Notes from a Laptop

February 1, 2008

Setting up classblogs – with Learnerblogs; no, Edublogs!

Filed under: Class blogs,Tutorials,Web 2.0 — Lindajay @ 8:25 pm

Begin by setting up an email account (to use for setting up blogs) at http://gmail.com

lplate.jpgThen go to http://learnerblogs.org  http://edublogs.org and click on ‘sign up for free’ option to set up the class blog. This involves selecting a username, adding in an email address (above). Be careful in your choice of username as it will be part of the web site address – good to be general, not too specific (e.g. will you use the blog with more than one group?) Follow through the rest of the screen, clicking to agree to educational use, entering the verification numbers, and clicking on the ‘gimme a blog’ option.

In the following screens, (unless you have to adjust your username), you are able to give your blog a name, which can be changed later if needed. Then, click off the option to have the blog appear in search engines (unless that is something you want.) In the edublogs option select ‘teacher’ for the main/class blog.

A screen should appear asking you to check your email for an activation message. Check this at gmail and click on the activation link. You should then receive a screen from Learnerblogs Edublogs with your username and password – this password can be changed later. BE SURE TO LOGOUT OF LEARNERBLOGS EDUBLOGS.

To set up students, begin again at learnerblogs edublogs, and go through the same process, making sure you are registering a new blog, not adding to your own. Have a username ready (student first name and initial combined – not an identifying name), then use your gmail address +the student username. E.g. if the gmail is groovyteacher@gmail.com, the email for the student blog (say sarahb.edublogs.com) is groovyteacher+sarahb@gmail.com – this ensures the notification for the student’s blog is delivered to groovyteacher@gmail.com which allows the teacher to perform the activation process for the blog.

It is a good idea to keep an accurate track of things as you set up the blogs, so have an Excel file open to record usernames and passwords. These can then be printed on cards with the class blog address for distribution to students when they start blogging. (No need to change passwords, if they are carefully recorded and printed out for students.)

When all students are registered with learnerblogs, you then need to log into the class blog from the learnerblogs home page with your password. Logging in will take you to your Dashboard where you click on the Users tab. Scroll down to ‘Add User From Commmunity’ and enter the students’ email addresses in here, selecting their role as ‘contributor’. Their names should then be listed as a contributor in the space above.

The students can now log in and begin to write posts. These will be sent to the class blog, and are managed by the teacher when logged in to the classblog by clicking on the ‘Manage’ tab on the dashboard. You are able to edit the post, send comments back to the student (in the title of the post – then SAVE), or PUBLISH the post for the student.

Once you have done this, you need to go through the process of setting up the class blog – setting up privacy options, presentation of the blog and your first posts.

As the students become more attuned with blogging, you can also introduce them to their personal blogs and instruct them in the set up process.

It is, of course, well worthwhile investigating learnerblogs and edublogs for additonal information about using blogs in education. A forum exists to look for advice or ask questions when you have difficulties or ideas to pursue.

##  Edited March 1 to take into account changes at edublogs, which have eliminated the sign up for learnerblogs, though the same principles apply. Reference to ‘learnerblogs’ should be ‘edublogs’ now.

Advertisements

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.