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A weblog, or simply a blog, is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is “blogging” and someone who keeps a blog is a “blogger”. Blogs are typically updated daily using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog. Postings on a blog are mostly arranged in chronological order with the most recent additions featured most prominently. In simple terms, a blog is a website, where you write material on an ongoing basis. New items show up at the top, so your visitors can read what's new. Then they may or may not comment on it, or link to it, or email you.
Is a Blog a Webpage?
• • To the reader, a blog is a webpage To the author, a blog is an authoring system that allows them to create a webpage without knowing HTML or other web technologies and without needing special software
How are Blogs Different?
• • • • Blogs use a journal or diary metaphor A user makes a post instead of making a page Posts are most often ordered by date Posts can also be ordered by other criteria, such as user-defined categories
So Why Use a Blog?
• • • To make a website To make a website with many authors To publish a journal
All this can be accomplished without even knowing HTML, Frontpage or other web authoring tools.
not all of them fit the stipulations above. Options for instructors using blogs include: • Content-related blogs as a professional practice • Networking and personal knowledge sharing • Instructional tips for students • Course announcements and readings • Annotated links • Knowledge management Options for students using blogs in courses include: • Reflective or writing journals • Knowledge management • Assignment submission and review • Dialogue for group work • E-portfolios • Share course-related resources Features of a Blog-Based Class Before choosing a blogging service. can view the student’s individual blog. In order to have individual student blogs that allow the teacher to add comments and 2 .Blogs in Education The use of blogs in instructional settings is limited only by your imagination. The blogging service must be free. it must be possible for a teacher to create a blog for class notes and another for posting group feedback. it must be simple for the teacher to change between students’ blogs. Furthermore. one must know their requirements. the teacher and the student. The class blogs must be viewable by all students. For example. Only two people. students cannot edit the teacher’s comments. The blogging service must provide server space on the Internet to store class and student blogs. only the teacher should have administrative privileges to modify these blogs. Following is a list of features which could make a successful blog-based class: • • • It must be possible for a teacher to create as many “class blogs” as deemed necessary to organize class materials. For the sake of organization. • • • Although many blogging services are available. However. All students must have their own individual blog for posting assignments. Students can edit their own writing and the teacher can add comments to the student’s submissions.
You can easily change the template later or have your own customized template. a blogging service that allows “group blogs” is required. color and layout of the blog when viewed as a webpage.blogger.modifications. 3) The last step is to choose a template to determine font. once your blog is set up. 3 . Blogger is one blogging service that allows “group blogs”. 2) The next step is to enter a title and URL for the new blog.com) An Account Can be Made in Three Steps: 1) For those without an account. as well as the other features previously stated. Setting Up Class and Student Blogs at Blogger (www. a username and password must be created in the first step.
For example. one class blog can be solely for keeping lecture-based material. begin the process to create a new blog as previously described 4 . give students a non-blog related activity and have them come up to the teacher computer one at a time to create their student blog. Other possible class blogs are student assignment instructions. The creation of all the student blogs can be done on the first day of class. Another blog can be kept solely for giving group feedback to the class. In this way students can easily find pertinent information.Integrating Blogs into your Pedagogy • • Creation of class blogs should be done before the first class and assigned relevant blog titles and URLs that communicate the purpose of the blog. After introducing the class and the class blogs. and answers to past assignments. By creating separate class blogs. information can be efficiently organized. • • • Steps to a Create Student Blog: 1) From the teacher’s account. vocabulary. The teacher-created class blogs can be used as an example when introducing the concept of blogs to the students. a blog of class notes should be titled “class notes. For example.
an easy way is to create a message to the students containing all the information regarding the class blogs and paste it into the message section of the invitation to join the student blog. one is ready to start adding to it. have students type their email address in one of the new user fields and click the save settings button 8) There is also a space to attach a message with the invitation. Here. this URL address should not be shared with anyone. there is a “members” option. Since students must have access to the class blogs that the teacher created. 9) It is recommended that students bookmark these URL addresses on their computer 5 . 3) Quickly have the student choose a template for the layout of their blog 4) After a few moments to process and create the blog. To keep the student blog private. However. 7) Following the instructions. most important step in setting up the student blogs. students do not have access to it as yet. since the blog was created on the teacher’s account. 5) Adding the students as members to the blogs is the final. 6) In the settings menu of each of your blogs.2) Enter the student’s name as the blog title and have the student enter a name for their URL address. group members can be added to the blogs via the add team member”button.
www. They should all find an invitation from Blogger with a link to follow to join the student-teacher blog. all the class blogs and all of the student-teacher group blogs are shown.blogger. Advantages of Blogs to Teachers: • Web based authoring – like Blackboard • Design is totally separate from content • Search. 11) After the students accept the invitations to join their blogs. they have access to different dictionaries and bibliographies. Students also have the option of previewing the class material before class and reviewing the material after class. users are taken to what Blogger refers to as the “dashboard”. Note: It is important to tell students that when adding or editing a post. Viewing the Blogs After logging in from the main page. the initial setup is complete. instruct them to check their email. just the student-teacher group blog is shown. Because students are connected to the Internet. 6 .com. it will not be saved until the “publish post” button is clicked. In the case of the teacher.10) After all the students have completed this process. comment system and rich archiving tools are built in • Content is stored in a database allowing for robust data-driven operations Advantages of Blogs to Students: • • Students have access to instructor’s notes on the Internet. In the student’s case. Students must be taught the importance of this step or they will lose their work.
• • • Because the class material is organized into sections. Writing coherently is one of the most difficult and time-consuming tasks. Students can read comments for the class as a whole and comments directed at them individually. blogs have limited community features such as those found in Blackboard. How Instructors Use Blogs To teach writing and communication skills: Walter Palmer: Black Bottom Karl Fornes: College Composition As a new form of academic publishing: John Lovas: Jocalo's Blog Harvard Law School: Harvard Weblogs As public writing about their fields: Mike Dorn: Disability Studies Kevin McCabe: Neuroeconomics Laurence Lessig: Lessig Blog References: Temple University. In general. This maximizes feedback and contact with the teacher. Most people don’t have very much to say that’s interesting. blogs are not message or discussion boards. and/or are unable to write down their ideas in a compelling and clear manner. As a result. students can easily find information. Blogs are easy to start but hard to maintain. Disadavantages of Blogs: • • • • • Blogs generally have no assessment or polling features. Web content management author and consultant Blogs in Education 7 . Students can observe their progress over time. Florida Gerry McGovern. many blogs are not updated. Although they often have a comment feature. thus damaging rather than enhancing the reputation of the organization.
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