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Using Blogs

A blog (a contraction of the term "Web log") is a website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are 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. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (artlog), photographs (photoblog), sketches (sketchblog), videos (vlog), music (MP3 blog), audio (podcasting), which are part of a wider network of social media. Micro-blogging is another type of blogging, one which consists of blogs with very short posts. As of June 2008, blog search engine Technorati was tracking more than 133 million blogs. {From Wikipedia}

Blogs are excellent for developing student writing and student sharing of ideas and thoughts. They also become a means of connecting with your students, through your own blog.

Common blog sites:

You can even "blog" from your email:

Will Richardson, author of Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms (2006), provided some good guidelines for student blogging:

  1. What did you read in order to write this blog entry?
  2. What do you think is important about your blog entry?
  3. What are both sides of your issue?
  4. What do you want your readers to know, believe or do?
  5. What else needs to be said?

7 Things You Should Know About Blogging

Educational Blogging
Stephen Downes (2004), EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 39, no. 5 (September/October 2004): 14–26.

Virginia Commonwealth University  |  Center for Teaching Excellence
Last updated: 09/22/2009
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