Edublogs.org is a blogging service specializing in blogs for educational institutions. The site is designed for students, teachers and educators, as well as entire schools, districts or universities. Users can maintain a free blog on the site with limited features, storage space and advertising displayed on the blog by the site. A Pro paid plan is available which allows more storage space, allows the user to remove the advertising on up to 30 free blogs, and which adds more features. The Pro plan is ideal for individual teachers to add and maintain student blogs for their class. A Campus plan is available for schools, districts and universities which offers a blogging platform usable by an entire institution.
The Edublogs.org blogging platform is quite powerful, with the ability to change themes, add plugins, and manage users. The resulting blogs have a very professional look and feel, and the site has a number of pre-built themes which can be applied to the user's blog. There is a QuickPress feature which allows users to quickly create a blog post with title, content and tags directly from the user's Dashboard. The Dashboard also allows the user to maintain users, manage posts and manage comments. Users can also change their blog's theme, add widgets and preview their blog from their Dashboard.
Edublogs.org was founded in 2005, and has undergone continuous growth since launch. Its clients include Cornell University, Stanford University and The University of Virginia. The site serves thousands of unique monthly visitors. James Farmer is CEO of the site, and Andrew Billits is CTO.
Competition to Edublogs.org comes from sites such as 21Classes.com. 21Classes provides a similar service to Edublogs.org, but is centered around individual classrooms. The site offers a class homepage, as well as blogs for students. 21Classes does not offer free blogs, but does offer a free trial. Other competition to Edublogs.org comes from the traditional free blogging platforms such as Wordpress and Blogger. These sites offer free blogs without advertising. Edublogs is powered by WordPress MU (multi-user) software.
The Edublogs.org site has a somewhat clean and uncluttered look and feel. The Dashboard is somewhat complicated, and there is a small learning curve associated with using the site. There is a longer learning curve for using some of the advanced features of the Pro or Campus plans. The site is quite responsive, and page loads happen quickly. As a blog hosting platform, the site is very responsive, with blogs loading quickly. Advertising is displayed on free blogs hosted by the site. Because Edublogs is powered by WordPress, the look and feel of the back-end is the same.
Registration to Edublogs.org is free and is required to use the site. The registration process simply asks for username and email address. Validation of the email address is required, after which the site assigns a password to the user. A free blog has advertising displayed on it, has a limited number of themes, and has a storage limit of 500MB.
There are two paid plans available – Pro and Campus. The Pro plan is designed for teachers, and allows the teacher to create student blogs in batches of 15 at a time. The Pro plan also allows users the ability to remove the advertising on up to 30 student blogs, so it is ideal for the individual class. The Campus plan is designed for schools, districts and universities, and offers many advanced features. Edublog Pro costs $39.95 for 12 months. Edublogs Campus is offered in four different plans for different-sized institutions. Pricing for the 4 plans ranges from $900 per year to $6500 per year.
Edublogs.org is recommended to students, teachers, school districts and universities who need a custom educational blogging platform. It is not the ideal place to host a free blog, as the user is constantly bothered with notices to upgrade to the Pro plan, plus the fact that advertising is displayed on the user's blog. However, for the teacher who need a class blog, or institutions who need an entire blogging platform, Edublogs.org provides an excellent solution.