Friday, October 11, 2013

Blog Post #8: 21st Century Learning and Communicating Tools

21st Century Tools

As we prepare ourselves to be future eucators, we must always be on the lookout for tools that we can use to improve our teaching methods. These tools can include blogs, online databases, apps, books, or even online message boards. Building up a pool of educational/technological resources throughout our college career will benefit us greatly by the time we get into our field. In the spirit of being prepared, we have located a couple of resources that we think will be helpful to us in the future.

Teacher Lingo

Teacher Lingo is an online resource for teachers of all grades. Teachers can share activities, lesson plans, worksheets, and many other useful classroom tools. There is also (and this is the part we really like about Teacher Lingo) a forum for teachers. A pre-existing online network of fellow teachers can be a valuable resource! There is also a blog directory for any teaching circumstance we could possibly think of. Substitute teachers, special ed, parents, and many others each have their own niche on the webpage that you can peruse in order to find what you need. We think it is important for any new teacher to be able to reach out and ask questions through their personal learning network. This website allows for that, while at the same time, providing resources to be used in the classroom.

TeacherLingo Logo

Being future elementary teachers, we found lots of age appropriate material for young students. The materials available can be sorted by grade, subject, resource type, and cost. Another feature we really like is the fact that you can sell on this site! For example, say you come up with a worksheet that your students really enjoyed which in turn made the worksheet very effective. You could go post it on to share it with others in your field. Teaching involves a lot of collaboration amongst fellow educators in a personal learning network, and we feel that this website will be incredibly useful in years to come.

Authors: Brylyn Cowling and Stephanie Faison



Kidblog is a free, safe, and simple blog for students. Kidblog is built by teachers, for teachers. Kidblog is designed for K-12 teachers that want to provide an individual blog for each of their students. Teachers maintain complete control over student blogs and user accounts at all times. Our group loves the idea of Kidblog and we both plan to have a class blog when we become elementary school teachers.

Kidblog allows students to exercise digital citizenship within a secure and private classroom blogging space. This secure blog is COPPA-Children's Online Privacy Protection Act compliant and does not require any personal information from students. The students' blogs are private by default and viewable only by classmates and their teacher. Teachers can elect to make posts public, while still moderating the content. The comment privacy settings block unsolicited comments from outside sources.

Kidblog is very simple and student-friendly. This blog site has a central blog directory and simple navigation links in order to make it easy for students to find classmates' blogs. The layout of the blogs created on Kidblog have a clutter-free design, which means students spend less time customizing their blog and more time writing and publishing. Kidblog has easy login menus that allow students to select their name from a list of students in the class. Students do not have to memorize complex user names. We find this aspect wonderful! Can you imagine students having to memorize a username and password? There are probably college-age students in EDM310 that have had, at some time or another, trouble remembering their blog login information!

Our group, as mentioned earlier, plans to have class blogs in our future classroom. Something we talked about when we gathered to do collaborative work this week was how when we were in elementary school, we loved getting to do projects with students in other classrooms. Being able to collaborate with students outside of our immediate class was always such a treat. Kidblog provides this same collaboration, only now, in a virtual environment. Students can, if teachers permit, have access to other student blogs outside of their immediate classroom. Kidblog is a great way for students all over the world to connect and collaborate with one another in a safe environment. Something else our group mentioned when discussing Kidblog was the aspect of students having an authentic audience. We feel as if Kidblog will make students put forth their best effort when creating posts knowing they have other bloggers, such as fellow classmates, reading their work. We each look forward to creating class blogs for students with Kidblog in our future classrooms!

Authors: Brylyn Cowling and Stephanie Faison


  1. Hi Brylyn,
    I really enjoyed reading your blog post on 21st century learning and communicating tools. I had never heard of Teacher Lingo until I read your post on it. I think it’s great that it includes a pre-existing online network of fellow teachers. As future teachers I think that will be very useful. Your post had some good information. The only suggestion I have is about the first paragraph. The word educators was misspelled, other than that your blog post was great.

  2. Good job. Teacher Lingo sounds helpful and KidBlog is very popular.