What is a Blog?

 

A Blog - Most people go with a blog being a 'web log'.

Personally I like the idea that it is just a space on the Internet that allows you to upload text, images, movies and animations easily. Blogs also allow people to leave comments which is a feature that students love. The other feature that makes a blog different is that entries are ordered by date.

Blogging - depending who your talking to, reading or listening to, many people have different ideas on what truly constitutes blogging.

1. A 'What's Happening Blog' - most teachers who use blogs use them to tell their class parents what's happening in the class and as an organisation tool i.e. what homework due and when, materials required, when the students need their library bags, how to treat head lice etc.

2. A 'What's Cool & Useful' Blog - many teachers add to their blogs websites and teaching ideas that they are finding successful. They often outline software applications they use as well as embedding Web 2.0 (Read and Write Web for the purests) tools that they use like: Flickr, Pageflakes, Toondoo, Imageshack , Youtube, etc.

3. A 'Personal Thoughts' Blog - many people see a blog as an online diary. A place to record their thoughts and desires about any topic at all. These thoughts are out there for the whole world to see and comment on.

4. A Blog to 'Encourage Conversation and Discourse' - Many edu-bloggers feel that an online web presence is not really 'blogging' until the author interacts with or has a conversation with the world. It is this conversation that is the difference between a webpage and a blog. They also feel that this conversation makes blogs a powerful learning tool.

5. A Blog to 'Showcase Student Work to the World' - when a student writes a poem or creates a piece of art it is often only seen by about five people... the student, the teacher and the family of the child. Blogs offer the opportunity to showcase an indivdual's work to the world and often this has a very positive effect on the quality of the work produced by the student.

NB Blogs can highlight what you are doing in well. They can also highlight what you are doing poorly. 'Worksheet Culture' and the 'Copy and Paste Culture' cannot thrive in a blogging environment.

6. A Blog as a 'Learning Journal' - some teachers are using blogs as a reflection tool for classroom learning e.g. What questions do you still have about .............. after today's lesson.

7. A Blog as a 'Worldwide Collaboration Tool' - you can set up a blog so that everyone in the world with Internet access can see what you are doing and you can work collaboratively with classes all over the world. WHAT AN OPPORTUNITY!

8. The Opportunity to Tell 'Story' - What is the story of your origin? Where has your journey taken you that others may find interesting? What adventures have you had? What insights can you share with the world?

9. The Opportunity to Stand on Your Soapbox - Go on... purge! But be aware that the world is looking on. A blog can be cathartic. It can cause you to reflect but be aware what you write is in the public domain so you had better be ready to be challenged. Many people see this as the way that knowledge is constructed.

10. A Combination of All the Above - As teachers experiment and become confident with using blogging tools in the classroom they eventually combine many of the above ways of using blogs. A LITTLE SOMETHING TO AIM FOR :)


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