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The Tool

Resource

Body

Recalling the title of a book I read during the Summer Institute at the Red Cedar Writing Project, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, I decided the best way to start was to pick a tool. While I knew the tool itself wasn’t important, I needed a tool that met the needs of my students as well as my needs as a facilitator.

Student Needs:

  • Comfortable space for composing text
  • Option for public publishing
  • Provide an interface for commenting
  • Easy enough to navigate

My Needs:

  • Doesn’t require email addresses
  • Is free or inexpensive
  • Allow for users as young as eight years old
  • Easy to manage as a site administrator

Extra credit was offered for tools that already made it through the district firewall. After considering a long list of social tools such as Twitter, Ning, Weebly, Edublogs, Wikispaces, PBWorks, Edmodo, and many others, I stumbled across the tool that met all of my basic requirements: KidBlog.org. While the tool wasn’t perfect and there were many things I wished I could change, I reminded myself it’s not about the tool, it’s about what we will DO WITH the tool. If it doesn’t work, I could always try something different next time.

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