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