Blog Primer

  • The word “blog” came from a combination of web + log.
  • Blogger is a person who blogs
  • Blogosphere is a word that can symbolize public opinion
  • Blogs consist of posts/entries and comments to those posts
  • Blogs are essentially a website with linear content
  • Blogs can include links, images, videos, pages, and other features of a website
  • Blogs can be individual or group, public or private, you decide when you set it up
  • Blogs have been growing, doubling in size about every 5 months. (Click the thumbnail below to view the graph.)
  • Blogs are simple to set up, with one click uploading and publishing.
  • You can be an instant author and can customize how your blog looks.

Blog growth


Free blogging software:

Blogging search engines:

Here’s a great visual of the components of a blog (thanks, Memo) and what a blog posting may look like (an example from the official Google blog): blog diagram
10 Reasons to Use Blogs in Education:

  1. Blogs can provide a course/teacher website, inviting students to comment on postings/assignments.
  2. Group blogs can be set up, where students can contribute to a group publication, group research, brainstorming, or individual writing with comments from the class and/or group.
  3. Individual blogs can be set up, where students write to a prompt or have more freedom to post reflections on assignments or coursework in general.
  4. Blogs can provide a convenient place for students to post podcasts/images/and/or videos and receive written comments on those podcasts
  5. Blogs can provide the incentive for you to start writing that book you’ve always meant to get started–blogs offer a quick and effortless way to just start writing. (I’m going to start another blog soon and begin writing a series of articles about teaching in this new and exciting era.)
  6. Blogs make the writing instant, authentic, and public. Students get feedback not only from their classmates, but from a worldwide audience. This may also provide incentive for writing to be clear and correct.
  7. Blogs can help you find your students’ writing, access it from anywhere, and comment on it right then and there. No more papers to keep track of. Students also can point to when and where they made a posting.
  8. Blogs can be customizable and reflect the personality of the writer. (The popularity of MySpace, for instance, is part of this appeal.)
  9. You and your students can subscribe to blogs, which makes them come to you, not the other way around. Using a feed reader, like Google reader, you can subscribe to all of your students’ blogs (or you can mash a custom feed, see Yahoo! Pipes) and have all of your class blogs in one feed. (This will be good for another posting. :))
  10. You can also backup a blog (wordpress offers an export feature), if you are insecure about storing your writing on someone else’s server.

One thought on “Blog Primer

  1. Great tips on educational blogging, Barbara! I think both wikis and blogs offer flexible means to reach and engage students, and experimenting with each to see how well they fit into the teaching space can only expand one’s understanding of these new technologies. Always learn, right?


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