Friday, February 15, 2013

Wordpress Better Option for Blog Privacy


Wordpress
Since privacy is important to my English learning students I decided to look into Wordpress.  The one thing that had led me away from Wordpress in the past was that you couldn't add your own template, unless you got a paid membership which is not cheap.  If you are using it as a business blog, it would be worth it, but for your class, it's not.  Since the free templates available in WP will do for this particular blog I decided to give it a try.

I set up a new account with WP and wrote my first Welcome post, just to have something.  I logged myself out and then tried to go view the blog and I was not able to see it.  I got a message from WP that said the blog was private and I needed to be invited to the blog in order to see it.  Then  I added a user.  There are different types of users and each one has it's own capabilities.  The ones I was initially interested in were author and contributor.  An author can write a post and publish it, but a contributor is able to write a post and submit it, but not publish, which would protect me from a student writing rampantly or inappropriate things and publishing them. This was what I was looking for.

Testing Privacy
To test it I invited one of my users from one of the Gmail accounts I don't really use anymore. I received the invitation and when I clicked on it it told me that I needed to sign in with my WP account.  Oops I didn't have one.  I clicked on the Register link and it gave me a screen to enter a User and some basic info, then on the right hand side I saw that it asked if you only wanted an WP, but not a blog to click, so I did.  This took me to a screen where the only thing I had to do was create my user name, a password and Voila! I had a WP account.  I went back to my email clicked on the invitation link to Accept.  I was taken to a Dashboard screen where I saw loads of information.  A bit overwhelming, I might say, for many students.  But I saw that they listed 2 posts so I clicked and saw the title for my original post.  I went over it and saw that my only option was to view. I could not edit or delete or anything else as a contributor.  If I clicked on Posts link in the left hand side menu I could get a pull down menu that gave me the option to create a new post.

So if some of your students are brave and tech savvy you can have them write their assignments and submit them to you.  If they are not, I have decided to have them write them in Word, email and send them to me and I will post them for them, because the bottom line is the class is to learn English and the blog is just an addend to support them, not to give them more work.

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