Blogger

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

Publishing thoughts can be easy -- but use safety features.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Self-expression is encouraged through creativity and writing.

Violence

The site includes real stories of people's lives. Some entries discuss tragic car accidents, disabled children, gang violence, and death. Also, some political blogs give facts about foreign wars.

Sex

Because the site includes real stories of people's lives, it's possible to encounter sexual content, such as one story that references prostitution.

Language

Journalists can express themselves freely and use language as they see fit. Therefore, kids can encounter -- or use -- iffy language.

Consumerism

Some blogs were created strictly as business advertisements.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some entries mention using drugs and alcohol.

Privacy & safety

A username and password are needed to create a profile, and members can upload photos if they choose to. There are privacy settings that allow members to choose whether they want to keep their posts private or share them with the public. The site tracks and saves all content in backup media even after entries have been deleted from public view. Also, personal information is not shared unless consent is given or the law requires so.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this Google-owned site is a personal online diary of thoughts and pictures where users have the option of letting public readers add comments. In order to restrict access to blogs with sexual material, parents can turn on SafeSearch filtering with the Google search tool. However, violent and otherwise iffy content (drugs, drinking, swearing) isn't blocked, and if kids choose to "publish a site feed," i.e. open up their blog to public comment, there's the chance that comments could be unfriendly.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • presenting to others
  • reading
  • writing

Skills

Creativity

  • producing new content

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • multiple forms of expression
  • presenting

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • social media
  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Pre-designed templates look great, and kids can choose colors and fonts, making the site their own. It can be fun and rewarding for kids to create their own blogs, but some will need structured activities to stay engaged.

Learning Approach

Kids will have to make choices about what they want to post about, and if their blog is made public, they'll try to reel in readers. Blogger empowers kids to share, and the writing skills they practice will remain useful.

Support

There are tons of tutorials, FAQs, and walk-throughs that make using the site so easy. Content-wise, Blogger blogs run the gamut, and kids with different learning styles can find ways to share their voices.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • presenting to others
  • reading
  • writing

Skills

Creativity

  • producing new content

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • multiple forms of expression
  • presenting

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • social media
  • using and applying technology

Kids can learn some simple design skills as they choose templates, upload photos, and write posts. They'll pull together information to fill their posts ("What I did today," "Sea Otter Adventures," etc.) and figure how to present it with words and pictures. Kids can learn to write for a potential audience, working extra hard to make their content engaging to readers. Note: if their blog is open to the public, kids may also end up testing their resiliency dealing with not-always-nice comments. Motivated kids will find this easy-to-use and eye-catching platform a fun place to share their voices.

This Learning Rating review was written by Polly Conway

What's it about?

BLOGGER.COM is part of the Google family, sharing a simple interface and easy-to-use tools like the Google search engine most kids are familiar with. Kids can post thoughts as an online diary, share or log special interests, or start a group blog with friends and family.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Publishing at Blogger.com is free and very simple with design templates, drag-and-drop page-building features, and easy-to-follow help resources. Searching other blogs is also a simple process, but it can be a jungle out there without turning on the Google SafeSearch feature. People write about everything -- and anything -- at Blogger.com, and like many online communities, there are a lot of blogs that are not kid material.

If the SafeSearch filter is turned on with Google, Blogger.com is a great place for kids to create, express themselves, and share ideas with others. It can also be a great way to manage photo albums and mobile phone pictures all in one place.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what type of blog their kids might be interested in starting. Would it take the form of a diary, follow a special interest, or be a part of a family or group blog?

  • Families can also discuss what's appropriate to say in a public blog. Read our Internet safety tips for high schoolers for talking points.

Website details

Genre:Blogging
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Blogger was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Great handpicked alternatives

  • Great social tool, but use the privacy controls.
  • Microblogging site lets you get stuff off your chest.
  • Share thoughts with a select few -- or the entire world.

What parents and kids say

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A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written bysummerbreeze February 20, 2011
 
Blogger is great website. You can create your own blog for free and customize it however you want. It let's you add or remove practically anything you want to. Want to make your own blog layout. Blogger will let you. Blogger let's you edit the html and make blogging easy. They also keep track of the blogs you subscribe to and keeps track how many readers you have to telling you when a comment needs to approved of. They also tell you how many view your page or certain posts. It is an overall wonderful site.
Teen, 14 years old Written byHokage4354 October 3, 2009
 

Mostly Appropriate- Some Mature Content

As a personal Blogger user, I can assure you that a vast majority of the blogs hosted by blogger are appropriate enough for teens to view. Since even tame pages can contain some profanity and sexual comments/articles, I will definitely say that you should at least be a teen to be going to this site. Google (a partner of the site) does a good job of placing ads on most pages, but Google also manages the blogs pretty well. Overall, the service itself it great, although some people use it inappropriately to ruin it for everyone.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Educational value
Parent of a 17 year old Written bydala3q8q81 August 11, 2010
 
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great messages

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