Paul Adams (@PDA3) of PlanetPDA.net (http://planetpda.net/blog) recently posted a great overview of the blog feature and how it’s introduced, used and monitored at Buckingham Primary School in the UK. The post highlights their experience using the blog and a few key takeaways about their expectations (being met/exceeded or remaining unmet):
What has actually transpired over the last few years with blogging with Moodle at Buckingham Primary School is that a core selection of pupils have regularly blogged about subjects that interest them. New friendships, often between pupils from different year groups, have been established electronically.
Unfortunately, it hasn’t had the wide scale impact on writing that we hoped, but it has allowed pupils with an interest to explore new ways of communicating. Use of the blog has also peaked around key points in the school year. For example: we run a ‘Baftas’ moving making competition every World Book Day, and we encourage pupils to blog about their movie making experiences and thoughts; this is a busy time for the blog!
The Moodle blog apparatus is perhaps the most under-utilized and misunderstood activity/feature of standard Moodle installations. It provides all users a quick and easy way to post new content to a personal blog area, and provides the site (through blocks) a quick way to allow other users to access them, see popular blog themes (through tags) and to access and view recent blog posts.
A downside purported by many is that students may post inappropriate content to their blogs and that they are inherently difficult to monitor proactively.
It’s a great read for anyone setting up their Moodle with blog functionality. Additionally the post includes a link to a very nice introductory course (built in Moodle w/ videos on how to add posts) in which they require all students to participate. The course concerns online safety and the world of blogging.