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Do you have student blogs or are you thinking about setting up student blogs in the future? Maybe you have a class blog but would like students to publish their own posts?

My Class is a management tool that brings a class blog and all your student blogs/accounts together. It makes it easier for teachers to set up and monitor their classroom blogging program.

My Class is ideal for teachers with students who either have their own student blog or publish posts on the class blog.

My Class has recently had an update!

Along with improved functionality, student blogs can now be created without an email address.

If you’re already using My Class, go to Settings > Save to make sure all features are activated.

For our CampusPress users, there is now more control over students’ dashboards and the ability to create student blogs using a template. With blog templates, you can apply the same appearance, customized content in posts and pages, categories and more to all newly created student blogs.

This post explains all the features of My Class and how to use it. If you scroll down, you’ll also find 3 printables to use in your classroom that show how to write a post, how to leave a comment, and how to use the Reader.

My Class has had an update! Our management tool is ideal for teachers with students who either have their own student blog or publish posts on the class blog. This post explains all the features of My Class and how to use it.

My Class Features

My Class is a management tool that teachers use to:

  1. Quickly create student blogs with or without a student email address.
  2. Allow students to publish their own posts on their student blogs and/or the class blog.
  3. Control comment moderation settings on student blogs. Either the teacher or student can be in charge of comment moderation.
  4. Control the privacy settings on all student blogs with just one click! Blogs can be public, private, or somewhere in between (e.g. search engines can be blocked or only logged in users can visit blogs).
  5. Quickly view and/or moderate posts* and comments in one location in the Reader.
  6. Quickly enable extra features on student blogs such as allowing embed code. *
  7. Configure the settings to ensure all student posts are reviewed by a teacher before the posts are published. *

*Note: My Class is available with free blogs; however, Edublogs Pro allows for teacher moderated posts and using embed code.

My Class Cheat Sheets

Short on time or just want to read a summary of how My Class works?

Check out these cheat sheets which summarize the key features and show you how to get started.

 

Getting Started With My Class

To get started you first need to Create a Class. Go to the dashboard of your class blog and follow the directions below.

(If you haven’t set up a class blog yet, you can get one for free at https://edublogs.org)

1.  Go to My Class > Create a Class.

Go to Create a Class

2.  Select the options that work for you, such as:

(1) Select ‘This is a class blog’

(2) Select ‘No – use if you want them to publish posts on their student blog’

(3) Choose if you want to moderate posts and comments on student blogs

(4) Choose your preferred privacy option

(5) Decide which users (teachers) you want to manage your student blogs

My Class settings

3.   Click Save.

4.  The My Class menu should change to the menu item shown below.

My Class menu items

Once you’ve created your class there are two options for creating student blogs:

  1. You create the student blogs using My Class > Create Student blogs
  2. Students create their own blogs using the Edublogs sign up page

We’ll walk you through the first option.

Refer to the create own student blog support page if you want students to create their own blogs and attach their blog to My Class.

Create Student Blogs Using My Class

The following instructions explain how you create the student blogs yourself using My Class.

You create student blogs as follows:

1.  Go to My Class >  Create Student blogs.

My Class menu items

2.  For each student, add a username, email address (optional), password, blog URL, and blog title.

  • If you leave the email address blank their user account is created using our no email option and you will be able to reset their password using the Edit link under their username in Users > All Users.
  • All passwords are stored encrypted in our system and can’t be viewed by anyone, including the user. Record your students’ passwords in a spreadsheet as you create their account if you use our no email option.
  • This creates their student blogs, adds them as a user to the class blog, adds you as a user to their student blog, and connects their student blog with the class blog.

Create Student blog

We recommend you use the preset password option and record their username/password/blog URL in a spreadsheet as you create their blogs.

Some teachers require students to inform them when passwords are changed so they have a record of each student’s latest password.

This is handy for those students who forget passwords or provide the wrong email address.

spreadsheet

3.  Click Submit.

Once you have created all your student blogs they will be listed in My Class > Student blogs where you’ll be able to view all pending posts, pages, and comments.

Student blogs

Add Student Blogs Link

You and your students can easily add a link to all student blogs in the sidebar using the Class Blog widget.

To see what this looks like on live blogs, check out the sidebar of these blogs:

You add the class blog widget as follows:

1.  Go to Appearance > Widgets.

widgets

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

3.  The widget will automatically open.

4.  Choose the options that suit you and then click Save.

(1) Select ’No’ under Public only if you are using private blogs

(2) Select alphabetical under order

(3) Select the number of blogs to display

Please note:

  • You can only use ‘Blog Name Only’ if you have more than 10 student blogs.
  • 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

5.  The widget will look something like below in the sidebar of your class blog and the sidebar of a student blog.

Class blogs

Navigate Between Dashboards

When you set up My Class, your student users are added as users to the class blog and to their own student blog.

The menu items the students see depends on which dashboard they are logged into and what settings you have set in My Class > Settings.

If your students see limited menu items it means they are logged into the class blog dashboard and need to navigate to their student blog dashboard.

You change blog dashboards as follows:

1.  Go to My Sites drop-down menu in your admin bar at the top of the blog.

2.  Click on the dashboard of the blog you want to access.

Changing dashboards

Moderating Posts And Comments

My Class allows you to moderate comments on student blogs if you wish. Moderating student posts is a feature of Edublogs Pro.

Student posts and comments can be checked using any of the following:

  • Dashboard > Reader
  • My Class > Student blogs
  • Dashboard > My Sites
  • Users > Reports

The Reader

The Reader is the fastest way to check all pending posts and comments on your student blogs.

This allows you to preview posts and comments and publish them with one click!

You would use the Reader if you used the following My Class settings:

My Class settings

The Reader is also where you and your students can read and comment on each others’ posts.

You preview posts and comments as follows

1.  Go to Dashboard > Reader.

A number next to the Reader indicates there is a post or comment pending review.

Reader menu

2.  Click on Pending tab

Pending tab

On the pending page, posts and comments are listed in reverse chronological order based on the date they were submitted.

3.  Click on Read More if you want to read the full post or click on Publish if you are happy to publish the post.

  • If you selected ‘I must approve all posts’ students aren’t able to edit the post once it is published.
  • If you want the students to do further edits, you need to leave the post as pending or change the post to draft mode by opening it in edit mode.

Click on Read More

This displays the full post and allows you to select from the following options:

  • View Original — when you click on ‘View original’ it loads the draft post on the student blog where you can see what the post will look like when published.
  • Edit — clicking on Edit opens the post inside the dashboard of the student blog where you can make edits to the post.
  • Publish — to publish the post, click on Publish. Please note if you selected ‘I must approve all posts’, students aren’t able to edit the post once it is published. If you want the students to do further edits you need to leave the post as pending or change the post to draft mode by opening it in edit mode.
  • The forward and back arrows allow you to navigate to the next or previous student post or comment.
  • You can send a private comment to the student by selecting Private comment, adding the message and then click Post Comment.

Private Comment

My Class > Student Blogs

My Class > Student blogs and Dashboard > My Sites is where you’ll see all your student blogs listed.

Here is where you can use the Dashboard link to access a student’s blog. You’ll also 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.

Student Blog page

Reports

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 for a specified date range.

Reports

Reading Student Posts

The Reader automatically feeds all published posts from all student blogs and the class blog into the dashboard of every user attached to My Class. This is where you and your students can easily read and comment on each others’ posts.

You read posts as follows:

1.  Go to Dashboard > Reader.

Reader

2.  Click on Read More if you want to read the full post.

Click on Read More

This displays the full post and allows you to select from the following options:

  • View Original — when you click on ‘View original’ it loads the draft post on the student blog where you can see what the post will look like when published.
  • Edit — clicking on Edit opens the post inside the dashboard of the student blog where you can make edits to the post (only visible to the teacher).
  • Add New Comment — allows you to add a comment to the post from inside your dashboard.
  • The forward and back arrows allow you to navigate to the next or previous student post or comment.

Guides For Your Students

Once your blogs are set up, the three main things you might need to guide your students on are:

  • How To Write A Comment
  • How To Write A Post
  • How to Use The Reader

These guides should help! You can publish them on your class blog, display them in your classroom, or print them for students.

If you have a CampusPress network and would like customized guides for your network, get in touch with us.

How To Write A Blog Comment Steps Edublogs

 

How to Use Your Reader Edublogs My Class Feature

Conclusion

I know when I first started with student blogs it was a big time commitment because checking students’ posts meant opening up individual tabs to visit each individual blog.

My Class has made student blogging so much easier! Managing or just keep an eye on your student bloggers can happen in one location — right in the dashboard of your own class blog.

If you have further questions about using My Class, be sure to check out all our help guides or get in touch with our support team who are available 24/7.

Do you have any experience using student blogs or My Class? Or maybe you have further questions about My Class? Leave a comment below!


Recommended Reading

You might also be interested in reading the following posts about student blogging:

2 Comments

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  1. I love My Class in Edublogs and feel that it is often overlooked in light of other platforms, such as SeeSaw.

    Is the addition of email-less accounts in line with GDPR? I remember discovering the hack to be able to create accounts using ‘+text’ on the end of a Google account. The only issue is that this can sometimes contriven the local policy in place.

    For example, Global2 requires students to sign up with their school email.

    Originally published on Read Write Collect

    • Hey Aaron,
      Glad to hear you’re a My Class fan. It does make life a lot easier! I’m not sure how I managed when I had a class full of student bloggers. Opening up 27 tabs to see what they’re up to just sounds impossible! Hopefully more people will start enjoying the My Class features with the new school year kicking off in the Northern Hemisphere.

      • Kathleen Morris