So the good news is that there finally seems to be some options for teachers wanting to implement Weblogs in thier classrooms in ways that are safe and effective. I’m in the process of putting together an overview of four of them that will be included in the book:
I may be wrong, and please tell me if I am, but I think those are the only four that offer the teacher preapproval of student posts/comment moderation capabilities that seem to be requirements for most educators starting out. With any luck, I’ll have a breakdown posted later this week.
Tim Lauer says
Moveable Type with the Workflow plugin provides for the ability to assign editor and author rights. Basically the teacher is the editor and the student is an author. Also moveable type allows for the moderation of comments…
Update: Typepad also has the same features…
Guest Author: Allowed to post drafts for review and posts that will be published to your weblog without your review. Authors can only edit their own posts.
Junior Author: Allowed to post drafts that you will need to review before they are published. Junior authors can edit their own posts.
Will R. says
Thanks, Tim. I looked around the TypePad site and couldn’t find anything about being able to preview comments. Anyone know if that’s possible?
Anne Davis says
With comment moderation turned on, new comments will not be visible to the public until they have been approved by the owner. See this link for more info. http://www.sixapart.com/typepad/news/2005/07/over_the_past_f.html
Jay Pfaffman says
Drupal has very fine-grained security stuff & distinguishes between
* access comments
* administer comments
* administer moderation
* moderate comments
* post comments
* post comments without approval
You can assign any or all of these rights to various classes of users (e.g. students, teachers, parents).
From what I can tell, none of those on your list are Open Source Software. Given that someone can set up their own server (most teachers can’t), I believe that the benefits of Open Source Software are significant. I think that it’s essential that we as educators provide tools that our students will have access to without having to deal with the inconveniences of licensing software.
I can’t believe how much I love Drupal and I’m pretty close to thinking that most Normal People should not be subjected to HTML editors like Dreamweaver or FrontPage (or even the Open Source alternatives, NVU and Bluefish).
I opine further about the wonders of drupal on my blog. (I wish I could preview what I write here. Will my URL work?)
This is a great discussion. I’m in the middle of developing 120 student blogs for next year. It’s a tricky business. I’m using Typepad. It’s affordable, but time consuming. Last year, I experimented with blogs in middle school by creating an after-school blog magazine called the M&M Online Magazine. That experience confirmed my suspicions- the kids loved it.
I have spent a lot of time thinking and creating this class template for blogging in the classroom. Teachers need a workable, efficient, and SAFE blogging format.
With comments, Typepad has some nice built-in options. At the moment, I’m opting for NO comments. And Typepad makes that possible in a few ways. Although, I think there’s a way to limit comments to registered users only. But I can’t figure it out right now.
I need to check out those sites listed by Will. But man, at this point in the game, I have to go with what I have.
Check out my Classroom blogging Template. It’s almost complete. I think it will work.
The thing with this template is that I’m not sure what I will do at the end of next year. I could erase everything and use it all over again. But what a waste. Wouldn’t it be amazing if students could start blogs in middle school (or earlier) and continue the same blogs through high school. Anyway, this is a good discussion. A solid blogging template/format is needed. In the meantime- create your own I guess.
Joe Schwoebel says
From a WordPress developer:
Will R. is writing a book on this topic, and makes the following statement in his blog (www.weblogg-ed.com/):
>Edu Blog Hosting
>August 1st, 2005 — Will R.
>So the good news is that there finally seems to be some >options for teachers wanting to implement Weblogs in their >classrooms in ways that are safe and effective. I’m in the >process of putting together an overview of four of them >that will be included in the book:
># Blogmeister, from David Warlick
># WordPress Multi User, hosted by James Farmer
># NL Communities, offered by Alan November
># Manila from Userland.com.
>I may be wrong, and please tell me if I am, but I think >those are the only four that offer the teacher preapproval >of student posts/comment moderation capabilities that seem >to be requirements for most educators starting out. With >any luck, I’ll have a breakdown posted later this week.
Do you know if this is complete/correct information? It would seem that any WordPress installation could be setup to allow teacher preapproval/moderation of posts…
Comment by Joe — Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005 @ 2:49 am
Of those blog systems the only one I have experience with is WordPress and it certainly has the features you want. Pupils would have to register on a single blog however for the teacher to be able to moderate them effectively. The teacher could go setup 30-40 blogs and then give pupils the limited access required but who has time for that? There is no “global moderation” of comments and posts in a multi-blog environment.
Just install WordPress and use one blog for the whole class.
Comment by Donncha — Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005 @ 9:47 am
I don’t quite understand the emphasis on teacher-approved posts. I use a private password protected blog so if something inappropriate comes up it can be handled as a “classroom deportment” issue. Is this a big problem. Granted, I am teaching in an all-girls private school, but inappropriate posts have not been a issue (yet).
Will R. says
I think most teachers want the benefits of making their students’ blog posts public, but they don’t want them to be publically interactive without some safeguards. On a password protected site, the posts are obviously not a problem, but you lose the benefits of a wider audience for what students create. I think there’s potential for both ways of doing it, by the way.
I hope I’m not too late. Please also check out 21Publish (at http://www.21publish.com). There you can set up a Weblog community and define various access rights and registration processes. For example, you can define read access of new postings to be for logged-in users only, so only your students can read those postings. Next, you can define whether comments are allowed for all Internet users (wouldn’t make sense if visibility is already more restrictive), for logged-in users only, or none at all. Those settings can be made as a default for new accounts, and you can decide whether students can change them or not. Comment moderation is also available.
And lots of other features like author and reader groups.
There should be plenty of functions useful for classroom blogs (though it always depends on how you want to use it, for certain moderation ideas there might be better tools of course).