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Disqus and PrimaryBlogger Commenting

We’ve just discovered that the Disqus Comment System Add-on had secretly started showing adverts on blogs that had it enabled. We’re obviously massively against this so we’ve now deleted the Add-on. If you were using it on your blog then you will notice that your comment system has gone back to how it used to look.

We’ve created a number of options in replacement of Disqus. Most people were using it to get around the restriction of requiring an email address for writing comments. We initially took the decision of making email addresses compulsory, due to the amount of spam we were receiving with this option unticked. We now have a lot better spam protection in place, so we decided to make a plugin to re-enable the option, to confirm that users knew what they were doing when allowing comments without the requirement for an email address.

If you wish to allow comments without a name or email address being filled in, go to the Dashboard and click Add-ons in the left hand menu. Scroll down to “Comment Without Email Address” and click Activate below it. Now go to Settings > Discussion and you’ll see an option to untick in red with the label of “” next to it. Untick this option and the one below, saying “Users must be registered and logged in to comment” and press “Save Changes” at the bottom.

We also have the Livefyre Add-on available in the Add-ons section, it will however ask you to login via different services to be able to comment, you can’t comment just using your PrimaryBlogger username. It will let you log in using Twitter, Facebook and Google among others.

As usual, let us know if you have any problems at http://support.primaryt.co.uk

Classdroid 2.0 and Classdroid Pro

At long last we have released our new and updated version of Classdroid and introduce to the world Classdroid Pro!

For those unfamiliar with Classdroid it is an Android app designed to work with PrimaryBlogger (or any WordPress blog) to allow teachers to instantly photograph pupil’s work, grade it and up it directly to the blog.

The most noticeable update to Classdroid is that it has been given a face lift and an improved lay out which now includes video tutorials and the ability to send feedback about your experience directly to us (both positive and negative, we aim to please and appreciate any feedback).

Along with these cosmetic improvements many bug fixes have been implemented such as issues with resizing of images and posts failing to upload.

Classdroid Pro extends the functionality of the free version of Classdroid and enables advanced features such as:

– Ability to Group Pupils
– Attribute Work To More Than 3 Pupils (No Limit)
– Mutliple Grading Schemes (0-5 Stars, UK KS 1-3 Levels, UK EYFS)
– Record Video and/or Audio
– Upload Media Recorded On The Device Outside Of Classdroid Pro
– Use Proxy Settings Read more »

WordPress 3.5 Update

We’ve just updated PrimaryBlogger to the latest version of WordPress, 3.5! This may mean nothing to you; WordPress is the software that PrimaryBlogger runs on.

The latest iteration brings in a redesigned media (image, audio, video and document) uploader that now allows you to insert more than one file into a post at a time. Just click the Add Media button in the post editor. This will save some people a massive amount of time!

They’ve also added Hi-DPI icons to all the menus, so those of you lucky enough to have an iPad 3 or fancy MacBook Pro will now have clearer images in the admin area menus. Along with the new icons is a streamlining of buttons and other user interface elements, such as the post editor menu bars, to make them look nicer.

If you want some more information on what’s changed with the latest update, have a read of the WordPress blog.

If you have any questions or problems with your blog, as always please let us know at: http://support.primaryt.co.uk.

Google Chrome Frame

Due to compatibility issues users are seeing with Internet Explorer and PrimaryBlogger, we’ve decided to try something out over the next few days. Google have created a plugin for Internet Explorer that allows it to run like a modern browser, such as Google Chrome or Firefox, but without having to install another browser.

When you visit the admin Dashboard area without the plugin installed, a popup will show asking you to install Chrome Frame. Once the plugin is installed it won’t ask you again. The plugin can be installed on any machine, in school or at home, and will not harm your computer in any way. In fact it will make it much better, allowing a consistent graphical user experience that we’ve recently designed for modern browsers. You won’t even have to refresh the page, it will automatically load all PrimaryBlogger pages using the plugin.

Hopefully we’ll see a massive increase in happy users and cut down on minor problems that Internet Explorer users are facing.

Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts under this post!

Ed

New Dashboard Design

Hi all,

Sorry for the lack of updates, but we’ve been especially busy readying new products at Primary Technology, so our updating of the blog has been a bit lax.

Anyway, if you haven’t noticed already, we’ve updated the design of the PrimaryBlogger Dashboard area to make it more visually appealing and easier to find things.

Unfortunately for some, you might not get the greatest version of the design due to your web browser if you’re using Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer, isn’t a very good web browser as they don’t adhere to the latest web standards. This means that if we use something like shadows or rounded corners they won’t show up as they’re not supported, couple that with the fact it’s slow and insecure at the best of times and you can see why Primary T dislikes it. Thankfully there’s a solution, but you’ll need to read our next blog post to find out what it is!

If you have any feedback on the redesign, or ideas on how we could improve it, feel free to leave us a comment on here, use the Primary Technology (PT) Support Website, chat to us on our new Live Chat facility on all PT service websites when we’re online or use the request a feature button in the bottom right of the screen in the Dashboard.

Your School’s Details

In an effort to find out more about our users, cut down spam and guarantee our service is for educational use, we will now require each blog to be attached to a school.

It’s a very simple process; if you’re registering a new blog you’ll be asked to type in your school’s name as part of the sign up process, if you’ve already got a blog you’ll see a new red bar at the top of any admin page that will direct you to the settings page to fill in your details. If your school doesn’t exist in our database you can contact us via our Support Website and we’ll add it for you. We use our My School Holidays service for the database which pulls data from around the world continually, so most if not all schools should be there.

We hope in the future to link allow an overview page of all the Primary Technology services that you use that are attached to your school, making it easier to navigate between them.

Migrate Users To Another PrimaryBlogger Blog

The most requested feature we’ve been asked for on PrimaryBlogger so far is the ability to move users in bulk from one blog to another, so we fulfilled your wishes and created a plugin to do it.

The plugin allows you to export users into a CSV file and import them into your new blog in just a few steps, did we mention it’s dead easy? It’s all explained on how knowledgebase section of our support website in an easy to understand how to guide at http://support.primaryt.co.uk/knowledgebase/transfer-users-between-blogs/.

It should work for everybody, but you never know, so any bug reports would be very useful if you find anything wrong with it! Let us know by opening a new ticket at http://support.primaryt.co.uk/new-ticket/.

Hopefully this should make your summers a bit easier now and save you some time!

Enjoy!

Education Blog Awards 2012 Shortlist

Congratulations to everyone who was nominated in the Education Blog Awards 2012. There are thousands of education blogs in the UK, so for someone to nominate your blog is a great honour. They have had nearly 8000 votes, for over 500 different blogs – more than double the number they got in 2011!

Listed below are the ten blogs in each category that got the most votes – these are the blogs that the judges will now go and, well, judge. If your blog is listed, congratulations! Put up a ‘shortlisted’ badge on your blog and they’ll be in touch when the results are in! Read more »

UK Education Blog Awards 2012

The UK Education Blog Awards are here to celebrate the best in school blogging. This is the second year of the awards, last year they had over 300 nominated blogs, and 3600 votes cast. The 2011 winners can be found here.

This year they have put together four categories for their awards. You can enter into one or more of these categories.  The categories are:

  1. Class Blog of the Year
  2. Whole School Blogsite of the Year
  3. Teacher Blog of the Year
  4. Most Influential Blog of the Year

Read more »

New Blog Address Domains

Great news, we’ve just added academyblogger.co.uk and secondaryblogger.co.uk to the options that are available when signing up for a new blog. This means academies and secondaries can have a blog address that reflects their status.

This was a direct result of our users’ feedback as the ‘primary’ in PrimaryBlogger might have lead people to believe we’re designed only for Primary Schools, when actually PrimaryBlogger is available for all educational institutions. We hope this makes people feel more comfortable and allows PrimaryBlogger to be accessible to every teacher, lecturer and educator.

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