Student Blogs Update 2! - Really, it is a critique of the website that I am using for the student blogs
Friday, May 25, 2007 by Jethro Jones
I didn't like it that much. It was nice for each student to have their own blog, but I think that I next year I will have a blog for the whole class, ask questions, and have students posts their responses as comments. I use blogger for my personal blog and for my education blog . I think I will like blogger better than this 21classes. I set up an account at Google so that my students could all have email addresses that are firstname.lastname@example.org and that has been nice. I have had a couple students get on at home, and chat with me during class to make sure they understand the assignment. That has been a very worthwhile experience. Right now, I email the students a question at the beginning of the week, and they post the answer on their blogs. The thing I didn't like about 21classes was that they had ads to support it if you don't pay. The problem is that their ads were like this: "Are you GAY? Take the quiz and find out now!" I am not sure that I would like my students to learn about their sexual orientation while doing an assignment for my class. The site costs $8.95 a month to use without ads, and there aren't really any other benefits. Blogger also has a much better design. The other problem with 21classes.com is that customer service is non-existent. There is no option to go back to the ad-supported site (as I was planning to do over the summer) without deleting the entire thing. That is kind of frustrating. Also, when I have problems, and I need to know why none of my students can post on a particular day, I try to contact someone, and there is no phone number or anything like that, so I have no way to contact them. Any email links to report problems all pop up with my email address in the field. It sounds very sketchy and probably is. I will delete the whole thing as soon as all my students finish their blogs, so I don't have to pay for another month.