I am going to be on a team with four teachers next year and we want to work on one collaborative newsletter. In the past one of us served as the newsletter person and everyone would email their weekly update to that person and they would cut and past it into the newsletter that went out that week.

This year I would like to have an online newsletter that we could edit and add to from any place and then each one of us print out the finished version to send home with our homeroom class. Is anyone doing something similar or have any suggestions for doing this?Thanks!

Eve Heaton
Mossy Oaks Elementary School

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Sounds like a job for...

GoogleDocs! (docs.google.com)
I agree that Google Docs is one option. A nice aspect of this is that the teachers need gmail accounts, but the students do not. A teacher can add "+__" to her login (Linda Lovelace might be: mrsmac+ll@gmail.com) to create false student email accounts - they can login, and their messages go to the teacher.

This also works with Blogger.com and with edublogger.org. I recommend that you take a look at the latter. Their blogs are for education ONLY, allow teachers to control contributors, administrators, etc. And their blogs contain "pages" - these would be perfect for a newsletter format. Every classroom could contribute. I don't know if it helps much with the printing - I just send out the email address now. Take a look, if you want, at the space I have just created for next year's students:
Read-IN. Oh - and all 3 options are still free.
I think google docs is the way to go as well. I wish they had a school newsletter template (or at least posted instructions on how to create a template).

Elizabeth - I enjoyed your bio information on the edublog account. Our district is moving us away from blogger.com (which is what I used last year) to edublogger but I am upset that I have to pay $40 (district will not pay) to get rid of the advertising feature and have to set up email accounts for all my students in order for them to post responses to each other. Blogger.com was so much easier to use!

Eve Heaton
I think it would be worthwhile to post directions for making a template - hope you have time to do this! We have email for students (First Class), but few use it because it is too cumbersome. Most students have hotmail or gmail accounts - but access is "blocked" (there is a get-around for web-based mail). In the near future, Maine's laptop program is migrating to ePals for students and districts - that might be something for you to check out.
I paid $70 to be a Supporter at Edublogs - hmm... Safety does seem to get in the way of education!



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