Secure Wordpress-based blogging platform for educators and students
How I Use It
The educational value of blogging for teachers as part of creating Communities of Practice
(CoPs) and ProfessionalL Learning Networks (PLNs) is well established, as is the value of student blogging as a means of creative expression, collaboration, communication, and reflection. Perhaps a more pertinent question for educators is why choose Edublogs as opposed to another platform or hosting your own blog server? There are several advantages that Edublogs offers:
1. As a hosted service, they are better able to respond to spikes in service, stay on top of security issues, and provide 24x7x365 access. 2. Edublogs connects teachers with an active community of other teachers around the world with whom to share ideas and perhaps establish partner relationships with for classroom exchange blogging. 3. Edublogs can work with your IT department to integrate with your school's system to import student names and enable single-sign on (SSO). 4. With 10 GB of storage per blog, you don't have to worry about onsite storage, and backup is automatically handled for you.
I find these reasons compelling. Coupled with the classroom-centric seat of tools that allow teachers to monitor and moderate student postings, create threaded discussion forums, wikis, and e-portfolios, Edublogs is a great platform.
Edublogs: secure, Wordpress-based blogging platform for educators and students
I have been using Edublogs are my blogging platform since 2008 (taffee.edublogs.org). According to W3techs.com, Wordpress is used by over half of the websites using a content management system, and over 17% of all websites worldwide. Clearly, Wordpress is a wildly popular platform, and Edublogs.org is the largest global community for educators, hosting over 1.6M separate blogs.
Users will find a complete selection of web pages templates (called themes), widgets small aps that you can optionally add to web page sidebars), (similar to widgets, but may or may not be something seen by visitors to your blog), tools (such as importing content from another blog, exporting your site, domain mapping, and seeing who is subscribed to your site. Users who are familiar with other blogging platforms such as TypePad, Blogger, LiveJournal, or Squarespace may find this comparison to be helpful (blog-services-review.toptenreviews.com/).
Two plans are offered to schools, Pro and Campus, aimed at individual classrooms and entires schools or districts respectively. The Pro Edition, which supports up to 30 students blogs, costs $39.95 per year while the Campus plan starts at $900, with prices rising in tiers based on enrollment.
Edublogs is a product of Inscub, a virtual company based on Australia with staff scatters around the world. Edublogs is hosted by ServerBeach, with data centers located around the world and the US, Canada, and the U.K. My experience with the reliability of Edublogs, especially in its early years, was quite mixed with slow response and downtimes happening with some frequency. I have noticed that this problem has largely gone away, due perhaps to their new hosting arrangement with ServerBeach.
Edublogs.org and its companion site, The Edublogger (theedublogger.com), have a tremendous amount of resources for educators, including various guides and ideas for using blogs and other social media in the classroom. They sponsor the annual Edublogs awards (www.edublogsawards.com), which are a terrify way to both promote your blogs and to learn about other quality blogs that may interest you.
There is very little not to like about Edublogs. There's a reason they are the market leader, and I highly recommend them.