Let me introduce you to an useful tool called Edublogs. Educblogs is an online tool where educators, teachers, and students can share information and stay connected together. A great thing about Edublogs is that the team that made the software has an different idea of the use of technologies in classroom.
How does it work
Many social media networks (Facebook, Twitter), video creations (YouTube), presentation builders (Wheelhouse), and many other useful webtools (Gmail) are being used in classrooms by teachers and students. These tools are great for students’ motivation and learning, but, in order to tie things up, Edublogs wanted to add a central place to share teachers’ and students’ creations. When the blog is created, it is a great place to publish homework assignments, calenders, ressources, and important news. On Edublogs, there are also Wikis, surveys, and quizzes which are really important for students’ learning. There are three types of services on Edublogs: Free access (Completely free), Edublog Pro (Around 8$ a month), and Edublog Campus (For broader use). The biggest difference between Free access and Pro is that there are more tools for the Pro one (Plugins, Mobile Themes, Custom Domain, Extra storage, Class tools)
Enhacing learning experience
A central blog to publish useful materials is great for encouraging reflexions and collaboration among students. It is also great for students because it is a safe and engaging platform to publish their work from any devices.
According to Frank Calberg, Blogs in education have a lot of usefulness. First, education is focused on demand. Second, blogs can be used anytime and anywhere. Students are not resigned to poor hour times of learning. Third, it encourages to work and work everytime. Because there are a lot of information and feedback forms on blogs, it enhances students’ motivation to go see what is up on their blogs to keep it up to date. Fourth, it helps for the critical thinking, which is very important for students. Reflexions on blogs are the key of critical thinking. A lot of reflexions mean a lot of critical thinking. Fifth, it improves communicative skills. Blogs require empolying language and writing. Sixth, blogs in education enhance initiative and creativity. Because students are often told to put images and videos on blogs, it enhances their creativity.
All those advantages are keys in the students’ success.
Edublog VS the world
You may think about how edublog is better than others blogs tools? Let me show you some advantages.
Edublog is told to be better than Blogger and WordPress for some points:
According to Edublog, Edublog is only for education, there are support from teachers, class blog management, and academic funtionality.
It is said that Edublog has also a better support team: Premium email support, telephone support, customized webinars.
Concerning classroom tools: Video comments, Forums, Community Wikis, Friends and messages.
Honestly, from what I have read I can say that Edublog seems better for educational purpose, but I do not think that wordpress or blogger are bad tools. Moreover, only Edublog Pro seems really worthy. I do not think that the free section of Edublog is that far from the others about usefulness.
ESL teacher point of view
As an ESL teacher, I must say that blogs are now non negociable in classrooms. It has been demonstrated that blogs enhance students’ motivation, creativity, communicative skills, and critical thinking. It is what I exactly want my students to improve. Many forums were saying that WordPress and Edublogs are popular, but Edublogs concentrate only on blogs (Not creating websites).