School systems across the country are beginning to provide blog servers for teachers. It is being seen as necessary step in providing their teachers with a safer and more controllable alternative to many free blogs. Who ever you choose to use, you are looking for a server on the internet that will allow you to create content that in turn allows a reader to leave some form of communication.

Alternatives: In AISD, there is no Blog server at this time. There is a podcasting server currently being developed and for more information on that, please contact Instructional Technology. So, if your school district does not provide a server for this purpose, what are your alternatives?

  • Blogger.com- Blogger is free and is widely used as a first blog for many users. It is very easy to setup and use and there is plenty of online support. Unfortunately, it is often used by spammers for data mining and providing security for classroom use is not very strong.
  • WordPress.com-WP is what this blog is hosted on. It is also free and has plenty of online support for novice bloggers. It provides an additional layer of security, many posting options, and the added value of being able to create a static webpage in addition to the blog/comment pages. This page is a static page and is listed among the pages on the right side of the site window.
  • TypePad- TP is free and has additional features that one can pay for. It is generally used more by experienced bloggers.
  • MSN.com, Myspace- Both of these are free tools. They are mostly for social promoting and generally are not build around child-safety.
  • Squarespace.com- I do not have any knowledge of how well this tool works, but it is an example of a site that charges $7 a month for the features they provide.

Most often, a blog can be setup with just a working email account. You will need that account for the provider to email your passwords and provide secure service. If you have a second email account that you rarely use, that would be a good account to use to setup the blog as email addresses attached to blogs are often visible and used by spammers.

Since this is an internet-based service, your computing platform does not matter. You can use Mac, Windows, or Linux. Depending on the provider, you will probably find the most useful browser to be the Firefox browser, rather than IE Explorer or Safari, even though the others still work in most circumstances. Firefox is a free download and works on Macs and PCs.