The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators

For those of you new to blogging or even those of you who have been blogging for years, this is a place for you to ask questions. (for example: Where can I find a tag cloud? How do I get more people to stop by my blog? How do I embed my Twitter feed into my blog?)

You can also use this forum to share resources that you find with the rest of the group.

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I would like to start a blog for my high school library-- I already have a wiki set up with some blog-like features where students write book reviews.

I want to do a blog, or maybe 2, that provides links to lots of the technology and tools I find through my pln.

Should I use edublog, blogmeister, wordpress, blogspot, or something else? What are the advantages and disadvantages to these particular services? I would like to be able to preview comments before they are posted (my district is very protective in that way). I also want to embed widgets and a twitter feed.

I'm open to any other suggestions or feedback.
Edublogs uses the WordPress. You can easily moderate comments and create users with different levels of control. My students can create a post and then submit it to me for review before it goes live. You can also edit all comments made by users even after they go live.

Edublogs also has the ability to embed things like ClustrMaps and many others.

One thing to consider, if your district is very protective, is to make sure you have all parents/guardians sign permission forms for their child's work to be online. Just to cover yourself :)

Good luck!
I've had experience with a few different blogging tools. I use Edublog for my professional blogging. We're using Blogmeister in district for student blogging. My family uses Blogspot/Blogger for our private family blog. My personal opinion is that Blogger is the easiest to use. You can definitely monitor comments and add Twitter feed. The problem for professional use lies in the "Next Blog" link at the top. Unless something has changed over the years, you have no control over where that link will take you, meaning the content of the blog could be anything. Blogmeister is nice if you need to control access/posting for student blogs, but it can be kind of clunky at times just for an educator blog. I have no idea about the ability to add a Twitter feed or other widgets. Edublog is fairly easy and straight forward, but can sometimes be slow. I have comment moderation on, and it works fine. I added a widget to it, but haven't tried Twitter feed (I don't really tweet, yet).

I second Mary Beth's suggestion to get signed permission forms for student blogs. At the elementary level we also send a letter explaining what blogging is, and the specific steps we take to protect student identities.
This applies to writing outside of blogs too, but I think it's worth mentioning, especially to those new to writing online.

The Ten Steps to Become a Better Writer


Write.
Write more.
Write even more.
Write even more than that.
Write when you don’t want to.
Write when you do.
Write when you have something to say.
Write when you don’t.
Write every day.
Keep writing.
Good advice, Steve!

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