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Out in the Wild – Edublogs.org and Blogsy

September 22nd, 2011 | Posted by Lance in Blogsy | Out in the Wild

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There was a bunch of buzz going around about using Blogsy in the education field so I really wanted to do a ‘Blogsy – Out in the Wild’ blog post. It was cool getting all the emails from teachers talking about how they were using Blogsy in the classroom or in a school environment. And the steady stream of tweets on Twitter about it were fun to read. There were a couple of reviews specifically written for teachers and I think they were the reason for the buzz. The first one was a good blog post done by Edublogs comparing Blogsy to other iPad blogging apps and the second one was a blog post about Blogsy on iAppsForTeachers.

So my quest was on to find someone that would talk about how they use Blogsy in the education field. Surprisingly it wasn’t that easy to find someone that felt comfortable talking about themselves. Thankfully Glennon Poirier stood up and said he would help us out. He teaches Language Arts at Kaiser High School in Fontana, California.

Glennon strikes me as one of those great teachers that became a teacher for all the right reasons. When I asked him why he became a teacher he didn’t  talk about the long vacations or the job security, he talked about how he wanted a job that allowed him the opportunity to make a positive impact on people’s lives. That shows me that he is the type of teacher that knows the importance and power of the position he holds.

I think one of the ways that he demonstrates his true desire to help his students is by embracing modern technology and using it as an extension of the classroom. He says he uses his blog to increase clarity of what he covered in class and to also let the parents of his students know what he is covering. For example, he said one of his recent posts was a sample essay he put up so his students could see what their essays should look like. I sure wish my teachers had done something like this to eliminate the confusion about exactly what they wanted. Another thing that he brought up was that he hopes his blog helps him reflect on is teaching and by doing so he can make adjustments and become an even better teacher. Now that is the kind of teacher I would have liked having or would like to have teach my children.

Our conversations then turned to the technology behind the blogging he does. I noticed that in a lot of the tweets we saw about Blogsy in the classroom people mentioned Edublogs. As I am not an Edublogs user, but Glennon is, I wanted to know more about this service and why he chose it. First I asked how he heard about Edublogs. Glennon said he follows a lot of teachers on Twitter and when the topic of blogging in the classroom or student blogs comes up people start mentioning Edublogs. So he checked them out and liked what he saw. I asked what he specifically liked about Edublogs over just setting up his own blog. He brought up two major things. First, it ties in with the students’ blogs and it is free for the students to set up. Secondly, he said that the blogs are shielded from search engine crawlers by default. I had never even thought about that but I have to agree that this is a great thing when it comes to having our children write on blogs which may be viewable by anyone on the web. Edublogs does have a free service which I am sure Glennon could have gotten by with but he chose to pay for the upgrade. I never asked him why he chose to upgrade but he just brought up on his own that he pays because, in his words, “I want to support a great service.” It is actually a good thing for us as you cannot enable XML-RPC unless you have a paid account. And you have to turn on XML-RPC in order to use Blogsy with your blog. I will have to ask the folks over at Edublogs what happens if students with a free account want to use Blogsy.

Finally, I wanted to know how Blogsy fit into his blogging life so I asked what benefit he got from using Blogsy. His response was so great for us to read that I will just use his words, “It makes it much easier to blog on my iPad so it gives me flexibility to blog almost anywhere.” Of course I wanted to know how using Blogsy made his blogging easier and he responded by saying that it’s stable and makes putting in pictures easy.

We know that Blogsy isn’t going to make Glennon or any other teacher out there a better teacher. But we hope that it makes blogging easier and quicker for them so they can get their blogging done quicker and at the times that fit into their schedules. In doing so we hope they have more time to spend focusing on their students and giving them the attention they need.

Thanks Glennon for helping us out with this post and all of your positive feedback about Blogsy.

- The Blogsy Guys

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