Edublogs Teacher Challenges

Free professional learning for educators by educators.

Activity 10: Setting up your student blogs

Print Friendly

Welcome to our free professional development series on class and student blogging!

This series consists of a range of activities that take you through the process of class and student blogging.  While many of the class blog examples we’ve included are from primary grades, the same principles apply for class blogs regardless of student age (including adult learners).

The activities can be completed at your own pace and in any order!

Wherever you’re at – we’ll step you through the tasks designed to increase your skills while providing mentors who’ll support your learning.  Don’t stress, have fun, and remember to ask for help by leaving a comment any time you need assistance!

This activity is is all setting up your student blogs.

Click on a link below to go to the section you want to work on:

  1. Why educators use student blogs
  2. Examples of student blogs
  3. Tips for creating student blogs
    1. Student usernames and blog URLs
    2. Add yourself to your student blogs
    3. Moderate Comments
  4. Create your student blogs
    1. Get students to create their own blogs and join your class
    2. Create your student blogs yourself
  5. Other My Class Tips
    1. Add links to blogs in sidebar
  6. What Now?


Back to Top

Why educators use student blogs

Educators normally start of with a class blog where they write the posts, and the students respond by writing comments.

This gives the  teacher time to increase their skills while gradually introducing their students to blogging and educating them on appropriate online behaviour.

However, as student’s age increases educators are more likely to have them to write posts on their own student blog.

Student learning and writing improves faster when each student has their own blog as ownership is an important part of blogging.  We all have increased motivation when we feel personal ownership.  So you generally find students are more motivated by their own blogs when class blogging is done well.

Another key benefit of student blogs are they can be used as their ePortfolio to create an archive of your student’s learning.

Back to Top

Examples of Student blogs

Here are examples of real student blogs to check out for ideas:

  1. Millie’s Magical Blog -  8 years old
  2. Abi’s Blog – 9 years old
  3. Jarrod’s Aweome Blog – 9 years old
  4. BB’s Awesome Blog – 9 years old
  5. Jaden’s Awesome Blog – 9 years old
  6. Mirian’s Magical Moments – 10 years old
  7. Teagan’s Terrific Blog - 12 years old
  8. This and That


Back to Top

Tips for creating student blogs

You can use any blogging platform you would like including Edublogs, WordPress and Blogger, however when we write detailed instructions they will refer to Edublogs.  You will be able to adapt this information to the blogging platform you are using.

Here is some important things to consider before creating your student blog:

Back to Top
1. Student Usernames and Blog URLs

Educators normally use the same name for both the student’s username and blog URL.  Keep them simple and easy for the student to remember.

Most use a combination of their student’s first name followed by numbers that might represent the year, class number and/or school initials.  They do this to protect the identity of the student by not including their last name and to ensure their username is unique (as Edublogs has close to 1,000,000 users).

For example, username misty16 or mistybp16.  For example, username mistybp16 and blog URL mistybp16.edublogs.org.

If you want the students to use the blog for their entire school life then use a combination of letters combined with a number that represents the year they started school or are finishing school.

Back to Top
2.  Add yourself to  your student blogs

Always add yourself as an administrator to your student blog.

This means if you need to edit/delete a post, page or comment you can quickly access their blog from your blog dashboard.

We’ll show you how to do this using My Class tool below.

Back to Top

3. Moderate Comments

Educators either prefer to let their students moderate their own comments or they moderate all the comments for their students.  There are pros and cons to each approach.

For those comfortable with students moderating comments we recommend you subscribe to the comment feeds from your student blogs — here is how to subscribe to their comments using Google Reader.

Back to Top

Create your Student blogs

Now you’ve done all the research it’s time to create your student blogs!

The easiest way to set up and manage all student blogs is using My Class.

My Class can be used to:

  1. Quickly create student blogs.
  2. Allow students to publish their own posts on their student blogs (and the class blog) OR configure it so all student posts must be reviewed by a teacher.
  3. Control comment moderation settings on student blogs.
  4. Control the privacy settings on all student blogs with just one click!
  5. Quickly enable extra features on student blogs to increase their storage space, enable mobile blogging, allow them to embed any code, access Premium themes and so much more.
  6. Quickly preview all moderated posts and comments in one location.


Back to Top
To get started you just need to Create a Class as follows:

1.  Go to My Class > Create a Class.

2.  Select ‘This is a class blog’, choose your settings and click Save.

Below are the settings you need to use if you want to moderate all posts and comments on student blogs.

You can read more about the My Class setting options here.

3.  Once you’ve created your class there are two options for creating student blogs:

  1. You create the student blogs using My Class >  Create Student blogs
  2. Students to create their own blogs using the Edublogs sign up page


Back to Top

How to create Student blogs using My Class

Here’s how you can create the students blogs yourself using My Class:

1.  Go to My Class >  Create Student blogs.

2.  Add username, email address, password (optional), blog URL and blog title then click Submit.

This creates their student blogs, adds them as a user to the class blog, adds you as a user to their student blog and connects their student blog with the class blog. 

3.  The student blogs are created and all student blogs are listed in My Class > Student blogs where you manage all pending posts and comments.



Back to Top

How students create their own blog and join your Class

Here are the instructions you need to give to students to create their own blogs:

1. Go to Edublogs.org sign up page

2. Enter your details, your blog details and then click Start blogging

3.  On the next page your login details are displayed.

4.  When you click on Login into your new blog you’re taken to your blog dashboard.

  • Make sure you write down your password if you use our no email option otherwise you won’t be able to reset it.

5.  Log into their blog dashboard and go to My Class > Join Class.

6.  Search for your class blog.

7.  Click on Send a request to join.

Now all you need to do is go to My Class > Student blogs inside your Class blog and click Approve.

Once you’ve done this all your student blogs will be listed on this page where you’ll be able to view all pending posts, pages and comments on your My Class > Student blogs page.



Back to Top

Other My Class tips

Other features included in My Class include:

Back to Top

1.  Easily link to all student blogs in every blog sidebar

You can easily add a link to all your student blogs using the Class Blog widget as follows:

1.  Go to Appearance > Widgets.

2.  Click on the arrow on the desired Sidebar to open up the sidebar (so you can add the widgets).

3.  Drag the Class Blog widget from the Available Widgets into the desired Sidebar.

You drag by click on the widget with your left mouse and moving the widget.

4.  Drop the widget when you see a dashed line appear – this indicates the widget is in place.

5.  The widget will automatically open — just configure, click Save and then Close.



Back to Top

You’ll find more information on my Class here:

  1. Create a Class using “My Class” tool
  2. How do students create their own blog and join a Class?
  3. How do I create student blogs using My Class?
  4. How do students add an existing blog to a Class?
  5. How do I add students as users to a Class?
  6. How do I change a student’s email address?
  7. Moderate Comments and Posts

What now?

How did you go?

Feel free to leave any questions you are having (or tips/advice) as well.

This is the last activity in our series on class and student blogging.  We hope it helped!

25 comments for “Activity 10: Setting up your student blogs

  1. mrsstreatermaths
    April 23, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    Hi,

    Is there any way of having more than one class on my blog? Being from the UK I teach 6 different classes and would like a way to group them on my blog without having to buy 3 pro accounts as I just cannot afford this!

    So can I have 3 different classes or group my class in any way?

    • Sue Waters
      April 24, 2014 at 8:45 am

      Hi There, just a quick comment to say I sent detailed information in an email on how you could set up all classes on the one blog.

      Hope this helped and please let us know if you need further assistance.

      Sue

  2. misstaniapryor
    November 14, 2013 at 5:00 am

    Hi, I have just set up a class blog and have added some student users. My question is how do the students access the blog site? I can’t find it in the tool box.

    Thanks for your help,

    Tania Pryor

    • November 14, 2013 at 10:20 am

      Hi Tania

      I’ve sent an email reply to your question. Please let us know if that hasn’t answered the question and you need more assistance.

      Sue

      • Rita Boutros
        February 10, 2014 at 6:31 pm

        Could I please have the answer to the same question. Thank you

        • room102washington
          July 12, 2014 at 1:10 am

          me too!

  3. sharihamm
    October 13, 2013 at 10:29 am

    I think I have really messed up my student blogs. I wanted them to have their own blogs and I set them up on my blog but they now have blogs that I can’t see but they are using at home. Is there any way to restart this and have them try to begin again using the blogs I have set them up with initially? I think I have also mistakenly set up the students as users so I have several places that they have information. The computer teacher and I are both having trouble figuring all of this out.

    • October 13, 2013 at 10:58 am

      Best option is not to restart it but to connect the student blogs that aren’t connected to your class blog using My Class.

      All they need to do is log into their student blog, go to My Class > Join a Class, search for mrshamm and then click Request to join.

      I’ve sent an email to discuss in more detail.

  4. kellywatsonk
    August 31, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    I’ve added the Class Blog widget but my student blogs aren’t showing up on the blog. Please help!

    • September 1, 2013 at 9:02 am

      Hi Kelly,

      Thanks for using Edublogs. The issue is you had added the students as users to the blog rather than create new blogs. I’ve sent an email from Edublogs support to explain how to set up the student blogs.

      Thanks
      Sue Waters
      Edublogs Support Manager

  5. Bob Thiele
    July 20, 2013 at 12:36 am

    This has been extremely helpful, Sue.

    I have Edublogs Pro. Will my class automatically be able to add video? Is there anything I need to do to enable this feature?

    Many thanks
    Bob

    • Elliott Bristow
      July 20, 2013 at 5:54 pm

      Hi Bob,

      This depends on how they are going to be adding the videos. Our system automatically allows YouTube videos to be added to a page simply by adding the Share link to the page content.

      If you need something more sophisticated, we also have the MediaCore plugin, and you can sign up for a MediaCore account with an allowance of 50 students for free.

      More details can be found on our help page at http://help.edublogs.org/2013/06/19/using-the-mediacore-video-plugin/

  6. pidel
    July 16, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    I am a school librarian and would like to have my students create blogs. Can I do this for 200 students?

    • Elliott Bristow
      July 16, 2013 at 4:12 pm

      Hi Pidel,

      Yes this is certainly possible. The maximum number of student blogs you can add to one account is 250.

  7. lsctutoring
    April 22, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Hi Sue,
    I just created a blog and I want to set up a class blog so I can add and manage student blogs and posts. When I click on create class I am asked to upgrade to Pro. Is there a way to manage student posts/blogs without cost?
    Raymond

    • April 24, 2013 at 1:39 am

      Hi Raymond

      You could set up all the blogs as free blogs but it is considerably more time consuming to set up and manage, and your class blog and student blogs would have less features. You only need one Edublogs Pro blog to save time and enable all the extra features. It is worth it for the time you save and the features you get. However, please let me know if you would prefer to do it on free blogs so I can explain how to set it up.

  8. cjimenez2
    January 23, 2013 at 1:18 am

    Hi, I am lost in the blog forest!! I have a edublog pro account, I add my students as users, I created their blog…now how do my students get the username and password so they can login individually or do I given them my username and password.

    I have been reading the user guide but frankly I am lost. Please help!!
    cari

  9. rmreads
    December 30, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    I just created a blog and I want to set up a class blog so I can add and manage student blogs and posts. When I click on create class I am asked to upgrade to Pro. Is there a way to manage student posts/blogs without cost?

    Renee

  10. mrjorgensen
    October 24, 2012 at 1:37 am

    Is there a way that a student can take their blog with them when they leave your class? I teach 8th grade and would love to see them take their blog to high school.

    • November 1, 2012 at 10:47 am

      @mrjorgensen Your students can just check their Student blog on Edublogs and you can either choose to have them still connected to your class blog or remove them from your class blog and if needed remove yourself as an admin user from the blog. Some teachers will also contact the parents and organise for the parents to be added as an admin user.

      Hope this helped!

  11. Kim Rauser
    September 16, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Sue,

    My account has no option for creating a class under My Class. Also, can you tell me why my post have all the crazy “?” symbols throughout them? I also have two students that are not showing up on the Students Participating list.

    Thanks for your help.–Kim

    • September 18, 2012 at 7:42 am

      Hi Kim,
      If the students haven’t registered with a correct URL for their blog, then I delete them off the list. If you send me an email with their information I can put them on the spreadsheet.

      • Sue Waters
        September 18, 2012 at 12:24 pm

        Hi Kim, looks like I have already helped you with the My Class issue and the ? symbols? Please let me know if that isn’t the case so I can follow up on this?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *