Blogging is one of the easier Web2.0 implementations for that websites are offering to users. I’ve seen online banking sites start offering up blogs for their users! For educators, blogs are usually free resources that can be used to support the classroom curriculum. So what are some alternatives? Let’s list just a few. This blog is being hosted by WordPress. WP gives you the option of using their server or using their software on your own server somewhere else. Keeping it on their server means they maintain your server health and you have ‘wordpress’ in your website address. They have many templates and support resources for beginning bloggers. I especially like the moderating features that effectively keep out people that I don’t want to write on out blog. A great plus is that there is no external advertising that you are forced to keep on the page. For more on WordPress, check out the reference links at the top right of this blog. For a while, the big leader in free blogs. Blogger is arguably one of the easiest to setup. Creating the blog is easy and and advanced user can have an incredible amount of control over what the page looks like and what it contains. Like WordPress, you don’t have to have any external advertisements on the page and can control who is able to post comments. One glaring negative is the lack of control one has over pictures posted on the page. Once published, there is no way of permanently deleting photos. Built on the WordPress blogging engine, Edublogs had the added value of support for education. Teacher content is highlighted and education-focused widgets are created for Edublogs’ teachers to use. A student-oriented email site, Gaggle also provides blogs for registered users. Student blogs are monitored for inappropriate words and content. A teacher contact is notified whenthere are problems with a site. A negative that quickly comes to view is the placement of ads on the student pages. Despite the title, ‘save email for students’, the inclusion of off-site ads is very disturbing. Now in it’s infancy, TeacherLingo seems to be similar to most other blog providers. Their focus is to link many teacher-centered blogs together to make a larger education blogging community. It is free, but one will have to deal with Google ads placed all around the posts.

There are many other free blog servers that offer their resources for teachers. If you are new, sticking with WordPress or Blogger would provide peace of mind in a service that has been well tested and used and also provide detailed technical support.