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Blogs

What is a blog?
"A blog - a shorthand term that means "Web log" - is an online chronological collection of personal commentary and links" (ELI, 2005). "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" (Downes, 2009).
Blogs originally began as individually authored text-based services (Thompson, 2006; Justin's links, 2004). Today collaborative blogs and scribe posts are also very popular and blogs are produced in many different forms: Microblogging, Photoblogs, Vidblogs and Moblogs.

Many educators believe posting in public spaces is an important aspect of blogging as writing for an authentic audience increases student motivation to perform at their best and connecting with others has the potential to change how they view the world (Davis, 2007Downes, 2009Luca, 2011Rosenthal Tolisano, 2011).

Why should students blog?

Blogs provide a communication space that teachers can with students whenever there is a curriculum need to develop writing, share ideas and reflect on work being undertaken in the classroom (DET, 2011)Many educators agree that preparing our students for their future should include applying new literacy skills through different media (Davis, 2007Downes, 2009Luca, 2011Rosenthal Tolisano, 2011). 

“Teachers need to address writing for a public audience, how to cite and link and why, how to use the comment tool in pedagogical ways, how to read web materials more efficiently as well as explore other ways to consider pedagogical uses of blogs” (Davis, 2007).

Some of the benefits of educational blogging include: Providing increased access and exposure to quality content, encouraging social interactions with peers, engaging students in conversation and learning, writing for an authentic audience andmaking global connections.

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Why should teachers blog?

Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano (2011) believes one of the prime reasons for teacher blogging is to improve your own learning through metacognitive awareness and an educator who expects his/her students to blog for learning, NEEDS to be blogging for their own learning.

What should I include in my blog?

The content of your blog will be determined by the purpose of your blog. However, you should always try to provide constructive criticism and not use aggressive or inappropriate language. 

A reflective learning blog should include:

  • information describing what, why and how you did something
  • your thoughts and feelings about the subject matter and your own learning
  • correct spelling and grammar and avoid chat language
  • hyperlinks to the original sources when using third party content to credit the original authors and abide by copyright laws.

How do I start blogging?

Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano has written a series of blog posts: learning about blogs  FOR your students that provide great advice for all bloggers.

Writing tips

How can I assess the quality of a blog?

Blogging rubrics are valuable tools for evaluating the quality of your own posts and for assessing your students work. below are some links to rubrics that you are free to use, as long as you acknowledge the original creators.

Teaching ideas & examples

Class blogs

Paper blogging

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Diigo: jennip98 library search - Blogs
YouTube Search - Classroom blogging

Technologies - Free

Note: Most website creation tools also include a "blog" style page with most or all of the features that dedicated blogging technologies offer.

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Example blogs

Student blogs - Primary school

Quadblog pals

Student blogs - Secondary school

Higher Education

Teacher blogs that I follow:

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