22 Replies Latest reply on Dec 24, 2010 11:50 AM by zyzy_333@yahoo.com Branched to a new discussion.

    What blog application do you use?

      I am preparing for an Essentials class with approximately 20 participants. I am looking for a good blog application to use. I was going to use the 21classes site, but that is limited to 10 users unless I pay a fee. I have used Edublogger in the past but that has been somewhat unstable in the past and results in a lot of frustration for those who are new to blogging. Blogger is blocked in most of our schools.

       

      Please suggest blogging sites that you have used for your Essentials classes. Also, if you have suggestions for a work-around for the 10 user limit on 21 classes, I would love to hear those ideas as well.

        • Re: What blog application do you use?
          tlmaves

          Hi Linda,


          What a timely post! We have had several reports on the Classes 21 site just recently and we are working on new recommendations. However, would you consider the use of the group feature you have access to right here in this community? I have attached two documents in draft that we are currently working on and would invite you to use them for your training. Your input would be valuable if you choose this option.


          Using Group Feature for Trainings:

          • Review the attached draft documents
          • Create your group space (Click on Browse at the top of page and then click on Groups)
          • Invite your MTs to register for community and send them a link for your group space (you can mark your group space private or public)
          • You can also use this space for more than just blogs (polls, discussions, editable documents, picture and video sharing, etc.)


          Let us know what you think about this option.

          • Re: What blog application do you use?
            glen_w

            I've used Blogspot for many of my blog posts. While other blog platforms produce a nicer result, I like the fact that it is free. I wish there were really more choices of a blog platform that is free.

            • Use Engage!
              Bonnie Feather

              Linda and others;

               

              I have used our Engage community with learners in Intel courses.  The community had everything I needed, and didn't need setting up!  It's "closed" within reason, offers insights from each other in the group, and there is great wisdom to be had for those adventurous souls who venture outside their group.

               

              I recommend it!

                • Re: Use Engage!

                  I have also used the "Engage" site for my Master Teacher TwT trainings.  It was great and it made it easy to stay with an Intel site versus showing a variety of other tools.  It was less confusing for my participants.

                  • Re: Use Engage!

                    I have worked wirth STs and Engage but a word to the wise - make sure that Enage will open up properly on your computers. We had a lab where the engage screen was all distorted. We did resolve the issue and the computers needed a Windows Service Pack Update. We had to uninstall the Google Toolbar because it was blocking the windows update from completing the install. It may seem like an easy solution but it took us a couple of days to figure out what was going on...

                     

                    After we got through the tech issues then it was a great experience with Engage and the future MTs. I feel as though it gave them sense of community and support which is important to a new MT.

                  • Re: What blog application do you use?

                    Hey Linda

                     

                    I used Moodle when I taught the class and stuck everything, websites, handout etc on it and it was great.

                     

                    The blog there isn't the best but it works and it got some people into blogging.

                     

                    Audrey

                      • Re: What blog application do you use?
                        glen_w

                        Audrey,

                         

                        Our district policy prevents student blogs associated with education. We have used Moodle for several years. This year, we are using the Moodle blog function with students. We are able to do this because our Moodle is behind the firewall and only accessed through passwords. (Not quite the level of student engagement I'd like to see.)

                          • Re: What blog application do you use?
                            NaomiHarm

                            Happy Friday everyone!  I just completed a social networking workshop yesterday in northern WI, and used the attached handout to drive our instruction of differentiating between blogs, wikis, and nings.  On the attachment is an outline to assist you with understanding which tool is best to use between blogs, wikis or nings to use in your trainings, and provides foundational guidance of understanding the difference between each, and showcasing of exemplar products from each social networking tool.  I personally like blogger and then customize the template with html code(from a free blogger template online) to reflect the region or location I am training in.  Here is an example of the following blog I created for WI educators to reflect our scenic views. http://wi-intel.blogspot.com   I am also attaching a blogger tutorail shared with me through Twitter to assist your efforts.

                             

                            Please note- there is a new blog service that is extremely friendly for k-8th grade educators called Kidblog and can be found at http://kidblog.org/home.php  I have heard many positive reviews on Twitter and I had an educator up and going with it yesterday in a matter of minutes- she loves it.

                        • Re: What blog application do you use?

                          I have only used www.classchatter.com with my classes. For one reason, it is easy to set up and it lets me keep all of my classes in one spot. This is handy if you have more than one Essentials Online course going. The teachers have found it user friendly and have also requested I help them set up an account for their classes.

                          I do see however the importance of using the engage community as a way of showing new MTs the "one stop shop" for support if they need it.

                          • Re: What blog application do you use?
                            shanmangin

                            I recently used weebly.com  It's not officially a blog site, but you can create a webpage with a blog feature.  Very easy-to-use drag and drop features.

                              • Re: What blog application do you use?
                                glen_w

                                Shannon,

                                 

                                Thanks so much for the reminder about Weebly. It is one of the best choices for easy web site development. I've not tried it as a blog application - I always thought of Weebly as a "creation tool" - not a "blog reading application tool". Have you created a Weebly where blog feeds are automatically added to the page? I'd like to see how Weebly could be used this way. I would love to "mod" the way Weebly is used! Please tell me more .

                                  • Re: What blog application do you use?
                                    shanmangin

                                    I used it in my last Essentials class, and one of my participants used it for his class project.  Your home page is just like a normal website, but you can click on Manage Pages, and choose to Add a Blog.  It'll create another page that works like most other blog sites.  You don't have all the classroom management features like 21classes - where you set up student accounts or anything.  But, you can approve or delete comments.  I like weebly because it's clean and doesn't have advertisements all over it.

                                      • Re: What blog application do you use?
                                        glen_w

                                        Shannon,

                                         

                                        You've provided me some good thinking about how Weebly could benefit students (and still provide teachers the control they seem to crave.) Perhaps crave is too strong - schools and parents expect teachers to make sure Internet tools are used in a safe manner. Thanks so much for the ideas on how you last used it. Like you, I appreciate the lack of ads! My memory says that Weebly does not need email accounts for students - is that correct? Email account requirements are one of the biggest blocking problems we have due to my district policies.

                                          • Re: What blog application do you use?
                                            shanmangin

                                            Glen,

                                             

                                            I haven't looked at all the settings, but it appears that students would need an email to create their own weebly page.  However, they don't need an email to post comments on a teacher's blog.  You can just type your name and your comment without an email address.  I don't think there's an option for student accounts.

                                    • Re: What blog application do you use?
                                      dgoodman_1958

                                      Linda, I would recomend the blog feature on the community.  Setting up a group for your training participants will bring them into the community where they will have wonderful resources to use during and after their training. 

                                       

                                      I've used Wordpress and it's fairly easy to use.  Some districts block this site as they do many other blogging sites.