I really appreciate all the comments and suggestions about kids blogging. I originally did a Google search and was freaked about the total lack of all things bloggy for kids. I was actually starting to think about starting a blogging platform for kids, and I have ZERO experience with website building. The things parents will do for their children, eh? But I rephrased the search and wow. Motherlode of information. I’m going to share some of what I found here, not only for the betterment of the internets (snort), but so I have the info at my fingertips. And can finally close the gazillion tabs open right now in Firefox. Princess the PMSing Laptop doesn’t like to work that hard.
Note: I haven’t had a whole lot of time to fully investigate all of these sites, nor have I decided which one I’ll use to set up a blog for A. I assumed that if you’re looking into kids blogging that you’ve decided to not use one of the major platforms already out there. I decided to NOT use one of the major platforms for A because, while they are great for blogging, I don’t think it’s right for my kid. I really don’t want to be hanging over him, teaching him every.single.thing. about the platform (which would be the case because he is that curious). I want him to investigate it himself, with my guidance.
SparkTop–where no two brains spark alike. The site is described as “a Web destination for your child who learns differently. This is a safe place where kids can create awesome stuff … play great games … connect with other kids … and discover new ways to succeed in school and in life.” It’s a totally free site, with no advertising. It’s set up with kids’ safety in mind, with parental approval needed to set up an account. I’ll be setting up an account for A, simply because this site looks way cool. While not actually a blogging site, there is an area to set up a journal.
Edublogs. This is a site for teachers to set up blogs for their students/classes. I love this idea, and since A’s teacher asked me to share with her what I find, I’ll definitely be sharing this. I love that it’s encouraging writing while also teaching technology in the classroom. A’s school is all about technology, so this is something I really hope they implement. I haven’t looked through this a whole lot, but it has promise. It looks simple to use, and customizable, which I know A will want.
Imbee. Calling itself “the first free social network designed for young people,” this is more of a social networking site for young kids/tweens than a blogging platform. Kids/tweens can set up a blog, join groups, make trading cards, stuff like that. I’m less likely to set something up for A here, simply because he’s too young for a social networking site. Maybe when he gets older, but by then there will probably be something different and better.
Homeschoolblogger. Possible for some, but I’m not a homeschooler, and it appears to be aimed at older kids. Older than 7, at least.
Article abound on the internets concerning kids and blogging. Some against, but many, many for. I’m obviously one of the “for.” My son hates writing with the rage of a thousand burning suns (well, maybe a couple burning suns), so if he wants to set up a blog, I’ll do anything to get one set up for him. It’s a place where he’d be able to write what interests him, so I know he’ll probably be writing about science. (His teacher noted that he writes in incredible detail about science, but it’s like pulling teeth to get him to do vocabulary words). It’s a way for him to get even more comfortable with the technology that is going to play a very large part in his future. He’ll become familiar with HTML (and then probably have to teach me), learn how to “do that blue underline thingy,” learn how to be safe on the internets, all while writing. It’s a win-win for us.
So there ya go. Everything (sorta) you wanted to know about kids starting their own blog. Curious to hear how it goes for you.