Monday, October 20, 2008

Trials and Tribulations Getting setup in the New Blogger

Signing up 280 students to 8 class blogs is a major undertaking. Not impossible but a few days of work. Along the way there have been a few roadblocks. This post is a how-to for teachers when setting up a series of classroom blogs using blogger when many students can author at one blog.

When I first started this process 4 years ago the process of signing up students for blogs was quite complicated. There was no google account and each student had to create multiple blogs to access the classroom blog.

When the "new" blogger" came out of beta the process was supposed to be stream lined. As an administrator I was able to invite many members to the blog as long as they had a google account. For some reason this year my students were getting error messages when they were attempting to sign up for the class blogs.
The steps I followed were the same as every year, get a google account, and once that happened I entered the students email into the class blog to invite to author. Many students did not receive an email to join and others that did receive an email got error messages. I found a way around this hassle though. Go back to the old ways of inviting students to the class blog. The steps are as follows:

  • Students need a google account. Get them signed up using any email THEY have access to. If they need a gmail account get them signed up for that.
  • One error some students make is that they do not verify their email. This is an important step not to be overlooked.
  • Once the students have a google account get them to create a Blogger account. This can be done from google. After signing in the students go to my account, and scroll down to MORE. This is at the bottom of the page. This link will get them to all google apps and blogger is quite prominant on this page.
  • Once at blogger the students will need to go through the process of creating a blog. It will be deleted once they have access to the class blog.
  • When the students have created a blog the need to leave their blogger dashboard open. I then get the student to come to two workstations and enter their emails into the classroom blog. I have gone under settings to access permissions and invite authors.
  • Students go back to their workstations with the blogger dashboard open and open another tab in their browser. Here they will open their email looking for the blogger invite.
  • WITH THE BLOGGER DASHBOARD OPEN they accept the invitation to the classroom blog.
  • The students will have to enter their google password one more time. Now they should see the classroom blog and their temperary blog that was created before on their dashboard.
  • You can now delete the temperary blog from the dashboard by using the settings and scrolling down to the delete at the bottom of the page.

If for some reason the error message still persists you can keep the blogger dashboard open and uninvite and invite the student again. This seems like a lot of work and it is but the bonus of having the google suite of tools and apps at your fingertips is worth it.

I hope this is helpful.

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