Today seems to be a day for thinking towards the future…

We’ve been blogging now for 18months and some children have asked about setting their own blogs up. Now we have class blogs and some children have access to write on these. We also have the children’s blog which everyone has access to, but the main problem with this is that after 10 posts, the previous ones are on page 2 and lost into the ether. After-all, no-one clicks on page 2 do they?

I could give them all access to their class blog and then when they blog they put their name in the tag to differentiate it, but each yeah I’d be moving them al around as they move class. I don’t fancy that!

So I want to use WordPress to setup the blogs instead. Now I don’t want to force a blog on every child as the thought of writing more than they need to would scare some children. So I want to do it as a sign-up system. So my initial thought was a google form where the children fill in some options, I look at the answers and then manually setup a blog for them. They could agree to a set of rules before they get the blog turned on and we could decide them with the children of course.

There is probably a plug-in or something that I could use, but here are some things to think about…

  • Do I set the children up as contributors so that they can write on the blog – and then I’d have potentially hundreds of blog posts and comments to approve…or do I set them up as a higher level so that they post and manage it themselves – with possible e-safety issues when comments come in
  • Is there an automatic way for new blogs to be listed somewhere? There’s no point making new blogs if no-one can find them. I could have a page called ‘Blogs by children’ but would I have to manually make a list of the blogs or could it be done automatically?
  • What happens if a child adds photos of themselves to the blog? If the blog was called ‘Amy’s blog’ then photos would have to be banned
  • Should the children be allowed to choose their own themes and widgets?
  • Should the children’s blogs auto-tweet as well?

Of course I might be thinking of all of this and then it turns out that only two children want their own blog, but still, if two children want it then I should be providing some way for it to happen. I wouldn’t want to be the person forcing them to use non-school systems or worse still, blocking it entirely.

So, if you are a WordPress expert, tips are welcome! If you are a teacher, what do you think? Should children have their own blogs or am I just giving myself more work?