Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Blog overload: students as blog authors

image courtesy

In the last few posts here and here I discussed ways of managing student blogs by gathering the blog links into one location. This makes it very easy for the teacher to go through the blogs to comment on and monitor student writing. While working with a high school teacher to incorporate blogging I discovered a third way that can be really useful.

Again, this is for the Blogger platform, which doesn't offer any classroom management for student blogging. Essentially each student has their own blog, which is awesome for customization and staking out their own blogging space on the internet, but difficult in terms of viewing and managing. With the method described in this post, students become authors of the classroom blog. You can then moderate the posts and quickly view all of a student's posts.

After you set up the class blog, go to the Settings tab. In the Basic settings is an option for Permissions. Under Blog Authors click the Add Authors link. Enter the Gmail address for each of your students.

When the students log in to with their credentials, they'll see your class blog listed and will be able to create and publish posts.

Clicking their name as a blog author, however, only takes you to their profile. If you want to see all the posts a particular student authored, you'll need to use labels.

Go back in to your blog settings and click the Layout tab. In the sidebar click the Add a Gadget link. Find the Labels gadget and click the + button. Customize it how you want and click the Save button.

When students write their posts, have them add their name as a Label.

Now their names will show up on the sidebar of your blog in a Labels section. Clicking the name will take you to a list of all the blogs with that same label. Essentially this is digital portfolio of their work!
Labels vs Contributors (Authors)


  1. Hi Mark,
    I have just started using blogger daily with my students as a bell ringer assignment, last week. They each have their own individual blog's and I would like them to allow comments, from other students as well as myself. Is there an easy way to monitor/allow comments and ensure they are commenting on each others blog? Thanks!

    1. Unfortunately I am not aware of a way to track comments with Blogger since it has no classroom management features. One possible work around would be to create a Google Form and have students submit the URL of the post where they left a comment. Since that would dump into a spreadsheet you would have all that info in one place and be able to sort by student name in order to see frequency of comments.

      If you used a platform like Edublogs and paid for the pro version (about $40/year) it comes with a dashboard where you can track the comments all in one place.