Edublogs is a blogging service designed for classrooms. For the last four or five years many of the services that they offered were only available to people who subscribed to the "Pro" version of Edublogs at a cost of $39.95/year. Most of those "Pro" features will be available for free beginning today.
The Edublogs Pro features that are available for free now include the ability for all teachers to manage their students' accounts. That feature lets teachers moderate students' blogs, monitor students' posting and commenting activities, and manage invitations to blog authors.
One of my biggest complaints about the previous version of Edublogs was that you had to pay to be able to include videos in your blog posts. That restriction has been removed. Ronnie Burt, the General Manager of Edublogs, confirmed to me this morning that all users will now be able to include videos in their blog posts. To include a video you will just have to insert a link to the video in order to have the video displayed for viewing.
From a security standpoint, all Edublogs users will now be able to make blog posts private and or password protected. Users will also be able to make entire blogs private.
In the design realm, all Edublogs users now have access to all of the design themes and templates in the Edublogs gallery. All users can now have access to dozens of plug-ins to enhance their blogs with additional functions not found in standard blog templates.
Applications for Education
The new enhancements to Edublogs' free plan make it a better option for teachers who are looking for a classroom-friendly blogging tool. Being able to monitor and moderate students' activities on individual or group blogs provides the peace of mind that many teachers and parents need in order to let students blog.