How do I Assess the “Blogging”?

Nicole Kaufman and I have been working on a rubric to assess the blog as one of your student’s media products. A blog is a platform – however blogging is also a form of writing which encompasses a specific purpose for writing (inform/explain, entertain, describe, persuade). So how do you assess what students are doing when they are “blogging”? The most important question here – What are you assessing?

The draft rubric we created is embedded below. At the moment it is more suited for students in grades 4-8, so we are hoping that some of you will revise the rubric to fit your needs and share it here! The more contributors we have working on the rubrics, the better they will be! We hope you will share your ideas by leaving comments in the Blogging Rubric Doc. Feel free to add a copy of the Blogging Rubric to your Drive, edit and share here as well. What assessment tools are you using in your class to assess the work students are doing on their blogs? Share your resources and ideas by leaving a comment below!

Teacher Feature: Bedford PS – Sharing and Storing Student Work

Today I was working with Julianna Davis, who is currently teaching Grade 1 at Bedford PS in Stratford. Julianna had questions about documenting and storing student work, and she expressed interest in exploring how to make the learning in her classroom visible and available to others. What follows is an overview of some of the apps and platforms we discussed.

Class Messenger
Class Messenger was the first app I used prior to begin to blogging with my kiddos. Class Messenger is a platform for teachers that makes it easy to send home important notes and capture moments of learning in the classroom to share with parents. In just a few clicks teachers can photograph students during an activity and instantly send the photo, along with a caption to one or more parents in the class. Teachers can see exactly which parents have read each note, and parents can reply directly to the teacher. And whether via app, text or email, communication through Class Messenger is always private.

I believe that blogging is one of the most powerful tools for engaging students in next generation learning. Edublogs is the largest educational blogging platform on the web providing teachers and students with opportunities to create blogs, eportfolios, and websites. Edublogs is a platform that allows you to manage workflow by teaching students how document the process and products of their learning and as assessment for, of and as learning. Edublogs archives and stores student work, and provides opportunities for students to improve their communication skills through reading, writing, creating, sharing, and questioning. Edublogging facilitates collaborative opportunities for learning, engages students in higher order thinking, metacognition, and reflection, which supports and promotes positive ‘global’ citizenship and character development.

Twitter is a micro-blogging social media tool being used in classrooms everywhere – even here in AMDSB! So what is a tweet? A Tweet is an expression of a moment or idea. It can contain text, photos, and videos. Millions of Tweets are shared in real time, every day. Hashtags assign a topic to a Tweet. So, for example, Tweets that contain #edtech are about educational technology. You can click on a hashtag to see Tweets related to a topic. Twitter is an effective tool to share your classroom story, connect with others, collaborate, and learn in 140 characters or less!

Google Drive
What do you do with all of the student work created on the iPads? If your students aren’t blogging yet, teaching them how to upload files into a Shared Google Drive folder is one storage option – and probably the simplest. Prior to blogging with my students, I had created a file in my Google Drive titled “Grade 2”. Within that folder I created a separate folder for each student in my class. The kids then used my Drive account (since they weren’t using their own) to store all of their content. Using my Drive account also meant they all had access to each other’s folders as well to view, read, edit, and comment on each others’ work. If your students are using their own Google Ed Accounts, they can simply create their own folder(s), and share it with you and each other.

Google Classroom 
If you’re looking to improve work flow and move beyond the simple storage of student work, Google Classroom is a free web-based blended learning platform that simplifies creating, distributing and grading assignments in a paperless way. Classroom integrates your Google Apps for Education account with all your Google Apps services, including Google Docs, Gmail, and Google Calendar. It’s designed to save you time and paper. You will need to invest some time to learn how to use this platform, but it’s worth the time. Check out some of my other posts about Google Classroom to get started!
Want to learn more? Your resident Classroom Expert is Trevor Hammer, Tech Coach.

Nearpod is an interactive presentation and assessment tool. The app’s concept is simple. A teacher can:

  • create presentations that can contain interactive multi-media (Quiz’s, Polls, Videos, Images, Drawing-Boards, Web Content . . .)
  • share the interactive lesson with the class and control students’ activity in real time
  • allow students to interact and submit responses using any mobile device or PC
  • monitor and measure individual student success

Want to learn more? Your resident Nearpod Expert is Kathleen Carr, Tech Coach.

Showbie is an app used by teachers to assign, collect, and review student work. Showbie keeps student work organized by classes and assignments. At a glance, students can see their upcoming assignments and due dates so they can prioritize their work. Take the Showbie Features Tour
Want to learn more? Your resident Showbie Expert is Joey Jackson, Tech Coach.


These are simply a few tried and tested platforms that teachers in AMDSB are using to manage work flow, document, store, and share student work. These platforms are also being used as tools to improve student communication, engage students in collaborative learning partnerships, and inspire students to be more reflective learners. How do you manage work flow and make learning visible in your classroom?

5 Popular Apps to Gather Student Feedback

Below is a collection of some different iPad apps that you can use to gather feedback, run quick formative assessments, initiate instant question polls and more!

1- Socrative for iPad/ Android

socrative student socrativeSocrative lets teachers engage and assess their students with educational activities on tablets, laptops and smartphones. Through the use of real time questioning, instant result aggregation and visualization, teachers can gauge the whole class’ current level of understanding. Socrative saves teachers time so the class can further collaborate, discuss, extend and grow as a community of learners.

newnearpod2- Nearpod for iPad/ Android


nearpod diagram



3- Plickers for iPad/ Android 

Plickers is a powerfully simple tool that lets teachers collect real-time formative assessment data without the need for student devices. Just give each student a card (a “paper clicker”), and use your iPhone or iPad to scan them for instant checks-for-understanding, exit tickets, and impromptu polls. Best of all, your data is automatically saved, student-by-student, at

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 6.22.23 PM4- BubbleSheet for iPad/ Android
BubbleSheet allows students to take assignments, tests, quizzes, and common formative assessments using an iPod, iPad, or iPhone. Teachers can easily create and upload an assessment/assignment in any format (Word, PDF, etc) and deliver them automatically to the device.
iclicker5- iClicker for iPad/ Android
iClicker is a formative assessment tool and student response system. Answer i>clicker polling questions on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch! i>clicker GO is a mobile classroom response app that provides the same basic functionality as the popular i>clicker student response remote on your iOS device.

What are some of you favourite apps for gathering student feedback? Leave your comments below!