Use An RSS Reader: Feedly
The most convenient and efficient tool that I have found for managing student blogs is using an RSS Reader, such as Feedly. Feedly provides four key advantages:
Allows Users to Create Categories or Organize Blogs
Feedly is a free RSS Reader that can easily be added to your Chrome apps or can be added to a Symbaloo dashboard. Feedly allows you to organize your blogs into categories, so teachers can organize by class periods or even by project topics and themes. Feedly is visually appealing because it provides a magazine-like appearance to the blogs within each category for reading ease.
Syncs New Blog Posts
In addition, Feedly automatically syncs so that new blog posts are automatically delivered to your reader. Therefore, you do not have to go to each individual blog to check for published blog posts.
Allows Users to Mark Posts as Read
In addition, within Feedly you have the ability to mark each published post as read; therefore, after you have read the synced post and mark it as read, the post will be removed from your new post list.
Encourages Student Communication Through Replies
In addition to using Feedly to organize your classroom blogs, consider assisting students in setting up Feedly, so they can follow their classmates' blogs. This enhances communication options so that students have immediate access to new posts in order to promote student comments and foster a true sense of real-world digital communication and writing.
Let's Get You Organized: Steps to Set Up Feedly
In order to quickly set up Feedly, you first need to collect each student's blog URL. An easy way to do this is to create a quick Google From. Below I have created two tutorials. The first tutorial shows you how to create a Google Form to collect individual URLs from your students. Even though I am using the Google Form in this example to collect URLs, specifically for student blogs, consider how you could use this same form to collect any student project that requires a URL. Due to Google Forms spreadsheet view, teachers have quick access to organized URLs, whether it be a blog, a SlideRocket presentation, a Prezi, Glogster, etc. The second tutorial shows you how to set up Feedly to organize your students' blogs.
Video Tutorial: Using Google Forms to Collect Each Student's Blog URL
Video Tutorial: Setting Up Feedly to Organize Students' Blogs