Managing our Community

I’ve been following some recent posts about how to manage class blogs. The Connected Live blog mentions how John Connell points to a post entitled Class blogs – management, moderation and protection by Al Upton.

This blog mentions the ‘G-mail +’ option.

It’s very important to me that our community is a safe one. …  but I also want the children to have the freedom to have their own space and not feel that there’s a ‘Big Brother’ culture present.

So here’s what I’ve done to try to create that balance:

  • First I created a Class Blog so that I could give the pupils an audience for their work
  • Very soon after creating the class blog, I realised that it was important to allow access to the children’s own work so I created a wikispace for the class to post their writing
  • This didn’t work well, because if we all logged on and edited the space at the same time, problems occured (a ‘someone else is editing this space’ message)
  • I wanted the children to have their own blogs, but still have control over how they were used. I discovered that East Lothian could help me set up individual blogs . These children have now moved on to High School.
  • I’ve now managed to set up our own individual blogs without the help of East Lothian. ……  I discovered the ‘Gmail+’ trick. For example, If you have a ‘yourname@Gmail’ account, it’s possible to create lots of new blogs using that same e-mail address. You can do this by creating new blogs with a ‘yourname+student1@gmail’ , ‘yourname+student2@gmail’ etc.
  • One advantage is that, although the pupils have admin rights, the teacher can also login to the blogs at any time.
  • Another advantage is that any comments appear in the teacher’s Gmail account – even although the children can moderate them, the teacher has a record of what has appeared
  • It’s quite easy to keep track of what is being posted on the children’s blogs by using ‘google reader’, or something similar
  • I’ve since discovered that Wikispaces will set up separate username and passwords for students if you email them the information required.

It all seems to be working well so far 🙂 ……..

5 thoughts on “Managing our Community

  1. Great post. Thanks for dropping into our blog (Mrs Vass?) and especially for reminding me of using Google Reader .. something I did last year but left out of my post … I’ve added it in now.
    “a detailed, step-by-step guide to ‘get your class blogging’.” (above) doesn’t really reflect my intentions of the post on ‘management, moderation and protection’. As you would now know, there is so much more involved to get your class blogging! 🙂 Congratulations on your blogs and successes. Cheers, Al

  2. Hi Al. Thanks for the mention on your blog. I’ve changed the link wording (I copied the ‘detailed step…’ wording from John Connell’s blog post)

    A big thank you, too, for all the ‘hints and tips’ I’ve picked up from following your class blog over the past year or so 🙂

    Margaret V

  3. blogging is something i’ve wanted to do properly with my class for ages and reading your stuff is slowly building my confidence…thanks

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