I worked on my school newspaper. Didn’t you? Many bloggers got their first taste of joy in writing while working on a newspaper or newsletter at school. Imagine what your education would have been like if your school newspaper was a blog?
Edublogs, the popular free blog hosting service for educators and students, now offers a unique package based upon WordPressMU, the WordPress-driven multi-user program that runs WordPress.com, to help teachers and schools set up their own blog hosting service. Edublogs Campus is described as “Your own blog based teaching and learning environment” that allows teachers, school officials, students, and parents to create their own social and educational interactive environment through blogs.
Imagine a blog-driven classroom. A teacher can hand out an assignment via their class blog. Instead of complaining about the dog eating the homework papers, save a tree or three and let students publish their work on their own blogs or submit it through the teacher’s blog, in the comments or through uploaded digital documents, photographs, video, or other media. Tests can be given online. Parents can track their children’s work and classroom activities via feeds. The possibilities are endless.
The idea is to bring education to the web, but also to cross bridges and borders of communication and interaction. Blogs offer modern technology which excites the students and participants, making them want to interact and learn. The blogs can provide information, class events and calendars, school projects, assignments, video, podcasting, photographs, music, and more. Edublogs Campus blogs allows embedding of documents, video and multimedia content from YouTube, Google Video, Slideshare, Voicethread, Flickr, and more.
The educational host or provider pays for the Edublogs Campus program based upon the number of blogs. It begins at 50 blogs for USD $500 a year, a very affordable $10 a blog, and goes up to unlimited number of blogs for USD $6,500. Each Edublogs Campus can easily host thousands of blogs. It could also easily include a forum for discussions and Q&A between students and teachers and students and students.
The host can use their own domain name or Edublogs Campus will provide one for free. Content from other sites and blogging platforms can easily be imported. There is unlimited storage, bandwidth and personal support. Backups are manual and automatic, protecting each blog. Edublogs Campus provides tutorials and documentation, support and services, as well as many of the unique WordPress Plugins and tools they’ve developed over the past two years with the Edublogs Network.
Each Edublogs Campus blog network works independently, allowing the host to control what can be done on each blog and which features to include. There are more than 90 different WordPress Themes to choose from and each Theme is highly customizable with custom headers, sidebar widgets, and more, allowing each bloggers to create a unique version of their blog, if desired.
With the safety of children foremost on everyone’s mind, I checked and Edublogs Campus has been configured for three levels of access. It can be restricted to registered users only, public and private blog posts or blogs intermixed, or totally open. As with all WordPress blogs, individual posts can be password protected, too.
I do a lot of work with the education industry and I’m constantly dismayed and even shocked at the told static websites many schools around the world host, with few updates and little interaction, with highly interactive and easy-to-use blogs. Just think what your school life would have been like if blogs were part of the lesson plan?