Blogs

From E-Learning Faculty Modules

Contents

Module Summary

Blogs are a powerful tool to use in teaching. A journal (website) of thoughts on a topic kept in a chronological order by an author. It can be used in teaching to initiate critical thinking and create in-depth thinking and discussion on a topic. Blogs on any topic can be found, and communities can be found on a certain topic allowing people to share and learn from each other.

Takeaways

Learners will...

  • define a blog
  • identify ways to use a blog to teach

Main Contents

Typically is a website maintained by one person (can be more than one), making regular entries (web-logs), about a certain topic/content, adding images, video, articles or description. The author constantly posts materials related to that content. Blogs can be private or public, allowing readers to leave comments or messages. Basically, it’s an author’s soapbox to say what they want.

How are instructors using blogs? In the academic environment instructors are using it to teach their students and not just voicing their own opinions. Students can practice their writing skills (along with reflection and synthesis of information), and instructors give feedback, and evaluate their work.

According to Will Richardson from his book Blogs, Wikis, Podcats, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classroom (pp 40-42) he lists several uses for students using weblogs.

  • Learn how to blog
  • Complete class writing assignments
  • Express their opinions on topics students are studying in class
  • Write comments, opinions, or questions on daily news items or issues of interest
  • Discuss activities they did in class and tell what they think about them
  • Write about class topics, using newly learned vocabulary words and idioms
  • Create an on-going portfolio of samples of their writing
  • Journal entries

Instructors can use blogs to

  • Showcase their writing pieces
  • Provide online readings for students to read and react to
  • Create an online book club
  • Link your class with another class somewhere else in the world
  • Publish examples of good student writing done in class
  • Create a literature circle (where groups of students read and discuss the same book)
  • Invite student comments or postings on issues in order to give them a writing voice

Examples

IDT Roundtable, Mar 30, 2006 - What the Heck Is a Blog and Do I Need One? http://id.ome.ksu.edu/roundtable/what-heck-blog-and-do-i-want-one/

Kansas State University's Professor, Dr Michael Wesch's Blog on Digital Ethnography - http://mediatedcultures.net/ksudigg/

How To

Create an username, password, blog address in some cases and follow the step by step by instructions to create your blog and you are ready to begin blogging.

Wordpress - http://wordpress.com/

Blogger - http://Blogger.com

Possible Pitfalls

References

Richardson, W (2006). Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms, 40-42. Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press.

Extra Resources

Blogs in Plain English - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NN2I1pWXjXI

Blogger vs. Wordpress.com Comparison Chart - 2012, http://pulsed.blogspot.com/2007/07/blogger-wordpress-chart.html