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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Try Studeous (www.studeous.com). I think this would fit exactly what you are looking for. Studeous has a private messaging system and a blogging platform. It's also free for teachers and students.
Aspen Learning has an Open classroom server. I am piloting and am pleased with this. Blogs and wikis in the school. Teachers find it easy.
My district has a subscription to SchoolCenter for school and classroom web sites. This product has a blog feature. Does your district happen to use a service like this?
We do not currently have any web site or blogging service for teachers. We used to have Gaggle (paid version) but we no longer have a subscription.
Thanks for all of the sites. I will have to check them all out. It sounds like those resources have what I'm looking for however if our district wants to go with the internal, hosting it on our server option those resources may not be what I'm looking for. But what they offer is definitely right on -- just the control part as to hosting it off-site is the 1st issue.
I have several blog posts on configuring WPMU for schools. You might find them helpful!
If all you are looking for is just blogging software, go for WordpressMU (Wordpress Multiuser). If you want more than just blogging software or plan to expand in the future, I would recommend Drupal. Both can be installed on your own server or webhost if you have one.
This is the beauty of Open Source Software and a server or webhost. You can install and kick the tires on any app that looks interesting!
I have heard good things about Drupal and briefly took a look at it. When I did take a quick look at it I think it may be a bit much for what we would want but it could offer more than just blogging. I always have to remember to take a step back and put myself in the teacher's shoes that isn't as tech savvy. I get really excited about all of this web 2.0 and tech stuff but I have to remember to no overwhelm staff.
UPDATE: We've looked at WordpressMU, Moveable Type and Mac OS X wiki/blog (or something?)

I installed WordpressMU on my own personal host and it went good. I like the admin interface. I have searched around and it looks like there is an LDAP/active directory plug-in.

Right now I'm searching for some privacy/security plug-ins. I am always looking into the user permission thing. You can set admin of everything (site admin) and there can be an admin of a blog, subscriber of a blog, etc. I am wondering if/how I can make a user (teacher) that can create and control student blogs. I'm trying to grasp how this concept would work: a teacher has a blog, gives their students a blog but has control over it and can view all those blogs, delete them, change, etc.

Steve I've been reading your blog posts about WordpressMU - good stuff!
I assume you have downloaded and installed More Security Options and any other plugins I suggested. They go a long way in terms of making WPMU work for the school environment.

There are two levels of admin in a way. There is admin over a blog and admin over WPMU. A teacher should be an admin over any of their students' blogs. If you want them to be able to create blogs, you need to make them a WPMU admin. As I recall, you must list the user names of any WPMU admins in the site admin settings to give them such privileges.

Maybe I'll get a chance to create another blog entry to clarify this in greater detail.
Yes, Steve is right. What you do is create a blog for a student and list the teacher's email address as the admin email. You then create the student user and add them to their blog either as a contributor or an author.

I recommend using the WordPress plugin Role Manager to give students special capabilities. Just don't bother trying to change sitewide settings with it, it won't work. You have to enable it blog by blog. But I use it to allow students to change themes and add links so they can add their friends to their blogroll.

I'm working on a site that explains how to set up blogs for elementary schools. It's not quite done yet, but now it's at its permanent home.

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