Interactive Writing


Interactive digital writing involves the production and sharing of electronic texts which (in most cases) can be readily:

  1. Conveyed (transmitted)
  2. Copied
  3. Connected (hyperlinked)
  4. Commented on, and
  5. Collaboratively constructed

Every classroom teacher should have and use a moderated, interactive class blog. It should:

  1. Permit students to submit posts to the blog
  2. Be openly accessible online (not require a password to view)
  3. Permit visitors to submit comments which can be moderated

In addition to blogs, students can interactively write using free tools like Google Docs and Etherpad.

Sylvia Duckworth (@sylviaduckworth) created the following visual note to explain the top 10 reasons why students should blog.

Video Examples:

  1. Benefits of Educational Blogging (14:59) by Kathleen Morris
  2. How to Use (9:10) by Lee Kolbert and PalmBreezeCafe
  3. Teachers and Principals Talk about Google Docs (4:08) by Google
  4. EtherPad in Education (5:11) by Paul Devoto


Initial Setup

  1. Teacher registers for a free blog account (keeps userid/password secret)
  2. Email confirmation is often required
  3. Configure site to allow moderated public comments, import student info or create student accounts

Ongoing Use

  1. Teacher and students login to the blog and write posts
  2. Link to blog is shared with others via email, newsletters, school website, Twitter, etc.
  3. Teacher, students, parents and others submit comments on different posts
  4. Teacher periodically moderates comments (approves or deletes them)
  5. Teacher and others use Twitter hashtag #comments4kids to invite public comments

miamidevice-workshop “Newton’s Laws of Classroom Blogging”


The following SIX options for CLASSROOM BLOGGING have been updated in August 2015. Other pricing options are available, pricing shown (as of August 2015) is for a single classroom. Read the post “Classroom Blogging Options (August 2015)” for more details about these options.

ToolFree VersionCostCan Email Posts?Supports Google LoginsAudience OptionsSite VisibilityNotes
BloggerYnone unless you register a custom domainYYDraft (teacher view only) or PublicCan be member only if students have Google accounts, but best to setup as publicWorks great with Easy Blogger & Easy Blogger Jr apps for young (primary/PreK) students. Publishes narrated photos/art videos directly to the teacher's YouTube channel from the app! Also consider as a host. (see below)
KidBlogN$29 per teacher per year *NYstudent decides: teacher only, class only, publicCan be class only/private, connections only, or publicKidBlog used to support free sites with up to 25 students, but now users must pay. GREAT website with super feature set for class blogs, well worth $$$.
Write About [VIDEO]Y (but students can just post 5 times each in free version)$25 per year *Y (teachers can)YPrivate, Classmates Only or PublicClassmates only or public, can set permissions by student (including moderation requirements)Very unique aggregation of community posts by topic/theme in GROUPS. Authentic approach to blogging. Lots of VISUAL prompts provided, teachers can add their own. WriteAbout also supports recorded audio comments by students within posts! Read more background.
EduBlogs [VIDEO]Y (but student/class management features not available in free version)$40 per year*Y (via JetPack)N (requires CampusPress for GAFE support)not surenot sureEduBlogs has an extensive track record supporting teachers and class blogging. Great community support. [VIDEO]Y (limited to first 1000 signups before 1 Sept 2015)Not announced yetNNnot surenot sureWorks with with Easy Blogger & Easy Blogger Jr apps for young (primary/PreK) students. Publishes narrated art/photo videos and other videos directly to its own hosted platform. Syncs student accounts across shared iPads.
WordPress.comYnone for basic versionY (teachers/owners & students/contributors can)NPublic onlyPrivate (members only) or PublicCan setup student accounts but nearly as user-friendly as other options for this.

Other Free Class Blogging Options (advertisement-free)

  1. Class Blogmeister

Free Synchronous Collaboration / “Backchannel” Options

  1. 81Dash
  2. TodaysMeet
  3. Google Docs
  4. EtherPad sites: TitanPad, MeetingWords, RiseUp
  5. Padlet (formerly called WallWisher)
  6. Lino (virtual sticky notes)
  7. Scrollback

“Walled garden” interactive writing (free but private)

  1. Edmodo
  2. MyBigCampus from LightSpeed Systems
  3. Google Docs can also be used privately

Interactive Sites Publishing Student Work

  1. Teen Ink (@teenink)
  2. Figment (@figment)

iPad Apps

  1. KidBlog (free)
  2. Easy Blog Jr. ($5 – WordPress sites)
  3. Easy Blogger Jr. ($4 – Blogger sites)
  4. WordPress (free)


Stories and Posts

  1. 6th Grade Parents and Teachers Provide Students Feedback on Writing” (6th grade English blog – Yukon, Oklahoma)
  2. “The Power of Twitter” (grade 4 student in Victoria, Australia)
  3. “A Sneak Peek into our Reader’s Workshop!” (1st graders in Ohio – @Frazier1st)
  4. “Banana Man” – a blog by 5th grader Mason in Yukon, Oklahoma

Class Blogs:

  1. Eagles Write (elementary classrooms in rural Washington – @grammasheri)
  2. The KinderKids’ Blog (Deerfield, NH – @MariaK @TheKinderKids)
  3. Class blog of Jane Ross (grade 4 in Indonesia, click on student names in right sidebar – @janeinjava)
  4. Class blog of Mrs. Naugle (4th grade outside New Orleans, LA – @plnaugle)
  5. Class blog of Mr. C (elementary classroom in Kansas City, MO – @wmchamberlain)
  6. Class blogs in Apache Junction, Arizona

Find More:

  1. using the #comments4kids Twitter hashtag search (read more)
  2. Quadblogging
  3. commentsBYkids

More on


  1. How to add an image on Kidblog (3 min video)
  2. How to Archive a KidBlog Website (3.5 min)
  3. More Kidblog screencast tutorial videos
  4. Options for Posting by Email (RIP Posterous)

Fantastic video “How to Write a Quality Comment” by @YollisClass @lindayollis

Writing Prompts

  1. Write About This ($4 – iOS app)
  2. Things to Think About (free – iOS app)
  3. Student Blogging Challenges by @pernilleripp
  4. Visual Writing Prompts
  5. Writing Prompts by Luke Neff

Additional Resources

  1. Tips for Choosing a Classroom Blog (by @wfryer)
  2. Newton’s Laws of Classroom Blogging (by @wfryer)
  3. Shop Talk: The Nuts And Bolts Of Student Blogging (by @davidtedu)
  4. 8 Reasons You Should Have A Professional Blog (by @tombarrett)

Interactive Writing eBook Single ($2.99)



Interactive Writing: Students and teachers today need to practice interactive digital writing. Learn how to setup, use and moderate content on a classroom website where students can post their work and teachers MODERATE content to improve student writing skills. A moderated classroom blog can be an ideal platform to use to share announcements, classroom news, and student work for a public audience. This can permit parents, grandparents, other students, and other classroom “pen pals” in different places to provide feedback to students and serve as an authentic audience. In this workshop we’ll use the free blogging site KidBlog to model the digital facilitation of student writing. We’ll explore how other websites can also be used by teachers and students create “backchannels” for classroom discussions. We’ll have hands-on practice with tools like TodaysMeet, EtherPad, Google Docs and Google Forms to understand ways these tools can be used to amplify student voices, empower student creative expression and fluency with text. The importance and value of MODERATING student posts shared to public websites will be emphasized, as well as options teachers have to amplify student work using PLNs (professional learning communities) with projects like #comments4kids. Teachers will leave this workshop inspired with new ideas to energize their writing classes with students using safe, moderated approaches to digital, interactive writing.

Link to Our Feb 18th blog

* Image attribution: Fasticon via

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  1. Ines

    I love this idea! I will talk to the teachers anf find the way to start it with the higher forms.

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