Most schools have web sites nowadays with ever changing information. The problem with this is that content disappears from the front page very quickly.
In my school, we set a challenge for our teachers – upload at least one article per month. Right now, there are 9 teachers on our staff. Our front page allows the user to see 8 articles (including the Featured article) so you can imagine that articles have a short shelf life before they fall down through the archives.
Often, it can be a nice idea for a teacher to set up a blog for a particular project. For example, if my class were doing a project on the Vikings, I could set up a blog called “Vikings Project in Simon’s Class” and both the children and I could update it until the project was over. By the end of the project, we would have a nicely wrapped parcel of project work. It wouldn’t be sandwiched between other posts on the main web site and it could be accessed any time by us.
I’m going to look at a number of blogging services, which could be used by teachers to set up these niche sites. The only considerations for their inclusion is that they are free and that they don’t have to be downloaded to a computer.
Not to be confused with its big brother WordPress.org, WordPress.com is one of the most widely used blogs in the world. It is easy to sign up – all you need is a unique username. Other advantages of WordPress.com are the variety of different templates (themes) available to you. There is good integration with plugins such as Twitter and Polls. Publishing an article is nice and easy too. There aren’t too many disadvantages. Some people find the administration interface a little bit difficult to navigate around. However, this makes it one of the more powerful blogging tools out there.
Designed to be simple, Blogspot, which is owned by Google, allows users to create a simple blog quickly. There are a small but nice selection of customisable templates and writing an article is a simple affair. There aren’t that many fancy add-ons to Blogspot except for those you might find in the maze that is the gadgets’ section. If you’re looking for a basic looking blog, this is a good option.
My personal blog is a Tumblr blog. The reason for this lies in its simplicity. I can update my blog from any Internet connected device really easily. Unlike the above two, Tumblr allows the user to choose the type of article/post they wish to create. This could be an article with text and images, it could be a captioned photograph, a quote, a piece of audio, a video and more. Once chosen, it’s simply a matter of filling in the blanks. There are thousands of templates available too, many of them are completely free. For a quick way to blog short articles and photos, this is a great option.
Posterous would be similar to Tumblr except that some consider it even easier to blog. All one has to do is email Posterous what you’d like to stick up and it does the rest of the hard work. This might be a decent option for its complete ease of use.
Zapd allows you to create nice looking web sites that not only work on a computer but look lovely on an iPhone too! All you need to do is create your Zapd web site on an iPod Touch or iPhone if you have one. This is definitely the best app for making projects and displaying them on a mobile device.
Twitter is a blog? Technically, Twitter is known as a microblog. When you write a tweet, you are writing a very short (micro) blog post. These posts often contain a link to a photo, video or web site. One can set up a Twitter account easily with a username. The only issue with a Twitter account is that posts disappear after a certain amount of time so you won’t have a permanent record of your project.
Last Update: August 18, 2017