Kidblog is thrilled to announce that we’ll soon be rolling out major platform enhancements. It has admittedly been a while since we added significant new features. This is due in large part to our shift toward building the next generation Kidblog platform, and as such, this new release is more than a mere “update” of the existing system. Based on feedback from teachers, students, and families, our development team has spent the past year redesigning our publishing interface to be even more flexible, customizable, stable, and secure.
We continue to focus on providing K-12 teachers with a safe, simple platform to allow students to share their voice with a broader audience. At the same time, we help teachers moderate the myriad conversations that arise out of students’ publishing efforts. With Kidblog, students are motivated by ownership over their content, and teachers are empowered to control the audience for students’ work. Our new platform is designed around four key components of the student blogging ecosystem: privacy, process, audience, and moderation. We’ll provide a more thorough look at each of these elements in future articles, but here’s a preview of the new features & benefits.
We recognize the unique privacy requirements of a school environment. With Kidblog, teachers can fine tune their privacy settings to allow or deny visitors access to student content. Teachers also determine which posts and comments require their approval prior to publishing.
Once teachers set privacy options for the class, students can embark on the writing process. Our new publishing interface is designed with the pedagogy of writing at the forefront, allowing students to manage the flow from Draft (getting started), to Review (revising & editing), to Published (ready for others to read). Teachers can use these labels in a way that fits their own logistical structure for organizing students’ writing, from their idea notebook to the final product. Students can use our new Post Styles to customize the background and headers of individual posts – not just their overall blog theme.
Every author needs to think about the purpose and audience for their writing. When publishing a post, students indicate the audience they’d like the post to have. Based on privacy settings, a teacher may need to approve this choice. In this way, students actively think about the reader as part of the writing process.
Once a post or comment is published, it appears in a more visually-appealing blog feed, highlighting thumbnail images and media. The previous version of Kidblog required the teacher or author to use the “Control Panel” to edit and manage content. Now, posts and comments are presented in a single, unified stream driven by advanced filters. There is no longer a need to navigate to a disparate “backend” page to find content.
We are excited to invite users to preview the new Kidblog platform. Teachers can see a message at the top of their control panel that allows you to be one of the first to gain access to the new system. We’ll be sending out invitations over the coming days and weeks. As always, and because there are so many new features, please make sure to let us know if you encounter any unexpected issues or if you have feature requests. Happy blogging!
-The Kidblog Team