Setting Up the Blog And Getting Started

There are many different venues and companies you can set your classroom blog up. The most popular options are:

Once your blog is installed and your account set up, you will need to create additional users for each one of your students. Screenshots below are taken in WordPress 2.7.

blog-setup

Click on Users and “Add New User”

blog-setup2

Enter a username for each new user. Remember that that username is visible on the blog when posting or commenting. You do not need to enter a first or last name, nor a website address. Enter your own school e-mail for each one of the students usernames. Kim Cofino on Always Learning also describes how she sets up a student e-mail linked through a teacher e-mail account with Gmail.

one teacher can have 20 permanent e-mail accounts that are all delivered into one teacher e-mail account. Therefore, if the teacher account is teacher@gmail.com, all you have to do is add a “+studentname” before the @ symbol to make a linked account. Therefore mail sent to teacher+studentname@gmail.com will go straight to teacher@gmail.com.

Enter a password twice.

There are different roles that you can assign to each user:

  • Administrator – Somebody who has access to all the administration features
  • Editor – Somebody who can publish posts, manage posts as well as manage other people’s posts, etc.
  • Author – Somebody who can publish and manage their own posts
  • Contributor – Somebody who can write and manage their posts but not publish posts
  • Subscriber – Somebody who can read comments/comment/receive news letters, etc.

For setting up our blog for elementary students, I assigned the following roles

  • The teacher will be the administrator of the blog.
  • Each student will receive their own username and have the role of contributor

As contributors, students can author their own posts, but do not have the authority to publish their post. Once their post is finished, it is submitted for review. An administrator or editor will have to approve the post before it gets published.

Create a category, named after each one of your students’ username.

Instruct students how to log in with their username and password. Reminding them again NEVER to share their password with anyone.  After writing and formatting the blog post, show students how to tick off the post in their category. Once a blog visitor clicks on the name of the user in the category list, only the posts authored by that user will show. Almost like their own blog.

blog-set-up

While writing their posts, students should regularly save their drafts, until they are ready to post. Then click “Submit for Review”.

blog-setup3

An administrator now has to log into their dashboard to publish the “Pending Review” post.