Thursday, October 2, 2014

Kidblog Rollout Advice

To ensure roll-outs are a success once I am in the classroom, here are a few things I do before introducing it to a class:

-Power on all laptops.
-Log in with generic sign-ins
-Launch Firefox or Chrome (I use Firefox with Kidblog) on each laptop.
-Refuse imports from any other browser (only happens when Firefox is launched for the first time) on each laptop.
-Set the default webpage to:  on each laptop. A symbaloo page is basically a tiled page where you can insert various sites.
-Close the browser, then launch Firefox again to make sure it goes to my Symbaloo page. You’d be surprised how many do not “stick” the first time.

Kidblog Wise I:
-Ask for a student roster of AM and PM classes from the teacher.
- Create actual kidblog account for the teacher. I create their usernames and passwords.
-To upload kids, I use the .CSV file to batch them, meaning that I type all usernames and passwords in an Excel spreadsheet and let the site process them. I personally use their first names only. I set the passwords as: “password1” “password2” etc. This also helps me keep track of which laptop is assigned to which student.
-I also create a dummy student account (Joe Cool) so that I can show a class what it looks like from a student’s end.
-I try to get the writing prompt ahead of time from the teacher-I will do the first one for them, after that it is up to them to add content.

On the day of the rollout I:
(For 4th and 5th) I turn it into a mini challenge. I tell them “Your task is to figure out how to log in to the computer and launch Firefox” I give them about 5 minutes to do so- it usually takes a while for the laptops to start up.
-I explain what a blog is- I’ll show them my ME one. I go over things like why I blur out their faces, etc.
-Logged in as Joe Cool, I read the teacher’s question and respond in complete sentences, etc.
-I also show them the spell check feature in FF. I tell them that they need to try their best with spelling the word and to use spell check as needed.
-I submit my work as Joe Cool, then switch over and log in as the teacher and show students how I have to approve each comment. I stress privacy as well!
- I then show the teacher how to “mass approve” comment/responses instead of going one by one.
-Finally I leave comments on student work. They really enjoy reading responses made by their teachers and classmates.

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