What is a blog?
A blog or a weblog is an easily created and updated websites that allow an author publish instantly to the Internet from any internet connection. In the classroom, blogs are interactive tools that allow students and teachers to begin conversations or add to already published material.

How to Set Up a Blog
As a precursor to starting a blog, teachers should visit some good sound weblogs to see what each blog has in common as well as to see which blog software you may prefer. One way to evaluate different blog software is to post on some other people’s blogs first. This will allow you to get a better understand what is involved in publishing on a blog.
There is a large variety of blog software available. First make sure your software is appropriate for you school as far as tech support and local server capabilities. Your tech support should be made aware of what is required during installation, backing up files, and staying current on updates. The type of software can vary from free hosting or purchasing hosting offsite from a weblog supplier. It is recommended that you chose a blog that will allow you to create as many blogs as needed from a single dashboard. Next, you need to allow time to make you and anyone else managing the software to delve into it and become more familiar with its capabilities as well as troubleshooting common problems. Finally choose software that will allow you to maintain a safe work environment by giving you a method of monitoring posts from students before approving each post for publishing.

Basic Steps (For a Free Blog Service):
1.) Choose Blog Host
2.) Sign Up For a Blog
3.) Name Your Blog Site (ex. http://MyBlogName.Blogspot.com)
4.) Add a Blog by selecting "Create a Blog" button on the dashboard.
5.) Create and Edit Posts by selecting "Create New Post" button..
6.) Compose a brief introductory post that introduces everyone to your blog. When you are finished “save” and “publish” the post.
7.) Choose how you want comments to appear under "settings" (only registered users, anyone who might read your post, only members of your blog)
8.) To add new members or invite members go under the "Settings" tab and select the "Add a Team Member".
9.) Become more familiar with making a blog roll, posting and approving comments, etc.

Safeguards for School Blogs
Once you have decided to blog you need to consider a few things. First, you should review any related policies your school district that are to be followed such as in-school computer usage policies, internet use policies, bullying and harassment policies, etc. You may need to recommend adding publishing to your school district’s Acceptable Use Policy. Make sure that your parents, students, and administrators have a clear understanding of your objectives and expectations of your blog. Also, you must decide what level of internet access that your students have at home and at school. You need to know “Can all of your students find a place that will allow them to participate in a weblog on the regular basis?” Next, the teacher should find some examples of appropriate blogs that pertain to what you want your students to model in their blogs such as language, writing styles, grammar, etc. Then it would finally review you basic objectives and expectations for the use of the education blog. I would suggest making a contract of agreement for your students, parents, and/or other outside resource to keep on file.

Different Useful Blog Sites