Initial Thoughts on Blogging

  1. Initial Ideas: Please write a quick response to any of the following questions:
    • What benefits are there to using tools such as blogs, wikis, and podcasts with students, parents, or other teachers?
    • What experiences have you had with using either blogs, wikis, or podcasts with students so far?
    • What questions have been raised for you through the discussions that you've had in Project Write and through the reading you've done, such as David Warlick's Raw Materials for the Mind: A Teacher's Guide to Digital Literacy?
  2. In small groups, share your responses. Report out major ideas and we'll add those to the wiki and try to answer your questions this evening.
  3. How are texts being changed due to digital literacies? Here is one way to look at it:

Medieval Helpdesk A fun video to check out on YouTube

What's a Blog?

Blog (definition from Wikipedia)
A blog (a portmanteau of web log) is a website where entries are written in chronological order and commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs.

Why Use Blogs?

  • Blogs are a place for different types of writing and publishing of student work
  • Blogs can be set up to showcase student work or for communication
  • Blogs can incorportate multimedia productions (visuals, audio, video, etc.)
  • Blog brevity and high interest can hook students into reading
  • Blogs can incorporate cross curricular learning
  • Blogs offer a chance for students to make connections with students from other places (different cities, states, countries)
  • Blogging allows for connections with other bloggers
  • Blogs can be used as a space to post resources, announcements and reflection
  • Blogs offer an example of how various people are engaging in literacy (example: AgentZero)
  • Blogs can engages quieter students in digital conversations
  • Blogs can motivate students to write
  • Blogs extend audiences
  • Classroom Uses for Blogs EduBlog Insights

Examples of Blogs

News and Informational Blogs
Entertainment Blogs
  • Page 2 (ESPN’s Bill Simmons offers his take on the sports world)
  • Agent Zero (Gilbert Arenas provides a view of life in the NBA)
  • Comedy Central (Humorous site offering jokes and more)
Personal Blogs
  • Eclectchick (“Assorted yammerings” of a Minnesota native)
Fictional Blogs
Blogs and Literature
  • Dave Barry’s Blog (Humorist offers a variety of thoughts and musings)
  • Blog from the Windowsill (Talk about children’s books and what we’re reading)
  • Hogwarts Herald (Digital conversation about developments and musings on the Harry Potter series developments)
  • Writers Write (Blogging news headlines, resources, tools and articles about creating a weblog)

Educational Blogs
Blogs with Students
Blogs for Parent and Student Communication
Blogs for Teacher Reflection
Blogs for Professional Discourse
Blog Search Engines

Creating your own Blog

Free Blogs for Teachers

Other Blogging Resources

Blog Search Engines

Subscribing to Blogs

RSS Feeds

RSS (definition from Wikipedia)

"Really Simple Syndication") is a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated content such as blog entries, news headlines or podcasts. An RSS document, which is called a "feed", "web feed", or "channel", contains either a summary of content from an associated web site or the full text. RSS makes it possible for people to keep up with their favorite web sites in an automated manner that's easier than checking them manually.
RSS content can be read using software called an "RSS reader", "feed reader" or an "aggregator". The user subscribes to a feed by entering the feed's link into the reader or by clicking an RSS icon in a browser that initiates the subscription process. The reader checks the user's subscribed feeds regularly for new content, downloading any updates that it finds.

Will Richardson's Quickstart Guide to RSS for Educators

Materials for this blogging overview were developed by Dawn Reed in collaboration with other RCWP TCs Luke Rodesiler and Troy Hicks.