Okay, I paraphrased a popular tag line from a commercial as my title…bad cliche. I just wanted to emphasize the fact that setting up blogs for my classes was not difficult, it just took some time. If I was a better typist, I could have finished the set up process in half the time if not less. Here is the process:
First, I have upgraded to an Edublogs Pro Account, this upgrade enabled me to add students to my account. I clicked on the “Add New Users” tab on the left side of the screen. I was able to type in batches of 15 students, creating usernames, and passwords. I ran into trouble because my students do not have Gaggle email accounts set up as of yet through school. At this point I made the first of several emails to Sue Waters…Sue is on Edublogs Support Team and Sue rocks!!! She has helped me out several times with issues and is a great resource.
She had recommended that I create a generic class email account, in Gmail, which I did. The next step is to insert a “+” then a unique ID between the main email name and the “@gmail” in the address.
It looks similar to this, “my class+student firstname.lastname@example.org” I created users in batches of 15 and gave each a generic password. A verification email was sent to the new email account I created in Gmail. I typed my way through my preliminary class lists in a couple of hours. I set up each student as a “contributor.” This setting allows students to create posts, however they cannot make a post public without my approval. I like this added safety feature, you never know when a student may have a bad day, or get their account hacked, or forget to log out which could lead to bad things happening. I will need to approve every post before they go out over the Internet. I need to grade the posts anyway, so it is not really an issue.
I then copied all of the usernames and passwords onto a Google Doc for reference later. I have found it best to keep all student usernames close by for reference, you never know when you will need them. In hindsight, I should have given every student the same generic password. That would have saved me from copying their log-in information from my email account. My colleague Bryan Pasquale was going to do that with his students…but he did not upgrade to the Pro account. I believe he is going to use the work around of having his students create accounts, but not blogs so he can add them to his blog as contributors…but that is a different post on a different blog….
I hope to roll out the first blog assignment next week across all six of my classes, it will be on student expectations for the year. We will see what they come up with.