So why a blog to focus on using blogs in an educational organisational context?
Well there’s a huge difference between individual students and classes blogging to an entire of organization taking on blogs. Let me explain why and provide key points you should consider when choosing a blogging platform.
Why An Organizational approach?
Definitely individual teachers blogging with their students or class are achieving good outcomes. But unfortunately it’s often limited to a few educators within that organisation.
For greater adoption of 21st Century skills an institution-wide approach that strongly supports the program is required. Teachers working in isolation rarely effect institutional change. Coordinated approaches, done well, leads to amazing achievements and incredible transformations.
What to Consider When Choosing a Blogging Platform
While there are numerous blogging options available not all of these are ideal for organisational blogging. Sure maintaining records of all student usernames and passwords, or being co-admin, for a class is doable (but hard work) try doing that for all blogs in an institution.
Here are key points you should consider for an institution-wide approach:
# 1 Management
Ease of managing all blogs is crucial when you have a large number on a site.
You need software that provides access any blog on the site while enabling you to make changes to users or blog details, and adjust what features are available for all users and on a per user basis.
Ability to control what content is posted and who can see the blogs is an important aspect for most educational organizations. A minimum requirement is the ability to access the backend of any blog to edit comments, posts, pages or change the role of a user.
Take the time to consider how much control you want over your users to ensure these types of features are included. For example, Do you want to make some blog private (only visible to logged in users) and others visible to anyone? Do you want to moderate posts, comments, words to minimize the chances of inappropriate content being published?
# 3 Transferability
Some custom made blogging software can’t export the blogs to standard blogging software – this means, in the worst case scenario, you won’t be able to move the blogs to another platform.
Make sure whatever blogging solution you choose you can easily export content from the platform into any other standard blogging software.
Every type of blogging software varies considerably in terms of features.
Some software is more suitable than others. You need to think about:
- Does it include features your users will like?
- Can extra features be added, or developed, that help your users OR improve your ability to manage/control the blogs?
# 5 Hosting
It is really important to consider who is going to host your site.
While you can host the site yourself you do need to appreciate as the number of blogs increases the site becomes harder to manage and skills required become very specialised.
There is a considerable difference between looking after your own single install of a blog compared to other users blogs. You will shed a lot more than a few tears if something bad happened to all the blogs on your site.
# 6 Support
For an institution-wide blogging approach to work your users require support. While you might like to think being a blogger and how to use a blog dashboard is obvious, it isn’t. For most new users it’s all incredibly frightening.
You need to consider:
- How you will support your users in your organization?
- If using a hosting blogging solution – How much support they provide? How quickly is the turn around time for support requests?
# 7 Cost
With costs you need to consider the initial costs and the ongoing cost commitments. These ongoing costs increase as the number of blogs on the site grows due to increased hosting requirements and more specialized technical skills required to manage them.
So what have I missed? Are there any other key points that should be considered? Or should I have expanded on some of the points?
I’m also looking for examples of blogging sites used by educational organizations. Please leave a comment, with a link, if you are happy for me to showcase your site.
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