     Pinterest is free, so all you need to do is create a profile. When you create a profile, Pinterest will do a lot to walk you through how to use the site. Since Pinterest is a social media website, one of the ideas behind Pinterest is that you follow people, and have people follow you. Once you begin following other people (which Pinterest will help walk you through how to do this), your homepage will display all of the pins your friends/the people you follow post.

If you are unfamiliar with Pinterest, you may be wondering what a pin actually is. In short, a pin is a picture of an item, and often times there will be a link attached to the pin. There will also be text attached to each pin. When you pin something, you are sharing it with other people. Unlike Facebook, your profile cannot be set to private, so anyone can see your profile and what you have pinned. You do have some privacy options, however, as you can create secret boards to post pins in. For more information on the basics of using Pinterest, click here to read a well created article by PC Magazine.

PinIt(Rhiannon, 2012)

Pinterest: Impacts in Teaching

     Pinterest is not something that you would likely use with students. This is an excellent resource for teachers to learn more about the art of teaching from other educators. You can get ideas of how to decorate your classroom, lesson plan ideas, teaching strategies, ideas on literature in the classroom, learn about various educational games and strategies, and learn tips about interview processes, organization techniques, classroom management ideas and strategies, other teaching websites and many more.

Pinterest does have a downside, or weakness. You do not know the qualifications of those who originally posted the pin, or idea. You must be careful to consider the quality of the ideas you get from Pinterest. This weakness, however, is one that goes with anything you find on the Internet, other forms of media, and even you colleagues.

Pinterest is a great way to learn about what other people in the world of education are doing, and unlike many other websites and media that offer this sort of information, Pinterest is free. Be careful about anything that you bring into your classroom, but also make sure that if you bring it into your classroom that you make it your own. It is also always wise to give credit for the ideas you use to where you got the ideas from. If you bring something into your classroom from Pinterest and it is a hit and your colleagues ask you how you thought of it – give credit to where it is due. Also, in time, it is always nice to give back. Once you have learned how to use Pinterest, and you have an idea you want to share – share it!

An image of a Pinterest profile is shown below. As you can see, you can have an image of yourself, and a brief description. It also shows the various boards (or files) that you have pins in. You can view your pins by clicking on your various boards, or you can view all of your pins by clicking on the “pins” tab. You  can also see who you are following, and who is following you by clicking on those tabs as well.

Now the question is, when will you begin pinning? To begin using Pinterest, click here. 

Your Profile(Piemonte, 2014)


Upside: Pinterest has a lot of value for educators. It is a free source that helps to share ideas among fellow educators. It is a place that one can go to find lesson plans/unit plan ideas, classroom management techniques, classroom decoration ideas, and much more. Pinterest is not a tool for students. 

Downside: Pinterest is a community in which anyone can join. This means the teaching ideas you get can come from anyone. You will want to be careful what you choose to bring into your classroom – although this should happen regardless. 


This is a resource for educators only – therefore you cannot do assessment through Pinterest. 


You can use Pinterest to get teaching ideas on most, if not all, standards. 


     Pinterest is a great, free, resource that can help educators up their game in the classroom. The Internet and sites like Pinterest are the future of education. It is the suggestion of this blogger and educator that all educators should at least try out Pinterest – so Pin on! 


Gordner, C. (2014, January 2). How To Name Your Brand Pinterest Boards. Retrieved February 19, 2014, from

Piemonte, M. (n.d.). Mike Piemonte is pieman458 on Pinterest. Retrieved February 19, 2014, from

Rhiannon (2012, January 11). How to Add the Pinterest “Pin It” Button to your Blog Posts. Retrieved February 19, 2014, from