Topics covered in this chapter include
  • What is a blog?
  • Blog basics
  • Setting up a blog
  • Educational benefits of blogs
  • Pedagogy
  • Audience, writing, and community awareness
  • Creativity and flow
  • Individual responsibility
  • Administration
  • Blogging models
  • Administration blog
  • Class blog (learning-focused)
  • Individual student blogs (learning-focused)
  • Special considerations for blogging
  • Choosing a blogging service
  • A public or private blog?
  • Navigation
  • Blogs versus discussion forums
  • Static pages
  • Scaffolding student blogging
  • How much do you assess?
  • Blog rubrics (success criteria)

For more detail, read Chapter 9 of Using Social Media in the Classroom. A best practice guide.
Basics
  • A blog is a website where a person or a group make regular entries or ‘posts’ on a topic.
  • Posts might include opinion, links, commentary, reflections, discoveries, tips, announcements, or advice.
  • Readers make comments on these posts.
  • Newest material is shown at the top of the blog (i.e., in reverse-chronological order).
  • Posts can include links, photos, video, audio, graphics and other media.
  • Posts are ‘tagged‘ (meaning that authors give them multiple keywords so that they can be retrieved later on) and archived.

Blogs are suitable for
  • Analysis, synthesis, evaluation
  • Communication and knowledge sharing
  • Comprehension and knowledge building
  • Feedback
  • Object sharing
  • Opinion building and sharing
  • Presentation and dissemination

Special considerations
  • Blogs are their own beastie: don’t use them as email lists, discussion groups, or listservs
  • Don’t use blogs to get students to post mini-essays or the like. If you want students to write a mini-essay, then ask them to write a mini-essay
  • See Chapter 9 of Using Social Media in the Classroom for special considerations regarding student blogging, including advice on how to choose a blogging service, whether or not to have a public or private blog, how blog navigation works, and how to scaffold student blogging.

Examples

Handouts, checklists, and planning materials
Notes
Download
Checklist for choosing a blogging service
Specific checklist for helping you choose which blogging service is best for your classroom.
  • Dashboard, posts, tags, rich media
  • Comments and discussion
  • Includes the baseline checklist so you don't need to download two separate checklists.

Blogging plan
Planning form for designing a teaching and learning episode using a blog.
  • Purpose of the blog
  • Pedagogy and outcomes
  • Type of blog
  • Student issues
  • Teacher issues
  • Time commitments
  • Evaluation and assessment

What is a blog?
Blog FAQ handout for students.
  • What is a blog?
  • What is a post?
  • How is a blog organised?
  • What are comments?
  • What are tags and categories?

Writing a blog post
A short 'how-to' guide for students.
  • Choose a catchy title for your post
  • Keep it short
  • Keep it focused
  • Write simply and clearly
  • Break up your text
  • Link to other things
  • Lists are good
  • Express your opinion
  • Put some of yourself into it
  • Think carefully about categories and tags
  • Edit your post

Making a blog comment
A short 'how-to-guide for students.
  • Keep it short
  • Keep it focused
  • Write simply and clearly
  • Express your opinion
  • Put some of yourself into it
  • Edit your comment


Sites, applications, and tools
external image kidblog1.jpg?w=233&h=49
external image blogger.jpg
external image edublog-logo.gif
external image blog-with-wordpress.png?w=180&h=60

external image picture-14.png

Further reading
  • Allaire, S., Thériault, P., Gagnon, V., and Lalancette, E. (2013) Elementary students’ affective variables in a blended learning environment supported by a blog: a case study, Canadian Journal of Learning & Technology, 39(3). Retrieved from http://www.cjlt.ca/index.php/cjlt/article/view/713/372.
  • Lacina, J. and Griffith, R. (2013) Blogging as a means of crafting writing, Reading Teacher, 66(4), pp. 316–320.
  • Nair, S. S., Tay, L. Y., and Koh, J. H. W. (2013). Students’ motivation and teachers’ teaching practices towards the use of blogs for writing of online journals, Educational Media International, 50(2), pp. 108–119.
  • Pifarre, M., Guijosa, A., and Argelagos, E. (2014) Using a blog to create and support a community of inquiry in secondary education, E-Learning and Digital Media, 11(1), pp. 72–87.
  • Sullivan, M. and Longnecker, N. (2014) Class blogs as a teaching tool to promote writing and student Interaction, Australiasian Journal of Educational Technology, 30(4). Retrieved from http://ascilite.org.au/ajet/submission/index.php/AJET/article/view/322/1057.
  • Tomberg, V., Laanpere, M., Ley, T., and Normak, P. (2013) Sustaining teacher control in a blog-based personal learning environment, International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 14(3), pp. 109–133.