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21 Classes Research Page

21 Classes Group Member Introduction Page




 


 What is the purpose of 21 Classes?

21 Classes ia a blogging educational 2.0 tool that assists teachers in creating and maintaining a virtual classroom and blog portal. Through blogging 21 Classes allows teachers to host and manage student blogs in a fun learning experience.



I. Background

 This section will discuss the background of 21 Classes, including the develpment and founders of this education 2.0 tool.

A. Development  

The blog site 21classes was founded in 2004 and is used throughout the country. Small and medium sized businesses find that this blog site can be very useful as well.

 When asked where the idea for the creation and development of 21 Classes, co-founder Leif Koch explains that the inspiration for 21Classes actually came from a grammar school project of founder, Dr. Stefan Weiskemann's child. Stefan thought a blogging tool would be helpful. He realized that although 21Publish already provided a general-purpose blogging tool, there hasn't been specific functionality targeted at teachers. Stefan contacted Will Richardson from webblog-ed.com to discuss his idea. Will Richardson consulted Stefan on the specific needs of teachers for such a service and the various modifications teachers might require. (cite Interview)

21Publish was created first in 2002, providing a general-purpose bloggin system. The name "21Publish" is a combination of "Publishing" and "21st century". Two years later when  they launched their education-based service, they kept the "21" as an identifier for the company and added "Classes". 

The site 21classes is used for bloggin in classrooms, businesses, communitites, clubs, schools, universitites, and non-profit organizations. This blog site is very easy to use yet very effective. People find it very helpful, especially since you can communitcate ideas without having to be in the same room as the person you are communicating with. The variety of features allows the users to customize their own blogs based on their needs of community features, design, user functions, and privacy. 21classes allows you to make your own blogs and manage them the way you would like. Blogs that start off small, can turn into large networks.

 This service is convenient to teachers and students. This allows teachers and students to communicate outside of the classroom. This can help students ask questions and have teachers respond quickly if not in the classroom. This helps the students learn because they are continuing the information process outisde the classroom so it is being repeated to the students to help them learn the information more effectively. Blogs allow anyone to see them at any time, anywhere.

B. Founders

                     Stefan Wiskemann 
                            (Founder)

Founder of 21Publish and co-founder of 20six/myblog.

              Marcel Dembach

 Sales and Marketing for the Local and International Market

                           Leif M. Koch
                             (Founder)

Technological improvements
Identifying Technological Trends

                   Anton Koch

 Lead Design and Ui Devolopement.

II. How to Use 21 Classes


A.Getting Started: How to Create a 21 Classes Blog


Step 1.  First time users are required to register an account to begin blogging. After opening the main webpage( www.21classes.com ) users will see a "Sign up for free!" button located in the upper right hand corner of the page. Click on the button to begin the registration progress.

Step 2. First time users will enter their basic information such as name and email address.  Then they will select their "alias",a name they will give their blog and use to login. Users will also be required to select a password for their account to keep their account secure.


 


 

 Step 3.  After completing  entering basic registration information  the user will be able to  see the summary of their account. The example to the left is of a free account. The summary will include the address of your blogportal, the max number of users, webspace per users and advanced features if available.  To continue the user must select "Set up my portal" to begin blogging or select "Go back" to edit registration information. Premium Account Information
Step 4. Select your first action. Teachers can choose from the following actions: write welcome text, post messages to your users (students), create or manage existing accounts, define how people can join the community, set up features available for members. Note for teachers: When the word "community" is used think   classroom, and "members" as students.
Step 5.  Write a welcome message for the homepage of your blog. This is a great space to introduce yourself and state the purpose or mission of your blogging community.

 

 

 



B. Features


 Beyond the Free entry level account 21 Classes provides premium upgrades. The available packages are titled Free, Paid, Volume and Dedicated. While the Free package is perfectly adequate it is very limiting for most classrooms as it can only accomodate ten students. The Paid package is the next option, for $79 a year  you can host up to 100 student blogs. It is unfortunate that  there is not an option between Free and Paid for a smaller fee. However the $79 is an annual fee,making the monthly fee of using 21 Classes around $10 for each school month (September- May). Volume and Dedicated also offer more features and student accomodation. An overview of the products available is posted below.

Overview of all 21Classes Products

Description

Free

Paid

Volume

Dedicated

Easy-to-use account administration

yes

yes

yes

yes

Independent yet inter-connected blogs for students

yes

yes

yes

yes

Ad-free

yes

yes

yes

yes

Control of content and students' accounts

yes

yes

yes

yes

Control of student entries

yes

yes

yes

yes

Selection of predefined layouts

yes

yes

yes

yes

Student e-mail not required

yes

yes

yes

yes

Registration process customizable (can be turned off)

yes

yes

yes

yes

Optional e-mail reports

yes

yes

yes

yes

Review capability and one-on-one communication

yes

yes

yes 

yes

Photo and video support

yes

yes

yes

yes

Optional RSS feeds

yes

yes

yes

yes

Student collaboration through co-authoring

yes

yes

yes 

yes

Individual student blog design

yes

yes

yes

yes 

Hosted by us

yes

yes

yes

optional

Advanced access rights management

no

yes

yes

yes

E-mail functionality (to contact students or send entries by e-mail)

no

yes

yes

yes 

Access logging for web statistics

no

yes

yes

yes 

Tag cloud

no

yes

yes

yes

Fulltext search

no

yes

yes 

yes

Use of your own domain

no

yes

yes

yes

Upload of HTML files

no

yes

yes

yes

Technical support

no

yes

yes

yes

Shareable webspace

no

yes

yes

yes

Multiple classrooms included

no

no

yes 

yes

Integratable into your school intranet

no

no

no

yes

One school-wide homepage

no

no

no

yes

More webspace

no

no

no

yes 

Account set-up can be automated

no

no

no

yes

One-on-One Teacher Support

no

no

no

yes

Additional Customization Options

no

no

no

yes

Single-Sign-On (SSO)

no

no

no

optional

Number of students

10

100

100

up to you

Webspace per student

1 mb

25 mb

25 mb

up to you

Total webspace

0.01 gb

2.5 gb

2.5 gb

up to you

Price per year

free

$79

Quote

Quote

 

 

 

 

 

C. Uses

This web-based blog service is a simple and very effective tool. The service provides a centralized hub where you can build and manage small and large networks of blogs. Becuase it is an on-demand solution, you can scale the service according to your own personal needs. This blog service can be used in many ways. It is a great use in lessons to teach students how to blog and understand blogging online. Students can blog about anything that was taught in the classroom. This is a good, fast, and easy way for teachers to see if and how the students understood the lesson that was taught. Teachers can read the sutdents responses and grade it then. It is easy because since it is online, all the teachers need is a computer to grade or look at what was posted. Also the teachers will be able to respond in a more timely matter than if they were grading papers and had to hand them back. Since it's online the communication process goes much faster between the students and teachers.

 

D. Comparison To Competitors

What differentiates 21Classes from other blogs services?

While there are many other services on the web that focus on blogging, 21Classes is specifically designed for education.21Classesallos teachers to have complete control over the content and student blog entries. Teachers are also in charge of the security settings for their online classroom. Unlike many other blogging sites such as Tumblr, Xanga and Movable Type, 21 Classes is a duel leveled blogging service that allows a host to manage up to 100+ blogs. Similar sites to 21Classes include classroom20, classblogmeister, 21Classes' mother site, 21Publish, and Edublogs.

 List of Similar Blogging Services

 Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Simplicity:
    21 Classes is easy to register, easy to navigate, and easy to use.
  • Free:
    Teachers and students can register for the basic account free of charge.
  • Maintenance Free:
    21Publish manages the host server for 21Classes
  • Security:
    Posts and comments made by students and teachers can be restricted to members only.
  • Support:
    Experienced user support available if user is experiecing problems.
  • Templates Limited:
    Users select templates for their blogs
    to create unique design and format of their blogs, but 21Classes does not
    provide a variety to chose from.
  • Template Modification:
    Templates are not easily modified.
  • Free Account:
    21Classes boasts that their service is free, however 21Classes limits a maximum of 10 students per account.
    A normal monthly fee can increase this count as noted in the premium account features. 
    Considering most classrooms consist of more than ten students not every student could have an account with the free account. Furthermore, support is only provided for those with a paid account.



 

 

 

 

 

 III. Video Instruction

21 Classes Instruction Video

Creating a Classroom Blog


This video explains what 21 Classes is and gives a demonstration of how to log in and setting up other accounts for students. It goes through and explains some links and what a teacher can do to their blog site for the classroom. The video created an example site and shows how to manage and add student accounts. It explains what a student can do as well as demonstrates from a student perspective. It then proceeds to show student blog settings, layouts, and suggestions as what they would do to keep the site safe. The video ends with a quote that pretty much sums the program up. “21 Classes is specially designed to be used by teachers and give teachers complete control over content and student blog entries as well as security settings for all student accounts.”

This video explains how to create a classroom blog. It gives examples of what students will see when they are on the teacher’s blog site. The video explains how user friendly it is when they demonstrate how to write a new entry. It also shows how the teacher can monitor what students say on the blog and demonstrates how a teacher can send a warning message. This message can be a template that the teacher saved in the blog and all they have to do is click send message. The page appears where the templates are and they can send it to a student who might be writing some offending comments. 

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IV. Applications

     Incorporating the use of 21Classes’s website and blogging capabilities into the classroom can be easily done.  21Classes is an educational web 2.0 tool that can be used in Elementary, Secondary and Post Secondary classrooms with basic computer skills, computer access and a teacher’s desire to get his or her students blogging. 21Classes.com was designed to assist teachers in their occupation. The use of a blog in a classroom can provide a flexibility to that classroom that would not be there otherwise. When working with students in a blog setting, technology is being incorporated within the lesson.Whether it is a daily journal, or an assignment, the students can work and post their thoughts/findings at their own leisure and convenience, permitted they have access to a computer and internet connection. In addition to the classroom however, 21Classes can be easily used by clubs, social organizations, charities, and businesses.  21Classes provides a great interactive, multi-blogger community with many possibilities.Below are some examples of lesson plans that incorporate these ideas into classroom setting for Elementary, Secondary, and Post Secondary classrooms. The lesson plans are provided in a downloadable word document and a pdf file.

 

A. Educational Lesson Plans

 

 1. Elementary

Title

Reading and Writing

Targeted Audience

Elementary

Overview

Reading and writing are basic skills every child needs to learn at an early age. Both of these skills with help with a person’s communication to the outside world as the get older. Students need to learn to read so they can understand material (information will not always be spoken to you). Writing helps in every way, not just for school related activities.

Objective

  • Given the 21 Classes site, students will learn to correctly write information about books, videos, etc. with 100% accuracy of the amount and information posted.
  • Given the book and video, students will compare and contrast information from the book and video on 21 Classes with 100% accuracy of the information they post.

Lesson Plan

Word Doc : Elementary Education  Pdf. : Elementary Education

Title

Math [STEM]

Targeted Audience

Elementary

Overview

Counting money is something very important for students to learn. Money is everywhere in this world. Everything costs money and students need to learn how much certain coins and eventually dollar bills are worth. Counting money also teaches students how to add money when you are buying more than one thing, or if you are receiving change.

Objective

  • Given the in class lesson, students will make up their own word problems and be able to identify how much each coin is worth with 100% accuracy.
  • Given the in class lesson, students will make up their own word problems and be able to count money and understand the concept of counting money through story problems with 100% accuracy.

Lesson Plan

Word Doc : Elementary Education  Pdf. : Elementary Education

Title

Social Studies

Targeted Audience

Elementary

Overview

Students will pretend to be the teacher for the day.  Each student will pick a past, influential president of the United States and research important information on the select president to teach to their classmates.

Objective

  • Given the research needed, students will be able to identify past presidents and their information with 100% accuracy.
  • Given the research needed, students will be able to present information on 21 Classes with 100% accuracy.

Lesson Plan

Word Doc : Elementary Education Pdf. : Elementary Education

ii. Secondary

Title

A Streetcar Named Desire Bolg/Disscussion Lesson Plan

Targeted Audience

Grade 9

Overview

For students to understand and comprehend that there are many different ways to communicate throughout the classroom and through the internet with the use of a computer. They will also learn how to write a weblog and respond to other classmates.

Objective

  • Given a copy of the playwright A Streetcar Named Desire, students will write a blog entry on what they learned and then post on other students to with scholarly responses.

Lesson Plan

Word Doc : Secondary Education  Pdf. : Secondary Education

Title

A Streetcar Named Desire Video Post Lesson Plan

Targeted Audience

Grade 9

Overview

For students to understand how to use multimedia in the classroom. They will also be able to comprehend the playwright A Streetcar Named Desire’s themes and motifs.

Objective

  • Given a copy of the playwright A Streetcar Named Desire, students will post a video on the blog and then make scholarly blogs about what themes and motifs they represent.

Lesson Plan

Word Doc : Secondary Education Pdf. : Secondary Education


Title

Animal Science [STEM]

Targeted Audience

Secondary

Overview

To identify the classification of living organisms.

Objective

  • Given the name of an organism, the student will research and write a blog entry about said organism in an articulate, thoroughly researched, web blog entry.

Lesson Plan

Word Doc : Secondary Education Pdf. : Secondary Education

iii. Post Secondary

Title

Biology [STEM]

Targeted Audience

Post Secondary

Overview

Students will do in depth research on the types of cells being plants and animal cells. Students will then contribute detailed information about the different organelles of each type of cell.

Objective

  • Given the research of plant and animal cells, students will then work together and individually to post on 21 classes, with a thorough synopsis of each organelle.

Lesson Plan

Word Doc : Post Secondary  Pdf. : Post Secondary

Title

English

Targeted Audience

Post Secondary

Overview

For students to explore an alternative mode of communication and peer teamwork outside the classroom through use of the internet and the education web 2.0 tool, 21 Classes.

Objective

  • Given a writing prompt pertaining to the subject matter of the professor’s choice students will compose articulate, coherent and creative essays.
  • After completing and posting their essay to their 21 Classes blog, students will read and peer evaluate their peers’ essays.

Lesson Plan

Word Doc : Post Secondary  Pdf. : Post Secondary

Title

Engineering Education [STEM]

Targeted Audience

Post Secondary

Overview

The focus of this lesson is for students to learn the affective outcomes in Engineering Education in grades K-12.

Objective

  • Understand the importance of Engineering Education in grades K-12
  • Know how to select affective outcomes and how to incorportate the affective outcomes into existing engineering education research in an informative way

Lesson Plan

Word Doc : Post Secondary Pdf. : Post Secondary

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B. Business/ Industry

     While 21Classes was made to be an educational tool, there can be industrial uses for the web tool. An example of the use of 21Classes can be used for a corporate presentation. The company could have select members working an a presentation pitch in ideas on the main blog for the presentation. After an extended period of time more and more data and ideas for the presentation would be collected on the site and the creation of the presentation would be easier for the representatives of the company to put together.
Also, 21Classes could be used for training of  team members within a corporation. Thanks to the announcements/ assignments portion of the blogportal template, a coporate trainers could posts reading material, activities and downloadable paperwork for team members to complete. And because 21Classes can be accessed anywhere with an computer and internet connection, training can be completed on the team members time at their convenience saving the business' time and money.

 

 

C. Demonstration of Educational Value

The use of educational web 2.0 tools such as 21Classes is being becoming more common with in classrooms across the country as the value of the integration of technology and education is also growing.  Education technology is no longer only computer software technology such as Microsoft Office’s Power Point, Excel spreadsheets, or Word processing. The focus of professional development should be on teaching and learning strategies that make a difference in daily practice -- on activities that translate into stronger student performance. As a result of these practices and the use of these new tools, students should be able to read, reason, and write more powerfully; communicate productively with members of a global community; conduct thoughtful research into the important questions, choices, and issues of their times; make sense of a confusing world and a swelling tide of information; and perform well on the new, more demanding state tests requiring inferential reasoning. 21Classes  aids the accomplishment of these goals by getting students to interact, respond and share information with one another through blogging.

 

 


 

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V. International 

 

21Publish, the mother site for 21Classes, maintains operations in the United States and Europe.Through these international operations 21Publish serves customers like Amnesty International, McGraw-Hill, British publisher Emap, and thousands of small- & medium-sized communities. 21 Classes appears in English, but non speaking users can publish their blogs in their native language.

In the development of this wiki chapter for the educational web 2.0 tool, 21 Classes, international students from Taiwan illustrated the popularity of blogging in Taiwan with the following screenshots of the post popular blogs in Taiwan and how they are used internationally.

Most of the 21 Classes users are found in the United States, while fewer users are found in other countries. Even then, many Web 2.0 tools which are like 21 Classes are widely used in other countries. Take Taiwan for example, “Blogger”, ”Pixnet”, ”Wretch”, and ”Yahoo Blog” are very popular websites. Among them, Wretch is particularly highly used in Taiwan. It is a more personalized Blog. And also, web-master can post his or her thoughts and pictures on it. Many celebrities, including famous singers, actors, and politicians also use their Blogs to share their political views or ideas with general public. Wretch has another form which has the similar function with 21 Classes, and we call it the co-author. This means that Blog is owned by a group of people, including a coordinator for sure. Of course there is a coordinator. This feature can be applied in education. For example, students can pose their questions online and teachers can also answer their questions online. Teachers can remind students the class schedule and the main learning points of the lesson on the Blog. A few years ago, during the H1N1 breakout in Taiwan, some students couldn’t attend school. In order not to let students lag behind in their studies, some teachers use Wretch to assign homework to their students. Actually, such kind of application in teaching can be done with 21 Classes, but 21Classes is not so popular in Taiwan.

 



 

 

 

 

VI. References 


"21 Classes Logo."21Classes. Web. Nov 2010. <http://www.21Classes.com>.
"About: What is 21 Classes?"21Classes. Web. Nov 2010. <http://21classes.com/shop/about>\.
"Authentic Writing with 21Classes."YouTube. Web. Nov 2010. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yvpwdLL5rM&feature=related>.
"Blog Screenshot."West Kent Core French. Web. Dec 2010. <http://westkentcorefrench.21classes.com/ >.
"Blog Screenshot."Wretch. Web. Dec 2010. < http://www.wretch.cc/blog >.
"Blogger Logo."Blogger. Web. Dec 2010. <http://www.blogger.com>.
"Creating a Classroom Blog with 21Classes."YouTube. Web. Nov 2010. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wboxjnTTPhc>.
"EduBlogs Logo."EduBlogs. Web. Dec 2010. <http://www.edublogs.org>.
"Founders Profile Photo."21 Publish "Look Who’s Blogging". Web. Nov 2010. <http://21publishblog.21publish.com/>.
"Key Features of 21Classes."21 Classes. Web. Nov 2010. <-http://teachweb2.wikispaces.com/21+Classes>.
Koch, Leif. "Interview Questions For Project III." Message to Kimberly Krauklis. 12/06/2010. E-mail.
"Shop: Features."21Classes. Web. Nov 2010. <http://www.21classes.com/shop/features>.
"Shop: Support."21 Classes. Web. Nov 2010. <http://www.21classes.com/shop/support>.
"Xanga Logo."Xanga. Web. Dec 2010. <http://www.xanga.com>.
< http://www.picnik.com >.
 
 

 
 
  
 
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