3/21/08 UPDATE: Has anyone used the blog function that's part of ePals? I'm checking now, it looks promising.

I've been trolling the murky waters of blog platforms and after lots of trial and error and reading of these clrm2.0 discussions I'm still having trouble finding the perfect classroom blog for not-so-tech-savvy 3-5 teachers to use with their students. Here's what I've tried and the associated issues... I'd love your input.

WordPress MU - Our dist recommends, hosts WPMU. Problem: Bar for use is too high. You have to learn quite a bit just to create the blog. Embedding lively content (flickr photos, video from teacher tube) is hard.

Blogger - Very easy to use, easy to embed lively Web content, but requires a google acct w/ email (AUP policy no-no, go with bogus email accts?) then there's the pesky "next blog" button that I still can't seem to strip out of the template even after reading lots of advice.

Classblogmeister - Nice features, including easy embedding and easy association of student blogs with the "mother" teacher blog, but there are broken bits. Can't get student blogs to show "assignment", (the prompt kids reply to), can't approve st. comments to teacher blog without all kinds of hinky duplication of comments.

Edublogs: It appears I would need the school account ($) to associate student blogs with teacher so teacher can approve posts/comments before they go live. Kids need email, too.

Drupal: Don't get me started. Beautiful, great functionality, and I'd have to hire a drupalmaster to set it up. UNLESS Nancy Bosch has easy solutions: Look at her wonderful blog. I want one that functions just like this. :)

NOW, I've heard about a closed blog system you can create and host locally, giving kids the blogging experience, all the functionality you'd really need for this age... I can't remember the platform. Ideas?

The power of blogging is so great and I want teachers and kids to experience that, but I've GOT to lower the bar for participation or it's a nonstarter.

Tags: blogging

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Thanks, I'm happy to hear of a platform that's used successfully in 11 classrooms in a school!
I have no idea what Nancy is talking about with edublogs. It's fine when I use it at home. When it's slow on my school server, everything is, so it would be a problem whatever the platform.
I didn't know--just an observation. Glad to hear that the server is not slow.
I have to agree with Nancy with the slowness (latency) with edublogs. I was all set to give it a go with a class this year. First I tried it with a group of teachers at a workshop in our school's lab. We spun & spun waiting for our posts to go through. It happened on two consecutive days. I also set up a small group for my son and his friends over the summer to test things out. Same problems.

That kept me a BlogMeister user! No latency problems there!
I have super speed at school and at home. Whenever I go to check out an edublog referenced here or elsewhere it takes more than my 7 second wait-tolerance and I find myself leaving before viewing. BUT, I have become ridiculously impatient in my old age.

Back in the day, when I had Mosaic (way before your time) I would click on a site, go to the laundry room, fold a load, put in a load, come back and finally see what I was looking for!
Yeah, edublogs is always fine at home (on cable modem/wireless network), but can be a dog (along with everything) at work (supposedly upgraded to 5g network, but I'll believe it when I see the speed).
I usually find latency problems are not at edublogs, but my school server, so I've had problems at trainings, but it was almost always due to the school server/network. I considered Classblogmeister, but I still have never gotten a response to my email request to set one up. 21Classes I was relooking at, I didn't like the ads on the original version.



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