Blogs in Bloom, 2

Blogs in Bloom Workshop Activity 

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Blogging in Wordpress by K. Boan 

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7 Things You Should Know About Blogs 

Classroom Blogging Protocol

 

Activity 2

  • Our next task is to define blogs and blogging.  Let's begin by reviewing some definitions from a variety of experts.

According to the experts, a blog is:     

  • “a website that is up-dated frequently, with new material posted at the top of the page” (Blood).
  • “basically an easy way to publish content on the Internet [because] it allows you to put that content online without needing to know things like Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) or coding languages” (Richardson).
  • “a term used to describe a web site that publishes content on a regular and ongoing basis. It can be a personal diary, a chronicle of commentaries on various issues and topics, or a creative journal, to name just a few” (Boan).
  • “A blog is a personal diary. A daily pulpit. A collaborative space. A political soapbox. A breaking-news outlet. A collection of links. Your own private thoughts. Memos to the world” (Blogger).

and the most creative description goes to Mortensen:

  • “A true-born child of the computer medium, the weblog may have its roots in the research journal, the ship’s log, the private diary and the newspapers, all at the same time. But like a mongrel hunting the dark alleys of the digital city, the weblog is nothing if not adaptive and unique at the same time. No fancy thoroughbred this … but a bastard child of all personal writing, breeding wildly as it meets others of its ilk online.”

But what does all that mumbo-jumbo really mean? And what’s the difference between blog the noun and to blog the verb? And perhaps most importantly, what possible relevance does any of this have to teaching to the standards and raising student achievement (read, improving test scores)?

Patience, Grasshopper. These answers will reveal themselves to you in time (which may or may not be by the end of this workshop).

  • Sounds a bit complicated, doesn't it? Exactly what IS a blog? Let's look at a few examples:
  • Post a comment on at least one of the blogs listed above by clicking on the Comment link.
  • You should now be starting to see how you might use blogs in your own classroom.  There are many ways that blogs can be used to benefit both students and teachers.  

    Here are just a few--

    for teachers: 
    • Create a virtual classroom
    • Maintain an electronic portfolio
    • Discover informational resources
    • Create/participate in a learning community
    • Synthesize information
    • Provide a space for professional reflection and discussion
    • Engage in professional learning
    • Provide mentoring support  
    • Publish an online "newsletter" for students, parents, community 

    for students:

    • Make writing "fun" 
    • Create an online collaboration/discussion space
    • Participate in a learning community
    • Synthesize information
    • Access to an authentic audience for writing
    • Invite peer review of and/or collaboration on writing 
    • Maintain an electronic portfolio 
    • Discover informational resources
    • Connect with others from around the world, including experts, other students, teachers, etc.