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Curriculum Corner – Introduction to blogging

Welcome to the world of blogging!  Hopefully, the overview below will provide you with a throughout introduction that will let you dive right on in to creating your own new blog.

What’s On This Page?

Choosing A Blog Service

It is no secret that there are many excellent blogging options available.

Here is our short list of things to keep in mind when choosing a blogging platform:

  1. Will the blogs be blocked by school or home filtering software? Many of the largest blogging platforms such as Blogger and WordPress.com are blocked by school filtering software and home privacy controls due to the fact that they allow any type of content on their blogs.
  2. Can you easily manage large numbers of students or users? Most blogs make it difficult or even impossible for a teacher to have access to student blogs to co-manage or monitor should it be needed.
  3. Are privacy options available? In many school environments, it is important that blogs are only accessed to those with passwords.
  4. Can you easily embed from outside sources? One of the best features of blogs are that you can customize and bring in videos, widgets, and more for other websites and services.
  5. Is there help and support? Are there people you can contact should you come across any problems?

To help you compare the three largest blogging platforms, Edublogs, Blogger and WordPress, we’ve put together this comparison chart.

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Anatomy of a Blog and Blogging Vocabulary

While different themes give blogs different looks, they all tend to have a similar layout.

Here is a sample layout provided by buildinternet.com.

blog-anatomy-blockout

Blogging Vocabulary

Download our Crossword Puzzle that uses the following vocabulary words.  - Great for all ages and student use!

It might be a good idea to review these words with your students when starting out with blogging as well:

  1. Dashboard – This is the back-end area of your blog where you make changes and edits.  This area is not seen by the public and only accessible to blog administrators, editors, or contributors.
  2. Theme - Usually one of the first things bloggers do is pick out a theme.  This is the template or look of the blog which helps give it a personal touch.
  3. Post - Posts are the basic entry in blogs.  Usually, the main page of a blog shows all of the posts in reverse chronological order.
  4. Page - Pages are similar to posts, but are best for “static” content which you want to always be accessible and doesn’t change to often.  For example, you usually find pages such as Contact Us, About, or Calendar on blogs.
  5. Comments – Depending on your theme, comments are allowed on posts and sometimes on pages.  Here, users can reply to what you write, leave links or comments, and create a general discussion.  You can turn on and off comments on individual posts and pages in your blog’s dashboard.
  6. Sidebar - The location and even existence of sidebars depend on your theme.  Some themes even have 3 or more sidebars.  You can add and rearrange widgets in your sidebars in your blog’s dashboard.
  7. Widget - These are the blocks that make up sidebars.  Popular widgets include the ability to subscribe to a blog, user statistics, and suggested links.
  8. Plugins – Plugins are extended features that you can turn on and off on your blog.  Popular plugins include form creation, facebook and twitter connections, and calendars.
  9. RSS - RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” which is a way for people to use RSS Readers to subscribe to and follow your blog.  For all Edublogs, the rss feed is found by going to yourblog.edublogs.org/feed.

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Privacy and User Settings

There are several different settings available to blogs when it comes to privacy and how open the blog is to the public.

Blogs can be set so that only approved users can visit, or individual posts and pages can have their own passwords to hide content.  They can also be set so that search engines visit and archive the blog or not.

When you set up a blog with multiple users you have the ability to assign and control what other users can do in the blog depending on the tasks you want each user to be responsible for.

You need to consider carefully what role you assign other users since Administrators are able to remove other users, including you, and editors can delete content.

The five roles a user can be assigned in decreasing level of responsibility are:

  1. Administrator – can do everything including complete power over posts, pages, plugins, comments, choice of themes, imports, settings, assign user roles and are even able to delete the blog.
  2. Editor – is able to publish posts/pages, manage posts/pages, upload files, moderate comments as well as manage other people’s posts/pages.
  3. Author – can upload files plus write and publish own posts.
  4. Contributor – can write own posts/pages but can’t publish them.
  5. Subscriber – can read comments and write comments.

Here is a summary of their differences based on User Capability:

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Related Resources

Edublogs Help and Support Guide – This is our complete and comprehensive help and support guide which will answer nearly any question you may have.

Recommended Support Posts

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Add to this page!

We would love your ideas, files, or links to add to this page. And of course, we will credit you and provide a link to your blog for anything we use.

Have lesson plans, student handouts, or other files you are willing to share?


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