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Edublogs

By Charles G. Doe - Posted May 1, 2011
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Company: Edublogs, P.O. Box 24110, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia, http://edublogs.org; support@edublogs.org

Price: This is a basic option for students with some advertising, and it is available for free. Edublogs Pro is for teachers and costs $3.33 per month. Edublogs Campus is designed for institutions that need blogs for a single class to more than 10,000 users. Contact Edublogs for details.

Audience: Edublogs is for everyone in the education community including college campuses, upper elementary, middle school, older students, and all teachers.

Format: Edublogs is a web-based blog creation and hosting resource that includes videos, photos, podcasts, and other digital material. It also integrates Twitter and Facebook.

System Requirements: Edublogs is entirely web-based, so a computer with a browser and internet access is required.

Description: Edublogs is for creating and managing student and teacher blogs with customizable designs. Blogs can be created and managed by individual teachers or school districts for as many students as needed, all in a secure environment. Edublogs also hosts the blogs, which can be public or private, as well. Its site features a “community” with more than 688,000 public blogs on educational topics.

REPORT CARD
Overall Rating:4 Stars
Installation:A
Content/Features:A
Ease of Use:A
Product Support:A

Reviewer Comments:

Installation/Access: As long as a computer with browser and internet access is available, there is no installation other than setting up accounts. Installation Rating: A

Content/Features: Edublogs has created an outstanding resource that can serve teachers and students in two ways on nearly any topic for self-expression and learning. The first of these are the blog creation tools, and the second is the “community” formed from hosted blogs.

Individuals, students, or teachers can set up a blog for their own use at the “Free” level. Or a teacher can set up blogs for every student in a class or a variety of topical blogs for students to use (Pro). Campuses can set up a nearly unlimited number of blogs (Campus).

Edublogs includes a number of excellent creation and management tools as well, some of which aren’t available at all levels. All accounts can create blogs using one of the 30 provided themes; more come with Pro and Campus accounts. Videos and other digital content can be posted, and privacy can be set as required, which means that the blog can be completely open to the public or not.

Among Edublog’s many features that can be established are threaded discussions, video comments, wikis, and forums. Management tools include being able to set blogs so that student posts to that blog have to be approved by the teacher, an important feature for controlling student language and the nature of their posts.

Edublogs hosts the blogs created there, providing from 10MB to unlimited storage depending on the account. The resulting collection of blogs form an organic, evolving community for teachers, which can be a source of ideas, rubrics, lesson resources, how-to’s, and more.

The blog “directory” has 14 categories including things such as “Technology Education,” “Library Blog,” “Elementary/Primary Blog,” and so on, with something for everyone. Clicking on the first of these leads to at least 150 blogs listed with the appropriate age range and the titles of the most recent three blogs. So much information is available in these that they may be Edublog’s best feature. Content/Features Rating: A

Ease of Use: Edublogs says creating blogs is as easy as doing email, and they’re right. The interface is intuitive, and there’s lots of documentation. Ease of Use Rating: A

Product Support: User guides, video, a contact form, and FAQs are available at all levels in their excellent support section. In addition, “Pro” users can email, and “Campus” users can email or call. Product Support Rating: A

Recommendation: Edublogs is an outstanding, well-designed, social media tool that is a must for all schools. Blogging is essential for sharing thoughts and achievements, updating assignments, and events. It is wonderful for group projects, e-portfolios, school newspapers, class websites, reflection journals, and much more. Recommended.

Reviewer: Charles Doe (charliegd@sbcglobal.net) is a 39-year teacher, including 10 years as elementary media specialist in Hastings Area Schools in Hastings, Mich. For the past 12 years, he has written articles and reviews for Internet@Schools.


 
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