Ultimately, the Bloggatteer Experience provides a safe place for students to write about their thoughts and respond to the activities of their day - and now they are doing it in a forum that allows them to do so for a real audience. Right now, they are getting used to the process of logging in to their blog and using the iPads for this purpose.
We have some guidelines for the blog. They are simple rules, but they are in place for student safety. With this in mind, I ask them not to publish their last names or any other personal information like phone numbers or addresses. Since I have to approve items before they are made public, this should not be a problem anyway, but I'd like for my students to get used to thinking about what they are making public. We also do not talk about plans for the weekend and the like. Finally, I allow students to use some emojis. Emojis are not my favorite thing in the world, but they can be fun, and they do express things that aren't more easily expressed in words. I limit the number of emojis to exactly one per post or comment. We might be able to loosen the ropes on this one a little bit in the future, but I do not want Hoggatteers to spend more time choosing just the right emoji when they should be concentrating on the quality and contents of their writings.
So there you have it. They're excited to get started. Check out the Bloggatteer Experience from time to time to get another glimpse into our classroom - this time from the fourth grader's point of view.