This is the first in a series of forum posts asking for feedback on the software and services around the different categories of Classroom 2.0 programs. Today we start with blogging. What programs or services do you use? Blogger, Edublogs, Wordpress, ClassBlogmeister, 21Classes, or some other?

Which are your favorites and why?
What features are important to you?
(If you're feeling verbose) What are the pros and cons of the programs you've tried?

Hopefully, these discussions will provide an unparalleled reference for new users making choices about what tools to use.

Tags: blogging, reviews

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I think I'm the first person in this thread to mention 21classes. I've been using this service for a while now and find it extremely easy to use and also highly modifiable - which, I believe, is very important when we use blogs to create a community of learners. What I disliked about edublogs was that WordPress MU upon which it is built, does not allow users to modify their templates. I have to admit that the selection of templates for WordPress is excellent, but I wanted my students to be able to make their spaces uniquely their own. I wanted to give them an opportunity to design their own headers and backgrounds. I believe that this kind of functionality helps build a community and a sense of ownership. You can read about my experiences here.

21classes also provides one main portal page that aggregates all the content and lists all student blogs. I like this functionality because it helps students see that we are a community of learners. It helps them see our virtual community as something almost tangible. They can see all the recent comments and entries on the main page and use it as their point of entry into our community because the page also has a log-in window. So, even before they log in, they can get a quick glimpse into what's been happening in the community during their absence. I find that this contributes tremendously to community-building.

The platform also offers a built-in aggregator and tagging.

In short, it really is a great service with an amazing tech support. I highly recommend it.



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