The tool that I have discovered is Kidblog.org. I especially find this site useful in the elementary school classroom because the students do not need an e-mail address. Many sites require students to have an e-mail address to use the sites. This is the blog that one of my fifth grade technology classes made. Their assignment was to create an original Spring Poem. I chose to use an easy assignment in order for the students to become familiar with Blogging. It is a safe site and they each have their own unique username and password. My username is swee5th and the password is fifth. I was able to create the blog for one of my fifth grade classes and manage all of the information. The students had fun learning how to post, change colors, and create their poems. The setup is very user friendly and my students had fun creating their poems and making them appear unique. They have the option to change fonts and colors. They can also add pictures. One of my students will be adding a picture that she illustrated. I did not allow students to post pictures from the internet, they could only post a picture that they took or drew.
Overall, this website was easy to use and an effective site for learning in general. More specifically, in a distance learning environment, this site can be used as a place for students to communicate with each other. It can also be used to post assignments and give each other feedback. I plan to use this tool again to teach all of my classes the value of constructive criticism. This site is great for this because the administrator has to approve comments before they are visible to the original poster and other classmates. This is very important in the elementary classroom because the comments are not always helpful to the original poster. Teachers can use this site as a productive collaborative environment for all age levels; from children to adults. Teachers can also start their own classroom Kidblogs to work on thematic units or single assignments. Click Here to start your own KidBlog at KidBlog.org.