Create and Manage Student Blogs in 5 Simple Steps

We’re seeing increasing numbers of educators use blogs as digital student portfolios, where students showcase their work and share their learning, throughout their school life.

Why?

  • Studies have found that the effort of communicating to someone else forces you to pay more attention and learn more (Clive Thomspon).
  • When students were asked to write for a real audience in another country, their essays had better organization and content than when they were writing for their teacher (Clive Thomspon).
  • Digital student portfolios can be used for application to colleges, Universities or for applying for jobs.
  • We all have increased motivation when we feel personal ownership.  You see greater improvements in student learning and literacy skills when each student has their own student blog.  Blogs allow students to easily transfer the digital student portfolio to their own personal space as all standard blogging platforms allow you to easily transfer content between platforms using export/import.

You can read more about the benefits of student blogging and digital student portfolios here!

Let’s show you how simple it is to set up and manage student blogs using My Class on Edublogs and Edublogs Campus networks.

Step 1 – Create a class blog

Every teacher should have a class website to keep students and parents up-to-date.

The class blog is the hub that connects the student blogs and helps you manage all your student blogs!

The Class blog

A class blog

You’ll find step by step instructions on how to set up your class blog here!

Step 2: Set up My Class

My Class is the ultimate tool for class and student blogging.   It allows you to connect student blogs to your class blog where you can control the student blog privacy, comment moderation and post moderation on all student blogs with just one click.

My Class also allows you to transfer student blogs to management of a new teacher at the start of each school year; or remove from My Class, and transfer complete control of the blog to the student, when they leave school.

Here’s how to set up My Class:

1.  Go to My Class > Create a Class.

Create a class

2.  Select “This is a class blog” (1),  ”No – use if you want them to publish posts on their student blog” (2), choose if you want to moderate posts and comments on student blogs (3),  your preferred privacy option (4) and which users you want to manage your student blogs (5).

My Class Settings

3.  Click Save.

Step 3:  Create your student blogs

Once you’ve set up My Class there are two options for creating student blogs:

  1. You create the student blogs using My Class >  Create Student blogs
  2. Students to create their own blogs using the Edublogs sign up page and then connect to your class blog using My Class > Join a Class.

Here’s how simple it is to create student blogs:

Or give these instructions to your students if you want them to create their own student blogs and join your Class blog.

1.  Go to My Class >  Create Student blogs.

Create student blogs

2.  Add username, email address, password, blog URL and blog title.

Creating Student blogs

We recommend you use the preset password option and record their username/password/blog URL in a spreadsheet as you create their blogs.   Some teacher require students to informed them when passwords are changed so they have a record of the student’s latest password.  This is handy for those students who forget password or provided the wrong email address.

Example of a spreadsheet

3. Click Submit.

Step 4:  Add Class blog widget to sidebar

The class blog widget provides a handy link to all student blogs attached to My Class.  Students just need to click on the link to easily go to a class mates blog.

Class blog widget

Example of the class blog widget in the sidebar of a blog

1.  Go Appearance > Widgets.

widgets

2.  Add the class blog widget to the desired sidebar.

3.  The widget will automatically open.

4.  Select  ’No’ under Public only if you are using private blogs (1), alphabetical (2), the number of blogs (3) and then click Save.

  • Any time you add any more student blogs to My Class you update the Class blog list by opening up the Class blog widget and clicking Save.

Class blog widget

Step 5:  Check student posts and comments

Student posts and comments can be checked using My Class > Student blogs or Users > Reports.

My Class > Student blogs is where you’ll see all your student blogs listed.  Here is where you can use the Dashboard link to access their blog; where you’ll see the number of published and pending posts / pages / comments on their blogs.

Clicking on pending under a student blog takes you to the pending post or pending comments page inside their student blog dashboard where you can edit, approve or publish the post or comment.

You’ll find detailed instructions for approving pending posts and comments here.

Student blogs page

Reports, via Users > Reports,  allows you to run a report on a specific student.  It allows you to check comments they’ve submitted on any blog or posts they have published and choose the date range you want to check.

Running a report

That’s it!

Let us know in the comments below if you have any questions and feel free to share a link to your class and student blogs too!

For more handy tips check out our blogging with class and student series!

Sue Waters

Edublogs Support Manager @suewaters on Twitter

9 Responses

  1. Rhonda Jessen says:

    Thanks for sharing Sue. Your instructions are so clear and detailed that even blogging newbies won’t have any trouble setting up their class blogs.

    This is another reason I think of you as my Fairy Blog Mother.

    Rhonda Jessen
    http://rhondajessen.com

    • Lisa noble says:

      I think I love Rhonda’s name for you, sue! Even I should be able to follow these instructions. Kind of excited.

  2. Tracey says:

    Thanks so much!

  3. Kyle Pearce says:

    Hi Sue:

    Great post! Wondering if you have any suggestions for someone who is looking to add the My Classes feature to their own WordPress Multisite blog? I purchased all of the plugins and themes from wpmudev.org and am moving along great. Just wish I could allow my teachers to easily manage students in their classes.

    Any advice would be great!

    • Sue Waters says:

      Hi Kyle

      Thanks for the nice feedback about the post. My Class is a custom plugin designed specifically for Edublogs and Edublogs Campus. We would love to be able to release it on WPMU DEV but it is a very complex plugin that we frequently need to fine tune.

      Sue

  4. sherry says:

    This will be my first year using student blogs. I wanted my students to join my class blog rather than me entering all of their info, but when you search for my blog title it doesn’t turn up any results. It says blog not found. Am I doing something wrong? Thx.

    • Julian says:

      I found that too. I put the actual blog URL, then tried the url without the www. and finally, just the name of my class, which worked. A little time after your question in August but that may have helped?

  5. Robert Sterner says:

    Only works with EduBlogs Pro…

  6. Maria Sohns says:

    Hi Sue. Can you please help me to organize my student blogs according to class period? I can’t seem to figure it out, but I think it would make navigation easier if I organized it this way. Thanks.

    Maria

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