Tools for your gated blog

General profile:
Edublogs uses WordPress software, a very popular blogging platform. The free version does not allow all WordPress functions (no embedding, for example), but is great for basic student blogging. Upload any type of files including docs, PDFs, slideshows, movies, and more.

Helpful TIPS appear as you enter each area of the dashboard.

Individuals start their own free Edublogs. A teacher can set one up for an entire class to use, or students can establish their own (no email required). Since each individual can have as many blogs as he/she wants, a teacher with multiple classes can create one per class.

Blog owner controls are in the “Dashboard” area. New to blogs? Simplify settings by clicking “Activate Easy Mode” at top right after you log in. You can Exit Easy mode using a button in the same place.

Well done Help and guides are readily available, even for the free version.
View a sample blog using this tool.

Features available: Yes/no What they call it, and how to find it Reviewer comments
Password-protect entire blog
  Can password protect individual posts from the Write screen, though.
Choices of blog appearance
See Appearance> Themes Over two dozen choices in free version
Customization of appearance with own graphics
Presentation> Background and Header Can upload your own image or choose from many available.
Called “categories” See Posts> categories  
Teacher-managed registration options
Under Users> Add new Add “existing users” to this blog (people who already have an Edublogs login for another blog) or “add NEW users.” Bulk user creator is a premium feature. Students can self-register and create their own blogs without email, but you MUST get their passwords. You will have to add them as users to a whole-class blog, so you must know also their usernames. It might be easier to add them yourself, depending on their maturity level. This will assure no typos, etc. Keep a record of all student user names and passwords!
Teacher-managed posting options
Set by user level under Users> all users.
Levels include admin, editor, author, contributor, subscriber (with descending abilities)
See detailed descriptions of the capabilities of each level in the Documentation. Setting all students as contributors and all parents as subscribers is a good starting point.
Teacher-managed commenting options
Under Settings> Discussion, check off Users must be registered and logged in to comment This allows you to know exactly who made comments (to enforce acceptable behavior).
Teacher-approval of posts and comments
Under Options> Discussion,  set choices under Before a comment appears: Read choices carefully. If you are the only “administrator” you can control which comments appear, but you will need to pay attention so new comments do not languish waiting for you!
Teacher-managed control over what different members can “see”
Called “roles.” Set them under Users.
Includes admin, editor, author, contributor, subscriber (with descending abilities)
See detailed descriptions of the capabilities of each level in the Documentation. To start, make students contributors and parents/administrators subscribers, if you wish.
Other capabilities
Rss feeds, pingbacks, subscriptions, etc. Full features of general blogs

Some features may be problematic with tech-savvy students. Make sure you have user levels locked down!

Use RSS feeds to tell you when new comments/posts have been added-- if you are not approving them before they show.

Help available
Wordpress help Help is oriented to the general blogging public and may not address terminology a teacher might use. Forums might be helpful for this.

User comments:

  • Any blogger who has been using WordPress blogs elsewhere will adapt easily to Edublogs.
  • Those less familiar with all the options may be overwhelmed at first. We advise novices to play with the options and “test it out” with a sample dog or cat account or a helpful friend before launching with all your students. Use the Easy Mode option!