Hi all.
I have posted before about 21classes, so I'm hoping there are some out there with answers.
I have been using it with my students this semester. Although it has glitches and navigating the administration part is sometimes infuriating because of its counter intuitive menus and submenus that duplicate each other and overlap too much, my students are loving its more effective and robust features. I have been able to live with the glitches and workarounds, but recently I noticed some things:

1. their support is weak. they respond inconsistently or not at all to email and phone message.
2. the blog they have on 21publish.com hasn't been updated in about a year.
3. as of yesterday, the site is down and there is nothing on their blog helping their users understand why it is down, what is being done, or when it might be back up.

Is anyone out there in 2.0 land using this site? It has been my least worst option for student blogging. I like that my students don't need email to use it. I like that I get to view and okay comments and entries. I like most of its functions. But I'm getting frustrated and I am starting to think that maybe this company is not being run very well behind the scenes. I don't want to believe that, but I don't want to be in denial either. I see a lot of positive feedback for edublogs online, but my trial with them disappointed.

I'm anxious for thoughts, comments, especially for those that have direct experience with 21classes, or teachers who can offer comparisons of 21classes with other student blogging sites they have used.

Thanks!

Robert
Los Angeles
Middle School 2.0 Enthusiast

Tags: 21classes, blogs, student

Views: 280

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Robert--it'll be interesting to see how you like it. $30.00 a year for unlimited students is a steal for no ads. Hope it is good!
Nancy,
I just got it off the ground today.
You can check out one of my classes here:

http://classchatterlive.com/redteam

click on the getting started link on the right to see my tutorial for the kids.

Let me know your thoughts!
You are right, it is plain vanilla but I kinda like it. Some blogs have so much going on that it's hard to tell what is what and can be really distracting to kids. The 'how to' video took a long time to load and for a while all I was seeing was a screen capture of the LA public schools? Keep up the good work, I'm sure the kids will love it.

PS I would suggest to the designers a place for title. When you have a long list of blog posts the title is what entices kids to read.
Robert,

I just started 21classes a couple weeks ago and so far so good. I had the same problem the other night. My students struggle with navigation and finding my posts. I was wondering if you knew how to find posts after there are more than five on the home. I read it somewhere that it is a challenge. The chatterlive site looks interesting and something I might switch to. Let me know how it is going in comparison to 21 classes.

Thanks,

Becky
Hi Becky,
The man who runs the chatterlive site is running it for passion. The 21publish people are running for business. To wit: a few weeks ago the star voting feature wasn't working right for me. I actually did screen captures to show them in my email how it was showing up. They wrote back saying it was working fine with no further information. By contrast, using the newly launched classchatterlive today I emailed the creator, Dan Deluca saying my kids were disappointed in switching b/c they can't customize the look/feel of their blogs and b/c they can't enlarge font in their posts. He added a feature to enlarge font within the hour and said he will add the themes within the next two weeks and asked me to continue giving feedback so they could give teachers what they need. It's still a little dull looking compared to 21classes, but much like a Mac vs. PC thing, it just works, and it works better. That's my experience so far. If it changes for good or bad I'll continue to post about it here in our community. Let me know what route you take, also.
Best,
Robert
I know this thread is a year and a half old, but this is some of the best discussion about 21classes.com that I found online so I thought I'd chime in. I've been looking for a site to use to have a class blog with preservice teachers, and at this point have decided to go with 21classes. I'm leery with the comments about poor support, but I think I'm going to give it a go anyway. I actually like the XML-RPC support, since this means my students SHOULD be able to use Posterous and cross-post to their student 21classes blog. Posterous allows for posting with email, and is the simplest blogging tool I've seen yet. I haven't tried this yet, but plan to.

The blog I've setup for this term is on: http://untcic.21classes.com/

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