Today’s younger generation of online users tend to communicate with brief bursts of information like a Facebook update or a text message, rather than the longer form of an online blog.
According to a recent Pew Internet Project study, 73% of wired teens now use social networking sites rather than blogging, perhaps because they are just too busy keeping up with texting, email, messaging and phone calls to have the time to read or write a longer report on news, thoughts and feelings.
This is a pity, because educators and parents are discovering the advantages of blogging for kids as a way of helping students develop skills that will add significantly to their personal and educational development.
With so much negative information in the media about the potential pitfalls of online relationships for children, the primary consideration for parents and teachers is one of safety. That is where kidslearntoblog.com comes in – a safe, simple to use blogging platform geared toward encouraging blogging for kids among elementary and middle school children. Teachers and parents can be aware of their children’s online activity and be a guiding force in helping to develop their creativity, originality and self expression.
The educational benefit of blogging for kids on a controlled social networking site is that it prepares them for high school and college learning. By guiding student online writing in a positive manner, children get to learn how to behave responsibly online, instead of resorting to gossip and mischief. The website is a valuable resource for teachers and parents who are looking for an introduction to the world of blogging for kids and to see how it can be a positive educational experience for elementary school age children.
Blog sites for children under 13 are rare because of the Children’s Online Protection Privacy Act (COPPA) which restricts children under the age of 13 from registering on public sites. That is why educators are welcoming sites like kidslearntoblog.com which is administered by Dr. Patricia Fioriello, whose administrative and educational credentials mean she can legally administer and train kids online. Dr. Fioriello is very aware of media literacy and safety issues on the internet as she has written extensively on these subjects.
On the website kids 11-14 can sign up for the new Blog of the Month Club for Kids officially beginning February 2011. Kids get articles about blogging, blog sites, creative writing and internet safety and practices. Each month they will get new tips, information and articles and the latest news about the blogging world. Training videos will be available and there will be opportunities for kids to interact and exchange ideas with other kid bloggers and there will be a forum for kids, parents and educators.
This facility is being welcomed by parents and teachers who have been frustrated in the past about the lack of adult oversight for existing student publishing programs. Membership in Kids Learn to Blog is emerging as a unique tool for classroom and home use where potential student authors can be encouraged in a secure online environment.
Blogging for kids is proving to be a great way to improve a child’s writing and typing skills. Blogs can be typed up, improving keyboard skills at the same time, before being posted to the blog site. Students can experiment with their creativity by adding clip art, headlines and they can even turn their blog into news stories, reporting on their school activities, classroom field trips and family outings. They can write blogs as letters to distant family members or as a diary. Aspiring fiction writers and poets have an instant outlet for their creativity and publication for their peers is in a safe place for commentary and discussion. Dialog between author and critics leads to new motivations and insights as students realize they are writing for a real audience.
Teachers and parents can now be an important part of this new technology by helping to unleash the creativity of children and students with Kids Learn to Blog and signing up for membership in the new Blog of the Month Club for Kids.