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Thursday, September 28, 2017

A Blogger Privacy Setting You Might Want to Use

Blogger can be a good choice for many classroom blogs. One of its selling points for schools that use G Suite for Education is that students can log-in by using their school-issued Google Accounts. Another great aspect of Blogger is that you can get a blog started in a manner of minutes. But with that ease of set-up comes some default settings that you might want to change. One of those settings being the privacy settings.

In Blogger you can change a couple of privacy settings. First, it is possible to request that your blog doesn't appear in Blogger's list of published blogs and not to appear in Google search results. Second, you can restrict your blog to viewing only by people who have been invited by email.

Applications for Education
If you use the option to restrict viewing to those who have been invited by email, you're excluding anyone whose email address you don't have. That's not a big problem unless your students have grandparents or other extended family with whom they would like to share their blog posts. A middle ground between having your blog restricted to those invited by email and having your blog completely public is to use the option to remove your blog from public listings and Google search results. This just means that anyone who has the direct URL for your blog can see it, but it won't pop-up in search results.

One last reminder about using Blogger or any other blogging platform with students, always activate comment moderation.

Learn more about blogging with students in my on-demand webinar, Winning Blog Strategies for Teachers

Turn a Blog Into a Book

One of the reasons that I continue to encourage teachers to blog with students is that it helps to create a record of what your students have observed, learned, created, and shared throughout the school year. At the end of the year, you may want to take that blog and turn it into a physical item that your students can share with their parents. BlogBooker is a tool that can help you do that.

BlogBooker is a service that allows you to turn your the contents of your Blogger or WordPress blog into a PDF. Using BlogBooker is a fairly straight-forward process. BlogBooker walks you through each step of the process including the first step which is exporting the contents of your blog as an XML file. The second step is entering the URL for your blog. After completing those two steps just sit back and wait as BlogBooker creates a PDF or Word file based on the text and images in your blog posts.

The free version of BlogBooker limits you to three books and one year's worth of blog posts. There are upgrades available that will allow you to include more blog posts and will include higher resolution images.

Want to try blogging with your students this year? Take a look at my on-demand webinar Winning Blog Strategies for Teachers

Join Me, Vicki Davis, and Monica Burns for a Free Webinar

Next week I am joining Vicki Davis and Monica Burns on a free webinar organized by Kids Discover. The webinar will be a panel-style discussion of ten ideas for inquiry-based learning. The webinar is happening live at 4:30pm EST on October 3rd. (Use the Time Zone Converter to find your local time).

Some of the ideas that Vicki, Monica, and I will be sharing include why you should include inquiry-based learning in your practice, what inquiry-based learning looks like in practice, how to get started, and how to get administrative support for inquiry-based learning. Join us! Registration is quick, easy, and free.