Our district just ended a subscription with Gaggle (for money reasons). We are looking into options on "replacing" it. First, we want to replace the free, safe email for kids but what this post is about is replacing the blog feature for teachers (and kids, if possible).

The options I have found are: Edublogs and Blogger.

I like both services but I wanted to get an idea of what you guys thought if you have had experience with these products. Have you run into any problems with privacy or safety?

Are there other good blogging products out there? Like I said, we are looking for a free blogging product for mainly teachers - and a student blog would be a plus. Thanks in advance!

Tags: blog, blogger, edublog, free

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WordPressMU does it all if you can (Do you have some server space? Our district actually shells out $10/mo to rent space on a shared server so we can deploy what we need). Edublogs runs on WordPressMU, and indeed is run by part of the WPMU development team. The TOS are ambiguous about age. Blogger's TOS will not allow participants under 13.

ePals provides free safe email for students. I haven't used it though. You need a parental sign-off for the kids I teach in grade 5.
We've been using Oracle's Think.com for 4 years but as of this summer they are doing away with email. I'm thinking epals--have you been happy with that?
Edublogs has one of the better privacy policies!
I'm looking for the best student email option. We need it mostly for authorization codes etc.
The authorization for web 2.0 and things are a big part of wanting student email!
As I mentioned earlier, I haven't used ePals, but I have looked into it. My district is not quite ready for student emails. I am maneuvering toward it, but now is not the time. There is greater apprehension over this than other issues.

ePals looks promising, but I have not examined it as thoroughly as I would if deployment looked soon. I know they require parent sign-off in their possession for 5th grade students.
We use the equivalent of edublogs and have had no issues with privacy or safety. Our student blogs are out there for all to read, and the comments they receive and dots on their clustr maps are prime motivators for the writing.
They have fabulous support service with their own blog with hints, tutorials etc and allows the upload of varous media for multi literacies.
Our student blog, A Really Different Place is done with Drupal and privately served and we have not had a minute's problem.
Anne, so are you using Edublogs or both teacher and students?

I think the main thing is getting teachers a blog option and students are a bonus. I feel as though using an application for blogging with students would need to be more "safe" than for teachers.
I was just thinking, after a day of Moodle and working with our Moodle server - has anyone taken the wordpress.org free software and installed it on their own server? That way it stays internal and it would be like your own "edublogs".

Of course, that would involve server space and things which would cost money! Soo, I guess that goes against my initial post and question.

Edublogs seems to be front runner..I'm going to look more into the epals option and that WordpressMU.
I have installed moodle, wordpressmu, drupal, and many other programs on my own server for use in and out of school. If you can set up an Apache sever within your intranet on existing an server, then you can have your own internal blogging, social networking (elgg), etc. This might require more of an investment in time than money, but we are not talking about much of either!
At work we were discussing the blog option for teachers (and students) and our CTO was thinking that whatever blogging service or tool should be internal and not use an off site program like edublogs, blogge, etc. because we want to ave the capability to "flip the switch" and stop everything if we *need* to, which makes sense.

I am thinking the Wordpress software installed on one of our servers would be awesome--but of course the reason why we got rid of Gaggle was to reduce cost.

I'm looking for some sort of integration with Moodle and Wordpress--or another blogging service...OR if Moodle has a blog plug-in. Moodle's blog is not to great right now.


Anyone else do the blog thing internally?

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