WordPress.com: My Tool of Choice

My patience with Edublogs has come to an end. I have continued to promote use of this free blogging tool in spite of the slow, undependable nature of this site. The optimist in me just knew that Edublogs would improve as it got a handle on its growth. It has been over a year now, and we still struggle with Edublogs. I’m not the only one frustrated by this, as evidenced by Chris Betcher’s post. True, we are using the free accounts at this site and therefore can’t complain. But I can no longer endorse Edublogs as the blogging tool of choice for our staff.

The good news is I’ve located another free site that will provide an easy transition, WordPress.com. Before you go into a panic, know that you can export your Edublog site and import it into this new site. Also, since this site uses the same blogging software as Edublogs, you won’t have to learn new software. WordPress.com is fast and dependable.

Please be forewarned. When blogging at WordPress.com you are using a service outside of our District. The Willard Tech Department does not provide this service, therefore we have no control over it. There are no guarantees. If you want a risk free, Willard-hosted, dependable and free blogging tool, use the Tiger Blogging tool available through our web-based email platform, as many of our teachers do. (See my Willard Tiger Blog post for more details.) It is a VERY easy, basic, blogging tool. I’ve published a handout and set of 4 screencasts on using the Tiger Blogging tool. If that doesn’t float your boat, I would recommend WordPress.com.

Intermediate School Teachers: I wish I could click the undo button and redo my blogging presentation in your building. It was all the issues that we experienced as I worked with you to set up your blogs, that led me to recognize that Edublogs would probably always be undependable, slow, and frustrating. The last thing I want is for teachers to continuously experience frustration as they use technology. I apologize for the rocky start to your adventure into blogging, and now the extra step of starting a blog with another service.

For those of you who have an Edublogs site with posts and pages, here’s a handout on the steps to exporting your Edublogs site and importing it into WordPress.com. I would be happy to help anyone with this process. My October Blogging workshops will be over WordPress.com. You will find a new WordPress handout on my Fusion: Blogging webpage. I will also keep available the Edublogs handout and screencasts on this Fusion: Edublogs webpage.

If you are happy with Edublogs then by all means, continue to use it. I have put a lot of thought into making this recommendation. I know it initially creates additional work, but the time and frustration you will save will long out weigh the time spent transferring the account. (It creates a significant amount of work for me as well.) I would not make this recommendation on impulse. It has been a long time coming. Not a choice I wanted to have to make, but I know when to cut your losses and move on.

If you would like to participate in a workshop on the Tiger Blogging tool, please enter your vote in this form. If I have enough interest, I will schedule an after school blogging workshop in November.

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5 thoughts on “WordPress.com: My Tool of Choice

  1. i totally understand your pain. i tried implementing edublogs this year with my middle schoolers (having successfully worked with it last year) and found myself stalled out at every turn. i switched to blogger and am having mixed results. i’m curious to hear how wordpress.com works out. anyhow, i’ve been following your blog for the past month and have found it very useful. thanks!

  2. Just read Vicki Davis’ Google Adsense Nonsense Google Adsense Nonsense post on the TechLearning blog. She talks about Google Adsense appearing on Edublogs sites, displaying inappropriate content. This might be why users have been asked to reset passwords for their Edublogs accounts. Teachers using Edublogs need keep an eye on their site, checking it during late hours for any advertisements.

  3. Hi Janetta,
    I hope you have time to answer a question. Looking at WordPress.com, the Features page (http://wordpress.com/features/) has a note at the very bottom that Google text ads could appear on a free blog. Would you worry about those appearing on a blog for a school class? Thanks.

  4. Advertisements are always a concern. I’m monitoring that situation. From what I have read, it is not something WordPress.com does on all it’s free blogs. “We sometimes display discreet AdSense ads on your blog to users who aren’t logged in and aren’t regular visitors.” and “Purchasing the Ad-Free upgrade ($30 a year) will eliminate any ads on your blog so no one sees them at all.” The $30 is reasonable and might be the way to go. Or, our District may eventually host our own WordPress blogging server.

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