Using blogs in PebblePad
PebblePad, our ePortfolio platform, has built-in blogging features which are easy to use.
What is PebblePad?
Compared to the VLEs' built-in blogging tools, PebblePad offers more flexible content creation and privacy options as well as support for rich assessment workflows. PebblePad is managed and supported by Information Services. Any assessment-related activities of the PebblePad content are conducted via the ATLAS part of the system.
Similar to the VLEs, PebblePad was not created with the sole purpose of being a blog: it offers many other creative tools such as e-portfolios as well as learning and personal development templates. It is capable of facilitating collaboration with other users on a project using its one-to-one sharing capabilities.
One of PebblePad's strengths as a learning and teaching blogging tool is its privacy options. As opposed to the VLEs, all the content created in PebblePad is initially private by default. The user can then decide via the 'I want to...' panel to share the content online (including indexing it by search engines) or by simply sending it to ATLAS for assessment.
Students are likely to use this platform in close relation to their assessable curriculum requirements, but also as a personal reflective space to develop freely and privately. This contrasts with the staff members' use of PebblePad which is often limited to providing feedback and marks through ATLAS. If you are a staff member wanting to share your own writing publicly, you can still use PebblePad, but depending on your outreach requirements, you might want to consider an alternative blogging platform (e.g. blogs.ed.ac.uk).
support for rich assessment via ATLAS
flexible privacy options
possible for shared blogs to be indexed by search engines
possible to work collaboratively on blogs/other content
Learning and teaching
If you want to get an idea of what you can do with PebblePad , consult this example blog.
How do I get a PebblePad blog?
For staff members
If you wish to use PebblePad for assessment, you will need to get access to ATLAS. ATLAS is the platform that will enable you to grade PebblePad content created by students. To do this, you will need to contact the helpline at IS.Helpline@ed.ac.uk.
Consult the University PebblePad Support Services for more detailed information on what you will need to provide the helpline when calling to set up your account.
Getting a PebblePad blog does not require you to ask for permission from the University or to access it through a course.
The easiest way for you to access the University of Edinburgh PebblePad platform is to go through MyEd and click on the Launch Pebble+ link. If this does not appear on your MyEd welcome page, you can find it by clicking on Customize top left and searching for it.
For more information, consult our University page on how to use PebblePad.