Post By Email, Auto-post to Facebook and Twitter, Better Image Galleries and More!

Woah!

Today’s news is kinda big.

We’ve made available a new plugin, called Jetpack, which when activated brings a ton of new tools and features to your blog.

jetpack

What Can Jetpack Do?

Post by Email

You can create a unique and private email address that can be used to publish a new post on your blog just by sending an email. Read more here.

Auto-post to Facebook, Twiiter, Google+ and More

Connect your blog to your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Path, or Tumblr account to automatically share a link to each new post every time you publish. Read more here.

Sharing Buttons

Much like the AddThis plugin already available, Jetpack gives you another means of adding social sharing icons to the bottom of each of your posts.  Read more here.

Better Image Galleries

Visit our news post from yesterday about the new themes. Click on the image gallery at the top of the post (of all of the themes) and you can see how the images open up in a new full screen slideshow experience. There’s also ways of displaying images in fun new layouts.

Learn more here:

  1. Carousel
  2. Tiled Galleries
  3. Slideshows

Widget Visibility

Hide or show widgets on different pages, giving you total control and flexibility to really customize your sidebars. Read more here.

Spelling and Grammar

The additional spelling and grammar tools can be set so that you must run a check before publishing each new post – a great way to cut down on typos and errors!

And More

There are more modules too that you might find useful. Just activate the Jetpack plugin and take a look around.

Important Notes

Jetpack is developed by the team behind WordPress.com and in order to use the plugin, you must create or have a WordPress.com account.

Jetpack on Edublogs is available to Pro blogs and student blogs that Pro teachers have added as part of My Class.

The plugin is also available on our Edublogs Campus networks, though a Super Administrator must enable the plugin first.

How To Use Jetpack

Go to Plugins > Social in your blog’s dashboard and find the Jetpack by WordPress.com plugin. Click Activate.

Then, go to the new Jetpack menu item near the top of your menu and connect your blog to a WordPress.com account.

You can find more detailed instructions on setting it up here.

And as always, please contact us with any questions you may have.

Happy blogging!

 

Edublogs Campus now integrates with Google Apps, Desire2Learn, Moodle, Canvas, Blackboard and more!

With Edublogs Campus, we make it super easy for every student, staff, and faculty member to have their own WordPress blog or website.

And as of today, we’re excited to share, we can now integrate with many popular student management and learning tools, including Google Apps for Education and Learning Management Systems like Desire2Learn, Canvas, Moodle, and Blackboard.

Promo_SSO_LTI

Google Apps for Education

If your school is already using Google Apps for Education, we can enable single sign on to manage user accounts, passwords, and blog creation.

This will mean that students and staff will have one less password to remember and it is even easier to allow users to create accounts and blogs without the need for request forms, CSV uploads, or other time consuming processes.

LTI and Learning Management Systems

For your LMS and other learning tools, we can now harness LTI to handle user account and blog creations.

Future plans include more detailed integration with many popular tools like links to class blogs within a course, auto-provisioning blogs for students in a course, and more.

We’ll work closely with our Edublogs Campus clients to determine these future plans, needs, and timelines!

Getting Started

If you already have a Campus network, or if you’d like to learn more about getting setup, get it touch with us at support@edublogs.org.

For new networks, we can usually have you up and running in as little as a day. We can even migrate existing WordPress networks over to Edublogs as well.

Don’t forget, we’re happy to setup free trials for Campus, so giving us a try is risk free, fast, and easy!

Announcing NEW Unlimited Student Blogs, Better Class Management, and More!

 

We are thrilled to announce some big changes and improvements to Edublogs!

Our focus this summer is to raise the bar in what we offer so that we continue to be the best blogging, ePortolio, and class website service for teachers and students around the world.

To help us reach this goal, we start by bringing you…

Unlimited Student Blogs!

Previously, each Pro account could only enable extra features on up to 50 student blogs. But we know many teachers can have well over 100 students at any given time.

Student blogs will be able to access premium themes, use our new iOS mobile app, embed videos and other code, and the full range of privacy options.

In addition, students will be able to fully manage the look and feel of their blogs, but won’t be able to change the privacy and moderation settings you set for them.

The NEW ‘My Class’ Feature

This is the big one. Now that you can have unlimited students on Edublogs, you need a good way to manage them all!

You will find a new ‘My Class’ menu item near the top of your blog’s dashboard.

From here you can manage the privacy and moderation settings on all student blogs, get a list of pending comments and posts, and more.

As soon as a student blog is added to a class, it will automatically have the extra features enabled as discussed above.

This is just the first launch – so expect improvements and additions in the coming months!

Better Help & Support

You’ll find a brand new ‘Help & Support‘ menu item in your dashboard with quick links to our user guides and support posts.

There’s also an easier to find link for our Pro users to email questions directly to our support staff.

New Theme Customizer

Go to Appearance > Themes and check out the new ‘Customize‘ link.

From here you can quickly edit the look and feel of your blog’s title, background, and custom images and see how it looks live in real time. This addition is just plain fun to play with :)

And Tons More…

There are lots of other new features and changes you may notice. For example:

  • An improved and simplified image and media uploader
  • A fresh new look to the dashboard and top admin bar
  • Flyout menus that keep the menu items nice and neat
  • Better usability on tablets and mobile devices (no app needed!)
  • An improved ‘Inactive Widgets‘ area to save widgets and so widgets don’t get lost when changing themes
  • Embed tweets into any post by just pasting in the link
  • Behind the scenes changes to improve speed

All of this is available now on Edublogs.org and will be coming soon to our Edublogs Campus networks.

Leave a comment below or contact us with any feedback or questions you may have.

Happy blogging!

Edublogs Update: Manage multiple blogs with a more powerful ‘My Blogs’ page

When Edublogs was first started years ago, most users just had one blog that they kept up with.

Now, with the exciting increase of student blogging, many users are managing hundreds of blogs all from their one account!

The newly revamped ‘My Blogs‘ page, found in the top left under ‘Dashboard‘, now makes it all so much easier.

From this page, you can:

The links above will take you to our user guide pages with loads of more information and detailed directions.

Be sure to visit Dashboard > My Blogs to see more.

Used along with the recently improved Blog & User Creator, the My Blogs page will help you setup and mange as many student blogs as you may need.

Edublogs Celebrates 1 Million Blogs By Giving More Away!

We did it!

Well, actually YOU did it!

We have officially surpassed the ONE MILLION blog mark here on Edublogs.org!

Truthfully, we have several hundred thousand additional blogs on our Edublogs Campus sites which put us over the top over  a year ago.

But we couldn’t be more excited, as this also means we will remain 100% advertisement free, even on free blogs! :)

Here are some things we would appreciate you do to help us celebrate:

 

1. Become a facebook fan and follow us on twitter to keep up to date with our latest news – we also like to randomly give away free Edublogs Pro accounts to our fans and followers :) Share our great news with your followers too if you like!

2. Check out the Teacher Challenges to brush up on your blogging skills or share it with others who may just be wanting to start out. This self-paced free and open professional development will take your blogging to the next level.

3. Let your school administrator or tech coordinator know about Edublogs, our million blog milestone, and what we offer – including the ability to make it easy to create and manage as many blogs as you want through an Edublogs Campus site.

4. Write a post on your blog about our millionth blog and/or what you like about blogging – leave a comment below with a link to the post.

And for anyone that leaves a comment below with a link to your blogging post we’ll put you in for a drawing for a free Edublogs Pro annual subscription (or extension if you are already a Pro user)!

We’ll also give you a SECOND Pro account to give to a colleague of your choice! 

Make sure to get your post and comment in by Wednesday, August 24th.

Happy blogging!

Unveiling Wikis, Maps, Easy Blogging, a New Look, and More!

If you’ve logged into the dashboard of your blog in the last few days, then you probably have already noticed – but we just rolled out many exciting new features!

Plus, we’re just 11,000 10,000 blogs short of the 1 million we need to keep all blogs advertisement free forever!

It’s just too much to share all in one post, but here is a quick overview of some of what is new:

1. A new dashboard look

This will be the first thing you notice if you haven’t already. Everything is still in a familiar location, but the look and feel is a bit more polished.

As you explore the made over dashboard, you will find several improvements such as better search for themes, easier ways to sort posts and pages, and other little tools built in that should make blogging a bit easier.

2. The Admin Bar

Across the top of your blog you will find a new Admin Bar which will help you navigate around your blog and our site.

You can turn off this bar under Settings > Admin Bar in your dashboard if you would prefer – but we find it handy to quickly add a new post, login, or go back and forth between the site and dashboard.

3. Wikis

You will find a new Wiki plugin which lets you add pages to your blog which are fully functional wikis!

Settings allow you to choose between letting all visitors, only registered users, or a select few to edit the wiki. Changes are tracked and discussion is encouraged. This one we know many of you will love!

Read more about wikis on our help and support site here.

4. Custom Menus

Under Appearance > Menus you will find a brand new area for customizing the order and layout of your menus.

The drag-and-drop menu creation allows you to add links to any site on the web, specific categories, and more.

Adding custom menus is easy, and detailed directions on how are here.

5. Easy Blogging

Our Easy Blogging dashboard got a complete face lift too! This feature was designed so that more inexperienced bloggers can get their feet wet by removing a lot of the less used options. Plus, we just think it looks cool :)

You can go back and forth between the Easy Admin and the normal dashboard areas anytime.

6. Blog and User Creator

We greatly simplified the process of creating new users and blogs by rolling everything into this one new and improved creation tool.

Pro users will now be able to more easily create additional blogs, student blogs or accounts, and set it up so that you can manage them all right from the get-go.

7. Google Maps

There is also a new Google Maps plugin which makes it easy to add maps to your blog – including satellite and street views!

Best of all, it is easy to use, but you can find more details of how to use it here.

There’s more!

There is actually quite a bit more – including the ability to hide parts of a post until a selected time, improved form making, and updates to many themes. We will be sharing those in more detail in the coming weeks.

In the mean time, play around and let us know what you think! 

As always, feel free to contact us should you need any help with any of these new features.

Enjoy!

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