School-wide blogging #3: the questions

[Adapted from a comment I posted replying to ‘Julie’ on EduBloggerWorld.]

I agree that one blog per student is best. The problems follow from there, however. Questions like these arise:

  • Who controls content on student blogs? What happens when students post something inappropriate?
  • Who manages updating the blog software? Can it be done one time for all school blogs, or must each blog be updated individually?
  • How are blog posts managed so that on my English class blog, for example, I see links only to my students’ English posts, not to their math, history, and science posts, too?
  • Are the blogs hosted remotely, or on school servers? What are the pro’s and con’s of each?
  • Is the blogging software commercial, or open-source? Pro’s and con’s?

If we imagine even a small high-school with 500 students, plus 50 teachers, and let’s say 4 class blogs per teacher, we’ve got 750 blogs to manage—a big job!

So far I know of WordPress MU (multi-user) and 21classes.com, and I know of remote hosting solutions like Edublogs / Learnerblogs, which uses WPMU. I’d like to hear from folks with experience hosting WPMU blogs on school servers, and also from folks using 21classes.com on school servers. How do the costs and benefits of these two solutions compare? Are they equally good in meeting the needs of blogging students and teachers, or is one superior, or is neither quite yet what we need?

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