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!

 

The New Edublogs for Android App!

We’ve just released the new Edublogs for Android app – available now for free in the Google Play Store!

You can blog, upload photos, moderate comments, and more right from your phone or tablet.

Here are a few screenshots to whet your appetites:

Screenshot_2013-09-26-10-37-34

Screenshot_2013-09-26-14-04-12

Screenshot_2013-09-26-14-05-34

Nice, huh?

For help using the app or more info about blogging from phones and tablets, check out the guide here.

And don’t forget our Edublogs for iOS app too :)

Happy mobile blogging!

Happy 2 Million Blogs!

Woah!

Check out what just happened on the upper left corner of our site.

2 million blogs

Teachers and students around the world have now created more than TWO MILLION blogs on Edublogs.org.

You add the nearly 1 million more on our Edublogs Campus networks, and you’ll find Edublogs being used in classrooms in just about every single country, age group, and subject matter there is.

We’re stoked! And humbled!

A massive thank you to all of our users that have helped to grow the Edublogs community.

Our goal is to keep growing with 10’s of millions more blogs – we certainly couldn’t do that without all of you.

Thank you!

Happy blogging!

Migrating your Posterous site to Edublogs

We’ve been hearing from you that lots of educators need to move their blogs since Posterous announced they are shutting down their service on April 30. 2013

And, we’re happy to share, we’ve been working hard organizing a Posterous importer as quite a few of our Edublogs users have Posterous accounts.

When you migrate your Posterous account into Edublogs it will import:

  1. All image files
  2. All video files
  3. All audio files
  4. All posts
  5. All comments
  6. All media that has been embedded using embed code

You can easily import your posts into any Edublogs Campus and Edublogs Pro or upgraded blog.

Just go to Tools > Import and use one of the two import options:

  • Posterous – Use if you haven’t uploaded video and audio files to your Posterous account.
  • Posterous XML – use if you have uploaded video and audio files to your Posterous account.

Refer to this step by step instructions for importing your Posterous account into Edublogs.

There are numerous options for migrating Posterous to different blogging platforms but most are having the same challenge.

Here is what you need to know:

1. Complete Media Transfer

Most platforms are able to import Posterous posts with images but aren’t able to migrate a complete media transfer if you have audio and video files uploaded to your Posterous account.

This means if you currently import a Posterous account into another blogging platform, and have uploaded any audio or video files, the posts are imported but the audio or video files remain on the Posterous service.

These audio and video files need to be imported into your new blog otherwise when Posterous shuts down these media files will be lost.

Edublogs is one of the few platforms that can migrate a complete media transfer so all your audio and video files are imported into your Edublogs blog when you import from Posterous.

2.  Embed Code

The other aspect you need to consider is that Posterous allowed you to embed a wide range of media such as Prezzi, AudioBoo, Google Forms, Glogster using embed code.

Not all platforms allow you to use embed code as Edublogs does.  If you import your Posterous account into a platform that doesn’t allow embed code you’ll lose all your embeds.  You don’t lose any embeds when you import into an Edublogs blog.

3.  Comments

Some platforms also can’t import your comments, so be sure to check this first.

 We look forward to helping users move their existing work over and are happy to answer your questions!

 

A Few Updates and 12 Days of Blogging

We have a couple of exciting updates to share as we wrap up 2012!

And, you should know, we have big plans to make 2013 the biggest edublogging year yet.

Before we get to the new toys to play with, check out this excellent video from Mr. Avery’s Classroom Blog as his students share their “12 Days of Blogging”.

Here is their list :

  1. friends around the world
  2. mystery skypes
  3. 3 Eddie Nominations
  4. 4KM and 4KJ
  5. math movies
  6. projects funded (from DonorsChoose.org)
  7. students blogging
  8. collaborative projects
  9. students commenting
  10. google maps
  11. new posts
  12. clustrmap hits

A huge thanks to Mr. Avery’s class for such excellent examples of student blogging and allowing us to share your work here!

Let It Snow Plugin

The popular ‘Let It Snow Plugin’ is now back and better than ever. On all blogs, just go to the Plugins menu, click Activate and watch the snow fall on your blog!

Email Subscription

One of the most useful features available is the ability to let parents, students, and visitors signup to get email notifications of all new posts on a blog.

All you have to do is go to Appearance > Widgets and add the Email Subscription widget to a sidebar to set it up.

And as of today, you can now see a list of all those that have subscribed, export a list of subscribers, and delete subscribers when needed.

This is just the beginning of better user and subscriber management tools we have in the works. :)

Happy Holidays!

From all of us here at Edublogs, we wish you, your students, and families a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and an excellent New Year!

PSA: Don’t Let Salami and Google Images Get You In Hot Water

This is a true story.

Three years ago, an eleven-year-old blogger here on Edublogs wrote a post about his favorite lunch food – salami.

As part of his post, he used Google Images to find a quick photo of salami that he then uploaded to his blog.

Fast forward to now.

Our Edublogs support team just received a lengthy cease and desist letter from a large law firm that represents the photographer of the salami photo. The formal letter describes all sorts of legal problems for Edublogs and the author of the blog should we not immediately remove the photo in question.

We get these letters daily, but what stood out about this one is that the photo was several years old and not particularly interesting or unique. Most of the complaints we get come from the use of things like maps and curriculum documents.

This tasty looking photo looked a lot like this one:

photo of salami

*For the record, we have permission to share this photo from a stock image site that we pay for.

What does this mean for teachers and students?

It is important to know that even the most innocent of actions can lead to bigger problems down the road.

Using Google Images or copying a photo from most websites is much like plagiarism. Hopefully, by educating each other, we can avoid mistakes like this one and promote fair use of photos and other media on the web.

If you are looking to learn more about copyright, creative commons, and where to find images you can actually use, check out this recent Teacher Challenge post here.

At any rate, we thought this might be a funny example to share.

P.S. When researching for this post, I discovered that when you search for ‘Edublogs Salami’ on Google, you get over 42,000 results. What are our users writing about!? :)

Happy blogging!

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