Helping Teachers choose a Good Blog service...

Okay so I'm facilitating a workshop on blogging today at my school, and I'm struggling to recommend any one Blog site.  They all have good features and bad, depending on what you want to do.

Edublogs


I used to simply recommend Edublogs.org, but due to it's new advertising practices, it's difficult to endorse.

Okay, I understand.  Edublogs needs to make money to keep their servers running, but there are various degrees along the spectrum of supporting oneself and selling out.  Edublogs has sold out.  An appropriate banner ad or two is expected on most free web services, but embedded advertising links???

Will Richardson, whom I respect greatly, defines real blogging as,
Links with analysis and synthesis that articulates a deeper understanding or relationship to the content being linked and written with potential audience response in mind.

If this is the case, and links are an integral aspect of the connective writing process known as blogging, then what is one supposed to think when and ad agency can trump the links within a post with their own??  Ironically, Edublogs appears to be one of the sponsors of Weblogged.  I wonder what Will thinks of their new advertising practice??


Blogger


Probably the most popular blog service right now is blogger. Why? Well, it's provided by Google so it's connected to Docs, Picasa, Sites, Reader, Gmail and all the other Google services. Google somehow manages to provide this service like their others without a bunch of banner adds and embedded advertising links. Also, you can get up and running with this one without answering an email confirmation, particularly if you have a Google Account already. Themes are limited, but each one has a lot of flexibility.

Of course, blogger may not always be the best to use with young students for student blogs unless you discuss the  issue of "appropriate" and "inappropriate gadgets for instance.  I just am not crazy about bloggers themes.  They lack that glossy "Web 2.0" squishieness that I like.  That's just personal preference though.

Wordpress


Well, I'm here, but that's mainly due to my disgust with Edublogs.  I have no idea how Wordpress works with advertisers or what not.  Will embedded advertising links show up on my blog after it has been here for a few weeks?  I know I like the Wordpress platform.  I like the themes.  I like the Dashboard.  I was able to import my posts from Edublog so it was a natural transition.

21 Classes


What is this 21 Classes thing exactly??  I wish I could understand it so I could explain it a bit better to colleagues.  It appears to be an intriguing new player in the field of educational blogging. I'm not sure how long before it sells out like Edublogs. This is probably the best service to use as a Student Blog Portal as you cna create student accounts, although it's unclear how many you can create before you must pay.  Perhaps the magic number is 21...

Please Share...


What is your experience?  What is your favorite blog site for educators?  Why is it so fabulous.  Do tell...

Comments

  1. Are we in standard time? I cannot do further posts without this correct...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just did the blog circuit also. I was looking for a blog site that was user friendly for my grad students to use in their classrooms. I put out a question on twitter for some advice and most came back with Blogger as a response. After investigating the same blog sites you listed above, I came to the same conclusion.I like many of the features in wordpress, but they charge extra for videos, something most teachers want on their blogs. Hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I will take the afternoon session and go out into the community with a videocamera and get expert opinions on this matter. I will be by Subway of anyone needs me. I also have no vehicle so I will be on foot.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I meant to say "...IF anyone needs me." Waltersdesign wordpress does NOT have spell check. Mark it. :)

    Great job Clintosh!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Erica,

    I still am waiting for that Video. I'm sure Ed Winestock would be proud of your roving reporting.

    ReplyDelete

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