Education-Specific Blogging: Edublogs Reviewed
The Education Techie reviews tech products that can help students and teachers. Today, the techie is taking a look at Edublogs, an education-specific blogging network.
What Is It?
Edublogs is a blogging service, like Blogger or Wordpress. It allows users to create, publish and maintain blogs. The twist is the Edublogs is an education-specific blogging service. What this means is that its intended users are teachers, professors, school administrators, librarians, students and other people directly involved with education. The idea of having an education-specific blogging network is that it helps to foster a community of individuals in the same professional area. Additionally, it helps create a safe environment for students to start blogs that can be used for school.
There are three levels of Edublog membership. A free membership gives you access to one blog and has limited features. This would be a good choice for a teacher or other professional who wants to start a personal blog related to their work. The next level of membership is pro, and this comes with more features, like ad-free blogs and the ability to create and oversee up to 50 blogs that can be used by students. Pro membership starts at $3.33 a month, and gives users 10 GB of storage space.
The highest membership level is a Campus membership. Campus membership ranges from $750 - $8,000 a year. This seems steep, but depending on the level you choose, you can accommodate a large number of students and educators. This is a good choice for any school that is interested in making blogging a bigger part of every student and teacher's school life.
Who Will Get the Most Use Out Of It?
Because it's designed specifically for use by education professionals, Edublogs provides a great service that will be useful to any of these professionals who are interested in becoming more technologically involved. Some tech savvy is necessary to use the site, but it's designed to be easy to use. Those with paid accounts have access to a good network of support, and free account users can access the extensive help section on the Edublogs site.
The really great thing about Edublogs is that it enables teachers to use blogging as a classroom tool. Because Edublogs blocks all inappropriate content, teachers can feel safe allowing their students to use the site to create their own blogs for school. This could be useful in a variety of educational situations, from a creative writing project to a classroom journaling assignment.
With a pro account, teachers can have up to 50 blogs to set up for students, and the account holder maintains management privileges over those blogs, allowing teachers to make sure students are sticking to appropriate content. 50 blogs is certain to be plenty for some teachers, but others may have more students, meaning that they'll either have to pick and choose which students get to have blogs, or that another account will need to be purchased.
Overview: Pros and Cons
- Edublogs exists specifically for teachers, students and education professionals. Because of this, it's not blocked on as many school networks as other blogging services.
- Makes classroom blogging an attainable reality.
- Plugs users in to a network of blogging education professionals.
- Has a simple, user-friendly interface that can be mastered by almost anyone.
- Provides an online home for education professionals interested in sharing their voice on the Internet.
- Might lose your blog if you can't prove that you are directly affiliated with an educational institution - this is part of the terms of service agreement.
- Ad-free blogs aren't cost-free.
- 50 student blogs might not be enough for some teachers.
- Free accounts don't have as many tools useful for managing group blogs.
If you're looking for a great example of what an educator's blog can look like, check out our review of Teacher Reboot Camp, which uses Edublogger as its platform.