There are many free and paid tools available to publish and share children’s work on the internet. They can be used to engage and motivate children and can provide an authentic audience for their work.
Blogger, now owned by google, is an easy way to set up a first blog. It is highly customizable and allows you to easily upload photos, movies and other multimedia elements. it has a selection of themes to choose from to alter the page design. It does have an annoying navigation bar at the top of the page and a “next blog” link that can take the reader to some places that are less suitable for children. With a bit of tweaking and coding this can be removed.
WordPress became my blog engine of choice because there was no “next blog” link. It has many page templates to choose from, but is a bit more choosy in what it allows its users to upload. Images are fine and if you have somewhere to host your files you can also add a free audio player. Videos can only be uploaded after upgrading your account with an annual payment of US$20.
Both sites are very easy to join, needing only a valid email address (though I think Blogger may ask you to set up a google account). Click on the email you receive as confirmation and that’s it – you’re ready to go.
Sometimes the login pages of WordPress and Blogger can present children with accidental access to unsuitable material. To eliminate this I use Windows Live Writer, a free Mocrosoft download. There are other options – you can blog from Word with this blogger plugin or you can use Word 2007 which has a built in publish to blog option.