Jack Sloan from Chorlton Park has produced these excellent instructional videos that you can use to show or remind children in your class about particular skills required for blogging with WordPress. Feel free to embed them in your own school blog, or make your own.
To make the videos Jack used Jing. This is a brilliant program that captures your pc screen either as an image or as a video (complete with narration as you explain what’s happening on screen). The basic version of Jing is free, but it is much better to get the Pro version at about £12 per annum: this allows you to download finished videos to your own hard drive rather than have to use their hosting service. I find Jing is an invaluable tool as a blogger – all the screenshots you see on this blog have used it, and I’m sure that installing it on every pc in your class would be worthwhile: imagine children explaining how they did their calculation on a spreadsheet as a video demonstrating their technique as they do it.
Notes about Jack’s use of blogs
Jack’s class are year 2 and are ardent bloggers. They all log in using a generic year 2 login and password. This login is set as a “contributor” to the class blog. What this means is that whenever a child writes a blogpost they do not get the option to publish their posts. Where the publish button normally resides is a button saying “Submit for Review”. This means that the year 2s can log on and write stuff on their class blog from home and it won’t go live until Jack approves it.
The one downside of the “contributor” role in WordPress is that children cannot upload images or other media to posts. This is relatively easy to change for a class lesson: simply change the role to “Author” for the lesson, and then change it back to “Contributor” at the end of the session. I will do a video demonstrating all this very shortly 😉
Jack gets around the inability of contributors to upload images to the blog directly by teaching children to embed images from other websites (remember that these are year 2s). To faciltate this he uses a photo hosting service such as Flickr or Photobucket where he has uploaded the images he wants the children to use and then links the image from the photo hosting site to the blog.