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You’ve got information you want to share with your students, and online seems to be the place to go. Queue WordPress and Windows Live Writer—with these tools you can easily create and manage your very own blog. Did I mention that it’s easy? Oh, and did I double mention that it’s free?
Okay, moving on...
WordPress.com is web software you can use to create a website or blog. Nearly a year ago Windows Live and WordPress partnered to offer a better blogging experience to Windows Live Writer customers (WordPress replaced Windows Live Spaces). There are a few important reasons why the Windows Live team chose WordPress, and I think those reasons may help you decide if this is the solution for you.
Now, back to that free part. There’s a caveat here. Basic blog features are free, but WordPress does have certain paid upgrades and services. For example, if you want your blog or website to be completely free of advertisements, then you will need to upgrade your blog. No Ads is a paid upgrade that costs $29.97 per blog, per year. And when you set your blog to "private", you can add up to 35 users to your access list from the Settings page. But if you need a larger blog community, you'll need to purchase the Unlimited Private Users upgrade in order to continue adding users.
Rather than use a web-based editing tool, like WordPress, you can install Windows Live Writer. Windows Live Writer is a client application that you install on your computer to write and manage your blog posts. The benefit here is you can write your posts while disconnected from the Internet, and then publish them later when you are connected.
Before you get started with Windows Live Writer, you must add at least one blog from a blog service provider. You can create a new blog on WordPress.com in Writer or add a blog that you already have.
Windows Live Writer includes inline spell check, table editing, categorization, support for excerpts and extended entries, and more. You can even insert images and videos into your blog posts.
If you're more comfortable with drafting your blog posts in Word, then it makes sense to just publish from there. If you're using Word 2007 or Word 2010, then you can create and publish a blog post from Word to your WordPress blog. Find out how.
Here are a few examples of different blog styles and methods of blogging that other teachers and students are using:
How about it? Are you inspired to blog?
-- Jennifer Bost