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Teacher's Quick Guide to Blogging

Understanding the Intimacy Differences of Blogging, Video, and Podcasting - http://www.ryanhanley.com/2012/11/08/blogging-video-and-podcasting/

Blogs Versus Wikis

Blogs and Wikis have some common denominators:
 They are both websites
 They are both user-generated (the content of blogs and wikis is created by the actual people who use the blogs or wikis)
 They both allow users to comment on the content
Wikis are better than blogs for:
 Archiving information for easy access
 Gathering information from a group of people. For example, the wiki Library Success collects information from librarians around the world. (See this past MPLIC Tech Train blog post for more information about Library Success)
Blogs are better than wikis for:
 Quickly sharing new information
 Starting and maintaining a dialog between the publisher and reader

The Ultimate Guide to The Use of Blogs in Teaching

Blogging is one of the eventual realization of web 2.0 technologies. It is the driving engine behind this online information revolution. Thousands of blogs are created everyday and for different purposes. Some people blog to make money, some to share their voice with the world, some to immortalize their life events and diaries, and others blog just to vex and scam people.

blogging guide for teachersThe
 tremendous ease of use of a blog has made it a web tool of great potential in education. From 2005 up to this moment, thousands of educational blogs have seen the light and educators from all around the globe have been experiencing with this medium in their teaching.In this regard, I deemed it important to pause for a while and create an easy and simple guide to remind you ( in case you are an experienced blogger ) and walk the new teachers ( excited about how to use blogs in their classroom ) through the different procedures and pedagogical implications behind the use of blogs in education. I am very much hoping that this guide is not like any other guide you would find online but a real summary and fruitful addition to the load of information written on this topic.

Let me provide you first with the outline of this paper :

1- What is Blogging ?
2- Difference between A Blog and a Website
3- Free Blogging Platforms for Teachers and Students
4- How to set up a blo
5-Things to Pay Heed to when Setting up a Classroom Blog
6- Blogging Tips for Teachers
7- Advantages of Blogging in Education
8- Ways Teachers Can Use Blogs in their Classrooms
9- Examples of Successful Student, Class, and Teacher Blogs

blogging guide for teachers
1- What is a blog ?

" A blog is a personal website that contains content organized like a journal or a diary. Each entry is dated, and the entries are displayed on the web page in reverse chronological order, so that the most recent entry is posted at the top. Readers catch up with blogs by starting at the top and reading down until they encounter material they’ve already read. "

1- Difference between a blog and a websiteblogging guide for teachers

Many students and some teachers still can not draw a clear border between a blog and a website. Yes a blog is, in effect, a kind of a website organized by time and is the equivalent of a diary.It is like a digital magazine fuelled by fresh content to engage audience . The idea of content refreshment is in fact one of the major differences that sets a blog from a website. The content of a website remains mostly the same. Though the webmaster could add additional pages to the website to increase the content, but the order by which the information is presented could not be later changed.. In blogs, there are posts, like the one you are reading now. Each post has its static page ( its own URL ), but the main page of the blog is dedicated to the series of later posts in reverse-chronological ( latest to oldest ) order. As for form, a blog has certain characteristics that a website does not such as : short posts, follower widgets, and commenting system . However, as a teacher here is what you need to keep in mind about a blog :
  • It is a form of a website
  • It is updated so often
  • Its articles appear in reverse-chronological order
  • It is frequently crawled by search engines
  • It covers a wide variety of articles
  • It is easily set up

3- Free Blogging platforms for teachers and students :
Now that you have an idea about what a blog is all about, here is a list of some of the best platforms to start with. Due to space constraints, I will only cite the four popular platforms but you can check out the rest of the free blogging platforms for teachers and students in the presentation embedded below.

A- Edublogs

The world's most popular educationa blogging service, Edublogs lets you easily create and manage student and teacher blogs, quickly cutomize and include videos.

B- Blogger

This is a free weblog publishing tool from Google, for sharing text, photos and video. This is probably the most user friendly blogging platform out there. You can set up as many blogs as you want and right from your Google account.

C- Wordpress
This is another great blogging platform for students and teachers and is very easy to use and completely free.

Check out the complete list of free blogging platforms for both teachers and students in my presentation below :

4- How to set up a blog

It depends on the kind of bloggging platform you are going to use but generally speaking, the process is very easy and takes only a couple of minutes. Here are some tutorials :blogging guide for teachers

How to set up a blog on Edublog
How to set up a blog on Blogger
How to set yp a blog on Wordpress

5- Things to pay heed to when setting up a classroom blog
  • Choose an appropriate blogging platform for your situation
  • Understand why and how you will use it in your class
  • Understand the features you and your students will need to use
  • Set up your students accounts
  • Know what to do when students forget their login inforamtion and keep that info safe
  • Make sure that all of your students will have fair and equal access to computers to get the job done
  • Let parents and guardians know what you are doing
  • Set the rules for students
  • Create a code of ethics.

6- Blogging Tips for teachers

blogging guide for teachers
Now that you have considered using blogs with your students, here are some tips to keep in your mind before you get started :

  • Choose the easiest platform for you and your students and one with which you are familiar. Chances are your students might already have blogs, ask them which platform they like and use it for your classroom.
  • Ask for parents permission
  • Teach students about online safety. Check out this article for resources
  • Teach students how to comment properly.
  • Posts should always be short and informative. It is better to start with an introduction of themselves and get them to write comments on each others posts.
  • Use simple language and correct grammatical structures
  • Invite parents to contribute in your class blog and get them to comment too
  • If you have blogs of other classes or you know of similar blogs then get them connected and let students build their communities
  • Give students some freedom to explore the blog
  • Don't grade. Blogging is meant to be a way to practice writing for an audience and learning to respond to critique, not a graded paper.
  • Challenge students. Use activities and games and inspire your students to write about certain topics
  • Give it more time. If you think all students would straight away fall in love with your classroom blog then you are wrong. Some students take to it right away, others are not so sure, and yet they will all end up loving it

7- Benefits of blogging in education

Here are some of the main reasons why teachers and educaors should consider blogging as an educational medium :
blogging guide for teachers
  • Students enjoy blogging
  • Blogging enhances literacy skills
  • Using a blog makes learning independent of time and place
  • It gets students engaged and boost their motivation
  • It promotes their communication skills
  • Just like other asynchronous media, blogs give time to students to reflect
  • It makes teaching students oriented
  • It emphasizes the " test and learn" and " learning by doing" strategies instead of " plan and execute " ones
  • It fosters the learning bonds between teachers and students
  • It gives a chance to shy students to participate with their peers and get their voice heard
  • It keeps parents updated about their kids progress
  • It enhances home-school links
  • It gives students a genuine and potentially worldwide audience for their work.
  • Blogging gives students ownership over their own learning and an authentic voice allowing them to articulate their needs and inform their learning.
  • It contributes to identity-formation in students
  • Blogging helps teachers develop professionally
  • It fosters the development of writing and research skills as well as digital skills.

8- Ways to use blogs in your classroom

Here are some ways on how teachers can use blogs in their classrooms:
  • Provide further assignments for students to work on
  • Have students work in small groups to write and post summaries of content covered in class to build a compendium for content covered over a semester
  • Get students to do their writing assignments in the form of blog posts
  • Encourage students to post comments on each others postings
  • Use blogs for peer learning. Get students to read their colleagues writings and underline spelling and grammatical mistakesblogging guide for teachers
  • Use blogs for classroom projects where students can include videos, clips, audio,, text and images
  • Teachers can create a specific section just for website links and references to other interesting content online.
  • Use activities, games, puzzles to enrich students learning experiences
  • Use blogs to conduct an online survey in relation to your students learning needs. You can also include parents in the surveys. Check out these free survey tools for teachers.
  • Post your classroom guidelines and code of conduct on your classroom blog for students to review
  • Publish a list of the objectives ( general as well as specific goals )
  • Challenge your students to write, record and post tutorials about certain concepts of things you teach them
  • Use a section in your blog for classroom news where to comunicate the general classroom news. Work with students to identify the kinds of inforamtion they would like to share with their parents, then engage them in writing and posting daily or weekly news updates
  • Post weekly challges such as a riddle or brainteaser that requires your students to think creatively and critically. Ask students to post their answers on the blog then discuss the solutions with the whole class at the end of the week. This will tremendously improve their problem-solving skills
  • Again use your blog as a communicative tool both with your students and their parents.

9- Examples of successful blogs

Here are some examples of some of the best blogs nominated for Edublogs awards for the year 2011.

Webliography :

1- Blogs in Education
2- Connecting through blogs
3- 11 advantages of using blogs for teachers
4- Moderating and ethics for the classroom instructional blog
5- Should all learning professionals be blogging
6- Resourcing the curriculum
7- 14 Steps to meaningful students blogging
8- 15 Awesome ways to use blogs in your classroom
9- My 17 point check-list for teaching good writing and blogging
10- How to set up a classroom blog: ten essential steps
11- Educational Blogging
12- A List of the best tools for teachers to create blogs for their students

YouTube Video

Tumblr lets you effortlessly share anything. Post text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos, from your browser, phone, desktop, email, or wherever you happen to be. You can customize everything, from colors, to your theme's HTML.
What is Tumblr?
Millions of people sharing the things they do, find, love, think, or create.
How are people using Tumblr?
The average Tumblr user creates 14 original posts each month, and reblogs 3. Half of those posts are photos. The rest are split between text, links, quotes, music, and video.
What is reblogging?
The same way YouTube embeds make it easy for a video to become a viral hit, the "reblog" button on all Tumblr posts allows a meme to spread rapidly across thousands of blogs with just a click.
Who are Tumblr's investors?
Spark CapitalUnion Square VenturesSequoia CapitalGreylock PartnersInsight Venture PartnersThe Chernin Group and Richard Branson, along with several angel investors including Betaworks, John Borthwick, Fred SeibertAlbert WengerMartín Varsavsky. We love our investors :)        
Why Teachers Should Try Tumblr - http://ht.ly/1iQ0pA 
From: learnweb2.0 wikispace
Go to Tumblr! It basically allows you to create a blog, but is different than other blog sites for a few reasons. Not only can you write and upload pictures and videos, you can also "reblog" others' posts similar to "retweeting" on Twitter. You can choose between writing your own HTML for the design or picking from hundreds of layouts other users have created and shared.

  1. Free to use and join
  2. No limit on amount of posts
  3. Isn't blocked on school campuses
  4. Very popular among high school aged students
  5. Allows you to be as creative as you'd like
  6. Hosts pictures and videos
  7. You can edit the privacy settings to fit your needs
  8. Content sharing is made easy
  1. The site is occasionally down for maintenance
  1. Teachers can use this to communicate with parents/students/other teachers
  2. Students can create a Tumblr
  1. Students might not want to "follow" a class blog in fear of the teacher reading their blog
  2. Site might direct students to inappropriate "featured blogs"
  3. Any picture or video can be uploaded; content on blogs isn't monitored
Ideas for the Classroom
  1. Students can learn about HTML by creating layouts and sharing them
  2. Students could all create a Tumblr and "follow" each other and therefore create a huge network of information sharing
  3. Students can respond to posts and questions that teachers ask on their Tumblr which causes students to practice how to comment on other blogs
  4. Students have the opportunity to learn about many different aspects of blogging that may not all be available on different weblogs (layout, commenting, posting, tag feature, etc.)


adminJul 10th, 20121 Comment

bloggingBlogging: The Basics

This article is intended for those who would like to start a blog, but are not sure where to begin. The resources listed below will also be placed permanently as a page on this site (it will be up for reference).

Blogging Platform Choices:

There are a few different ways to set up a blog: via an online community host (WordPress.com, Blogger.com, and HubPages are a few examples), within a website as a page, or via a private hosting and domain name of your choice (a personally owned blogging site and domain). For the purpose of this article, I will be focusing on the tools required to set up a blog with a private domain name and a hosting service.

Blogging Platforms and Themes:

WordPress: This blogging platform is my favorite. I use WordPress for any/all sites I create. WordPress is user friendly, however, it does take time to learn. There are thousands of themes to choose from, both free and premium. The title link to WordPress goes directly to the download site (for personal domain holders). For those who would like to join the public WordPress site, please click here.

Blogger: Extremely simple and user friendly (Google is the host, therefore, it is not a personally owned site).

Edublogs: I began my blogging journey using this platform. This is great if one has an education niche (again, not personally owned). These are also run on WordPress.

Elegant Themes: Amazing themes that cover a wide range of niches, and there are over 70 themes to choose from for only $39.00. This is one of the best deals I have seen so far.

Headway Themes: Drag and drop; however, I found this blogging theme a bit complicated.

MOJO Themes: These are very unique themes with a great deal of flexibility. They offer themes at $5.00, and run some free ones as well. I like Mojo because they are unique.

The Thesis Theme for WordPress: This theme is known as the king of SEO. It is 100% customizable and is used by most of the famous bloggers. I love this theme due to the flexibility, control and absolute personalized customization. Thesis also provides excellent support.

Blogging Domain Name and Hosting:

Before choosing a domain name, it is important to research potential keywords that will be in the name (for SEO, or search engine optimization). Choose a keyword that has a decent ranking (not too high but not too low). Google keywords can provide this information. New bloggers should also check to ensure that the site name is available.

Find a domain name: My personal choice can be found at: www.GoDaddy.com Personally, I always use GoDaddy to search for my site name and to purchase. They have great customer support and I have never run into any issues.

Hosting Services: Ipage and myhosting.com

Once you have purchased a domain name, you will need a hosting service that will provide the platform to keep your site live. The two hosting services that I like are: Ipage and myhosting.com. Ipage offers an unbelievable amount of free services, perks, great deals, and they provide live support chat 24/7. They have always solved any issues in the timeliest manner.

IPage also provides great tutorials to help you get started. Here is an example:

Easy WordPress Installation with iPage

Depending upon personal needs, blogging can be a very simple task. If one chooses to create a site that generates income; the details, services, and affiliate programs are endless. Please stop by for those tools next week.


Examples of Classroom BLOGS:

POSTEROUS - Quick Blog that can use email to post. You can password protect it. Teacher must approve comments before they are posted.

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