Riding the rising tide of online learning, Edublogs has grown its blogging platform for educators, which was launched in 2005, into a three million user platform connecting teachers and students.
“What sets us apart is that we’ve added in tons of education specific features such as content filtering, student management controls, and have a growing user community in the education field,” Ronnie Burt, Edublog’s director of operations, said.
Edublog’s success among school districts and colleges was not an accident. The company’s platform was the brainchild of Australian James Farmer, who was a lecturer at Deakin University near Melbourne. The company recognized that it needed to target its platform to educators.
Seven years later, the company has approximately three million registered users. Edublogs offers two products: individual blogs and websites and private WordPress multisite networks for schools and universities on its Edublogs Campus format. Burt said there are 600,000 blogs from approximately 250 higher learning institutions using the campus format. While the company’s clients are worldwide, about half are U.S.-based.
Edublogs can be compared to a learning management system with teachers and students engaging with each other. Teachers are able to use the blog as a message board, he said, but allows external links and videos to foster interaction. Students are also able to have their own blogs for their questions or comments about their studies, which invites fellow students or the teachers into the conversation.
“Traditional learning management systems operate in a closed or walled environment,” he said. “We make it possible to remove those barriers and become an open space for sharing and discussion. Students take ownership of their blogs, often as an ePortfolio, and tend to be better motivated when what they write can be read by anyone and even searched in Google.”
Burt added that the blogs come with a large variety of privacy options which enable teachers and students to block search engines and make their blog visible to certain people.
The blogs are free for students and cost $3.33 per month for individual teachers. Universities and groups can purchase the platform for one year ranging from $750 to $8,000.
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