Because more and more tools are being created specifically for edublogging, this page was created to create a list of what teachers are using or can use and include a listing of the main advantages/disadvantages.

ePals


ePals offers a free blog to K12 educators worldwide. It got an award as "best blog for education" from Teaching & Learning Magazine in December 2006. When it's used with the Global Community and free student email, teachers have powerful ways to connect students to 21st century learning and to classrooms in 200 other countries and territories. Teachers can set different levels of monitoring, even for individual students. Teachers and students can make pages public, or limit blog views to particular audiences, including workgroups within a class. Students can upload files or photos, create polls, use a calendar. Having the "top level" public increases communication with parents.

Elgg


I love Elgg when it works. It's aggregator, blog, and community social tool all in one. The trick is when it works.

Edublogs.org


Edublogs works well on the teacher side; the problem is the student side. The blog server is often down.

This'll be fixed in early May with an upgrade of the learnerblogs databases.

WordPress


I use Edublogs for my personal blog, but I have installed WordPress MU on our school ISP server. Since I am now the admin I have control over who can have a blog and who can post. I have the students in my class (middle school sped) blogging, so the next step is to get more teacher and admin in the system blogging.

ClassPress.com


ClassPress provides a low cost, private classroom environment for you and your students. No one outside your class(es) can view or participate without your permission. ClassPress is easy to use and is very customizable.

21Classes.com


Benefits - just started this with my district. Like the way I can manage users and the overall look. The posting of the newest blog entries to the portal front is also pretty nice for educational institutions. Also really like the ease of adding co-authors for staff.
you can see our start at: http://infostreamblogs.org
Disadvantages


ClassBlogmeister


Class blogmeister is simple and straight to the point and of course free. It has many safety tips to protect kids (eg comments and posts are approved by the teacher before the kids see them) and is incredibly user friendly for teachers. There is also a new collaborator tool on it, where you can see other classes and teachers who want to share their students work and have people comment on it.


Blogger

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So easy my eight year old students can make their own. Very easy to upload photos and text. New layout allows easy addition of links, html etc. You need to make sure the top navigation bar is hidden so unsuitable content is harder to find.

Another good thing to do with Blogger besides removing the top navigation bar is to set up comment moderation so that comments come to your email before they are published. Other safety ideas include not allowing anonymous comments and having students use screen names or only their iniitals when doing their posting.

A caution for those using blogger with K-12 students: If a student innocently clicks the navigation "next blog" (at the top of every page), there is the possibility of being taken to a porn site or other highly inappropriate blog. That is why I avoid blogger in school, although it is very easy to use. If you plan to use it at least be sure to warn students never to click on "next blog."


DrupalEd


DrupalEd can function perfectly well as a blogging platform for individual users. However, it also comes with group blogs, class blogs, social bookmarking, a wiki, customizable user profiles, social networking, and a customizable taxonomy structure to organize posts. It also supports podcasting, and has rss feeds for the entire site, individual users, groups, courses, assignments within courses, etc.

Drupal


We've been using Drupal for nearly two years now. We've evolved from a single blog, school site to a vehicle to facilitate online collaboration and student publishing tool. We've got accounts for nearly 650 students. Each student as the ability to publish (moderated or not), create personal portfolio's for parent communication and conferencing, as well as create customized groups for short-term group collaboration. Moderation and teacher' oversight is facilitated by moderation of published work, comments as well as forum postings if needed. I've added this section instead of putting it under DrupalEd because our site was done from scratch, adding modules when needed. Having said that, I intend on using DrupalEd next year. We'll add some functionality to Bill' distro to customize to our needs.

Advantages:
  • CSS based customization
  • Easy expansion
  • Easy mutli-user blog environment (a big plus)
  • Easy administration
  • Easy document management
  • Vast support network
  • Blog, wiki, forum, online newspaper, multi-themeing (sp?), parent communication tools, IM tools, Grouping- and more.
  • RSS feeds for virtually everything (few exceptions)
  • Future Moodle integration (or easier integration)

Disadvantages
  • Learning curve
  • We run on an OSX server, and overhead can be high when we have nearly 50 users logged in a creating content. Tweaking php/apache settings is more of an 'art' rather than science. Can be a hair-puller...

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