Google’s blogging platform, Blogger, is a great tool for students to create portfolios, collaborate with other students, and engage in discussions. Teachers can use Hapara Dashboard to view students’ blog posts and comments.
In this article:
- How to create blogs
- Naming blogs
- Setting up Hāpara Dashboard to display blog activity
- What teachers will see displayed in Hāpara Dashboard
How to create blogs
Creating blogs for students
This option can be useful in elementary or primary schools, especially if students will receive only author rights to their blogs and will not be creating their own blogs.
Because users are limited to 100 blogs, educators will need to use multiple accounts if they want to create blogs for more than 100 students.
Once a blog is made, whoever made it will be the blog's administrator, and giving other users access to the blog must be done through that account. For that reason, we recommend making blogs through accounts that do not correspond to teachers or staff members. Using an account like blog_maker@your_domain.org will prevent blogs from being orphaned if a user leaves the school and the user's account is suspended.
Letting students create their own blogs
In secondary schools, students might make blogs themselves. If they are creating their own blogs, students can use their own accounts and will be administrators of their own blogs. When students create their own accounts, they will have to share the blogs with their teachers.
Setting permissions for a blog
Educators can control who can edit and read their blogs by setting permissions based on the following three levels of access:
- Admins have full access to a blog. They can create, modify, and delete posts; approve and delete comments; and change access permissions on the blog.
- Authors can create blog posts and modify their own posts.
- Readers can view blogs and post comments if comments are enabled.
Keep in mind the following guidelines when setting permissions on student blogs:
- Students must have Admin or Author access to a blog for Dashboard to show a student's activity on the blog.
- Only one student should have Admin or Author access to a blog.
- Teachers should have Admin access to students' blogs. This level of access lets teachers edit students' posts and moderate comments if necessary.
For more information please see this Google Support Article.
A Google blog is identified by the prefix at the start of the blog's address. For example, the blog xyz.blogger.com is identified by the prefix xyz. A blog's prefix must be unique among all Google blogs worldwide. As a result, we recommend using a naming convention like this for a blog's prefix:
In the example above:
- pte is the school code
- sb (short for student blog) is the blog type
- anne123 is the student's partial username → we recommend using a partial username so that a student's username is not exposed to the public through a blog's URL.
Setting up Hāpara Dashboard to display blog activity
Only a Hāpara Admin can set up Hāpara Dashboard to display blog activity. If you are a teacher looking to begin using blogs with our class, share this article with your Hāpara Admin.
To view blogging activity through Dashboard, the blog must be specified in the Classes Spreadsheet. There are a few different options for setting up the display:
Showing posts from specific blogs
If students have their own blogs, then the Student Blogs column of the classes spreadsheet should specify the first part of the blog's prefix, excluding the student's username. If the naming convention for blogs specified above is used, then the value in the Student Blogs column would be:
If students have a different blog for each class, then the Student Blogs column of the classes spreadsheet will have different values for each class.
Showing posts with specific labels
Dashboard can show only blog posts with a specific label. For example, students might have one blog but put "english" or "science" labels on their posts. The Student Blogs column should specify the value:
The label of the posts must be in lower case.
Showing posts from multiple blogs in one class
If students have multiple blogs (or if their blogs were created without using the convention above), then you can specify the value “any” in the Student Blogs column. Dashboard will show all activity from all blogs for which students have Admin or Author access.
The spreadsheet above demonstrates these scenarios for what Dashboard displays for Blogger:
- Rows 2 and 3: Dashboard will display posts and comments in any blogs for which students have Author or Admin access.
- Row 4: Dashboard will display posts and comments from blogs that have a prefix of tts-math-<partial_student_ID>.
- Row 7: Dashboard will display posts and comments from blogs that have a prefix of ttd-science-<partial_student_ID>.
- Row 5: Dashboard will show posts and comments with the label math from blogs that have a prefix of tts-sb-<partial_student_ID>.
- Row 6: Dashboard will show posts and comments with a label of science from blogs that have a prefix of tts-sb-<partial_student_ID>.
What teachers will see displayed in Hāpara Dashboard
To see how blogs appear in Hāpara Dashboard, view this article.