eLatin eGreek eLearn

More wired than a Roman Internet café

Testing to see how the blog feature works. Am thinking of using Ning for my students to have blogs this year...

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Comment by Andrew Reinhard on August 14, 2009 at 9:14am
This is a great idea! Several eClassics members do this already and are enjoying the experience. You should check out fellow Ning site Classroom 2.0 for more help and ideas on Ninging for education.
Comment by Jenn Wilkey on August 14, 2009 at 11:19am
Thanks Andrew. Classroom 2.0 is alot of help! Although I am a little overwhelmed by all the choices. Am tempted to go with Blogger because that is what I am used to. We will see!
Comment by Andrew Reinhard on August 14, 2009 at 11:21am
I use Blogger for four of my own blogs, and I know a number of Latin teachers who use that platform for their classes. I prefer Blogger over LiveJournal or WordPress, but it boils down to personal preference.
Comment by April on August 14, 2009 at 5:11pm
My school blocks most of those sites; it maintains a site for blogging for teachers on its own server, but I am not sure that is that useful. Do y'all have any other suggestions?
Comment by Andrew Reinhard on August 14, 2009 at 7:17pm
If you can demonstrate to your school's IT person/people that the site (Blogger or Ning or whatever) is truly private and restricted to the class, more often than not they will let you have special access through the school's firewall. Most K-12 schools do have policies in place about Web 2.0 sites, but communicating with them and citing specific examples of other educators using this material goes a long way to helping you get what you need.
Comment by Laura Gibbs on August 14, 2009 at 10:18pm
Hi folks, I do my own personal blogging with Blogger.com (I love it), but I have my students blog with Ning.com because they really thrive on the "group" aspect of it, the way that everybody's blogs fit together at the same website, and they also love having their own profile pages, in addition to the blog - they can put YouTube videos and photos on their profile pages, in addition to the work they are doing in their blogs. So, Ning.com is a hands-down winner for me; it's completely transformed how students feel about blogging for my online classes.

The only disadvantage to Ning.com is that the RSS feed is truncated; you cannot get a full text feed out of the Ning.com blogs - so if you want to read your students' blogs in an RSS reader, Ning.com will not work. If I could fix just one thing about the Ning blogs, that would be it! But aside from that, the Ning blog option has worked out really well for me.

Jenn, my online course Ning is closed - but I'll be glad to send you an invite if you'd like to see how I am using it. You can send me an email at laurakgibbs@gmail.com and I'll send you back an invite to your email.

All my online courses are here: http://mythfolklore.net - if you're curious to see how blogging is part of what the students do for class, all the assignments are online there. :-)
Comment by Jenn Wilkey on August 17, 2009 at 7:22am
Thanks everyone. I have decided to go with Blogger for this term, and that could always change. I want ease of grading and the RSS feed is going to be essential. I love Ning from seeing it here and may try it out in the future.
Comment by Laura Gibbs on August 17, 2009 at 8:25am
Hi Jenn, before I switched over to Ning for the blogging last year I came very very very close to doing Blogger.com. The plan I had worked up for that was actually group blogs - I was going to put my students into small groups and have them work on their Blogger.com blog as a kind of group project - I would be the admin. for the blog, and then I would invite students to join the blogs as members, blog together, and then partway through the semester I was going to turn over the admin. privilege to their designated "tech leader" so they could start customizing the blog (there was going to be a tech leader, a proofreading leader, an image use leader, etc. for each group - different tasks for individual members of each group). If Ning suddenly disappears or gets more expensive (I have to pay $30/month to remove the ads), Blogger.com will be where I go next. It has a lot of super features! Please keep us updated here just how you are using it - I would really enjoy hearing more about how you find it works best for you!

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