A new blogging platform created specifically for teachers and students is going live this week at 21Classes. (Full disclosure: I was a paid consultant on the project.) The gist is that teachers can easily set up classroom portals and individual student blogs that have varying levels of transparency and make it easy for teachers to monitor and/or moderate workflow at every level. Now I’ll be honest that I haven’t dug into the finished product as much as I need to, so I can’t yet vouch for the full execution of the ideas, but I will say that the intent was to create the type of environment that would allow teachers and students the ability to work in private or public and would create some avenues for individual feedback among them. You can get a list of the features here.
The free version of the site includes 2MB of space for each student up to 50 but includes Google ads. For $8.95 a month, you get 25MB of space for each student up to 100 sites with no ads and some other options.
If you do give this a shot, let me know what you think.
Scott Elias says
Outstanding! I have to present on blogs to some teachers tomorrow and I’ll add 21classes to my list.
Peter Rock says
Umm, did you just recommend a service for educators where they must pay money in order to remove advertising from the environment of learning?
Am I the only one who finds this twisted?
Kevin Jarrett says
Hey Will, thanks for the heads up. I’ve created an account and can already see it’s using a WordPress backend.
Peter, I like free stuff as much as the next guy, and run my own WordPress blogs and many for my district because it’s free, but … there are many, many advertising-supported services in the edtech space that you can pay extra to remove the ads from. ePals comes to mind. There are others.
So let’s keep an open mind and look at this tool for what it’s worth. If it will allow teachers in my district to easily blog with all the power and functionality of WordPress for essentially a few bucks a year, I’ll promote it heavily…
Peter Rock says
Kevin Jarrett says:
“[…] there are many, many advertising-supported services in the edtech space […] There are others. So let’s keep an open mind […]”
Kevin, do you realize you are trying to justify this on the basis that “others” do it?
Will Richardson says
It’s a really interesting service, did I mention, ahem, that we at http://edublogs.org don’t run any ads at all 🙂