Scoilnet Blogging Service

Scoilnet, an NCTE initiative are providing Irish schools with Blog hosting.  I tested it out at the excellent CESI conference this year and I must admit, Scoilnet have got it right.

Scoilnet’s blog hosting is based on WordPress 2.7, the same platform as and any of the web sites I’ve recently developed, so perhaps I’m slightly biased.  However, after giving an hour long workshop on this blogging platform to 20 people, I think the vast majority of them will be signing up.

Scoilnet provide a similar service to but without the new restrictions, Edublogs have sadly decided are necessary.  There is a selection of 106 themes and Tom Lonergan, the head guy, advised participants that if they want more, he’ll make sure there’s more.

There is also the ability to podcast, videocast, add slideshows and add image galleries easily and effectively.  Again, Lonergan said that more features can be added on request.  My request is a translator tool plugin that I use on my school’s web site.

NCTE will be providing training on Blogging and I hope this comes onstream very fast, but in the meantime, will coach any potential blogger very well.

Overall, the NCTE have got this project absolutely right. I hope people will use it and throw away their WebsiteX5 dinosaurs!  Blogging is far easier and much more effective than static web design for a primary school.  Try it and you’ll never go back!

Last Update: August 22, 2017  

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2 thoughts on “Scoilnet Blogging Service”

  1. Hi Simon,

    I have to say that I have spent the last few months going down this route for our school website with very mixed results. On one hand, it is refreshing to have moved away from WebsiteX5 and the restrictions of it, it’s great having more users able to update the site from anywhere and having members from all parts of our school updating the site.

    However, I have found the support from Scoilnet totally dismal. If you have any support query that is in any way technical….forget it! I have gotten blank silences in response to queries. I sent a mail recently  requesting access to basic plugins that are available in WordPress and I got a reply:

    “….The Scoilnet Blog platform is not a tailored-per-school solution. We generally
    only make changes when multiple schools request things to be added.As
    this is a multi user installation of wordpress, any plugin that is added will be
    added for all schools……”

    So it looks like I have to start a campaign ! 

    My source of technical support in re-developing our school website has been the amazing CESI list.

    Just thought I’d pass on my experience.

    Bronagh Dixon,
    Balbriggan Educate Together N.S

    • Thanks for the feedback Bronagh. Unfortunately hosted blogs can be quite limiting so sometimes it’s easier (in the long run) to host your own WordPress blog. It’s a pity that Scoilnet don’t provide dedicated support to their blog service. They should really be able to add plugins if they feel they’ll be useful. Most people won’t request plugins as they will never have heard of them.


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