Showing posts with label free blog platforms. Show all posts
Showing posts with label free blog platforms. Show all posts

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Chart - A Comparison of Educational Blogging Platforms

I'm often asked for advice about picking the best blogging service for classroom use. Every school's and classroom's situation is a little different so it's not easy to make a blanket statement like, "blog service X is best for all teachers." To help teachers decide which blogging platform could be best for them, I created the following chart. The chart compares eight key elements of five common blogging platforms.

You can download this chart as a PDF through this Box.com link or click here to see it as a Google Document.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Weekend Project - Build a Web Presence for Your Professional Self

It's getting to be that time of year when new graduates and seasoned veterans alike start to explore their job options. If you are one of those people looking for a new job in education, I have a project for you that could help your cause the next time you apply for a position. That project is to create a web presence for your professional self.

There are a lot ways you can create a web presence for yourself and I'll outline a few below, but first let's talk about why you should do this. A web presence in which you make public your thoughts about education allows prospective employers to do a little research on what you really think is important in education. A lot of people can shovel eduspeak for an hour in an interview, but what you really think can't easily be hidden over months of blogging. Likewise, for those candidates who get nervous at interviews and can't shovel the eduspeak as well as others, months or years of blog posts allows a prospective employer to know the "real you."

If you don't have time to fill up a blog with your thoughts about education before that next interview create a website on which you feature your best lesson plans. Even better, if you have videos of yourself teaching, post those videos. Again, it's one thing to listen to someone talk about teaching, but it's another to actually see someone teach. I'm surprised by how many people have great lesson plans, even technology infused lesson plans, that no one knows about because they don't share their lessons.

Create a Blog.
There are a lot of free platforms for creating a blog. Here are tutorials for creating a blog with some of the most popular free platforms.

Edublogs


Blogger


WordPress


Posterous


Creating a website to display your professional portfolio.
There are many many platforms for creating a free website. Here are a few of my preferred platforms.

If you already have a Google Account, Google Sites is already available to you. Just select it from the menu of services that you're not using. Google offers a wide variety of templates that you can use and customize on your site. Should you decide at a later date that you want to add other contributors to your site, you can do so with just a couple of clicks in the sharing menu. Learn more about Google Sites in this video.

Weebly was one of the first website building tools that I played around with when I got started on my technology integration journey. It's a very intuitive and feature rich platform for creating a free website. For those reasons, it's always on my list of recommendations to teachers who want to build a classroom website.

Webs is another service that I have first-hand experience with in a school setting because a couple of my colleagues have used it for their classes. Webs has all of the characteristics that you would expect to find in a free website platform. Websites built using Webs can include videos, calendars, polls, and a wide variety of third party widgets. Webs offers a wide variety templates and layouts to select from.

Don't forget to network.
I can't write about creating a web presence for your professional self without mentioning the value of networking. Creating an online network of contacts gives you people to exchange ideas with and to possibly learn about new job opportunities. Create a LinkedIn account and look for people you know to connect with. You might be surprised to find folks you worked with years ago to reconnect with on LinkedIn. Consider joining a education network like Classroom 2.0 to connect with other educators. Finally, I like Twitter a lot, but it does take time to build up a network of connections on it. If you're interested in learning how to develop a PLN, check out my slides on the topic

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pen.io - A Very Simple Blogging Platform

Pen.io is a simple blogging service that you can start using in a minute or less. To use Pen.io just head to the site, name your page, and select a password for editing. Once you've done those things you can start blogging. To edit your page just click on any of the predefined text and start typing. To add more pages just type the the ":page" tag, to insert videos just type the ":video" tag. One short-coming that Pen.io has is that it doesn't support images yet.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for a quick and easy way to get students blogging, Pen.io might just be what you need. Pen.io lacks fancy templates and layouts, but that could be a good thing as it will prevent students from worrying about aesthetics and turn their focus to writing.