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Blogging

Blogs are web logs that arrange postings (i.e., text, graphics, audio, video entries) in reverse chronological order. Generally a single author or team of authors post messages and encourage people to add comments. Blogs are a one-to-many type of communication space. They're a great place to journal, log ideas, and gather reactions.

try itGo to Library History Buff for endless library history references. Notice how he often incorporates historical photographs and primary source documents.

try itGo to Stephens Lighthouse to see how individuals share their thoughts about libraries. Notice how he often incorporates infographics.

try itGo to The Unquiet Library to see how librarian's share the latest in technology for libraries. Notice how she incorporates real-world projects and examples.

try itGo to School Library Monthly and notice how they focus on professional development for school librarians.

try itGo to the Civil War Sallie blog to see how a stuffed bear is teaching about the Civil War. Notice how video and images are used.

Go to First Second Books blog to see what's happening with this popular publisher of graphic novels. Many publishers maintain blogs to keep you up-to-date on their publications.

Explore a few blog examples from the following lists:

Blogging has become popular in schools and libraries. Many academic libraries provide multiple blogs focusing on different content areas. Explore Blogs at Drexel University Libraries. Notice the many areas covered.

Examine the following examples of school and library blogs:

checkRead Blogging in the Classroom. Skim Blogmania by Eric Oatman in School Library Journal (August 1, 2005). This article explores blogs in school library media settings.

 

Microblogging

Recently, microblogging has become a popular type of blogging. Rather than longer postings, microblogs are very short entries often uploaded from mobile devices. While some microblogs involve reviews and original works, most are simply status updates. The usual American cell phone screen can hold 140 letter, the maximum tweet on Twitter.

The Twitter Update 2011 from PewInternet found that 13% of online adults use Twitter and 95% of Twitter users own a mobile phone. Half of these users access the service on their handheld device. Skim Twitter and status updating by Amanda Lenhar and Susannah Fox from Pew Internet (2009).

Twitter is an example of a microblog. In addition to personal status updates, you can follow the activities of current events such as the Mars Phoenix and Mars Curiosity projects on Twitter. Or, follow historical diaries such as the twitter entries based on the diary of John Quincy Adams.

try itWatch Twitter in Plain English by Common Craft at YouTube.

checkChoose one of the following articles to read:

For examples, go to my eduscapes twitter account and notice who I'm following. Explore some examples of how libraries are using Twitter:

Skim Writing My Twitter Etiquette Article: 14 Ways to Use Twitter Politely by Margaret Mason.

 

Blogs and Microblogs in Learning

Authors of all ages can share their reading and writing experiences using a blog. Image a virtual career day where people in a variety of careers share a day in their life using Twitter.

Explore to 100 Educational Twitter Feeds for lots of ideas.

try itWatch high school students talk about their blogging experiences at the high school level (see video on right).

Author Blogs. Many authors are using their blog to promote their writing as well as connect with readers. Use these blogs to encourage both reading and writing. Below you'll find a list of well-known authors who blog:

Current Events. Newsletters, newspapers, magazines, and other current events type publications work well in the blogging format because they allow timely publication of information. Articles can be tagged, archived, and easily searched. An additional benefit is the ability of readers to interact with the article authors. Finally, since no paper is involved, it's virtually free.

Journals. The classic use of the blog format is journaling. In addition to personal journals, blogs can be used to chronicle of class activities. A series of science experiments, chapter by chapter book discussions, exploration of different types of poetry, and other ongoing activities are great for blogs. Also convert some of your older projects into the blog format. For example, the Flat Stanley projects are a natural for the blog format.

Library Activities. Some blogs focus on resources and activities connected to the library.

Reading Blogs. Look for blogs that are written by people with similar interests or background. For example, can you find other public library blogs or third grade blogs? Also look for blogs with very different perspectives from your own and consider their point of view.

Reviews. Whether reading the reviews (i.e., books, movies, games) or writing your own reviews, simple book review projects are a great way to get started with blogging.

Teacher Centered. While many blogs are student-focused, others are teacher directed. For example, a teacher might post lecture notes, practice activities, project guidelines, or home work assignments.

Visuals. From posters to scanned written work, visuals play a central role in some blogs.

check try itBlogs and Blogging: A Homerun for Students, Teachers, and Technology. by Annette Lamb. This is an online workshop with a number of pages that all relate to blogging in teaching and learning. Be sure to work your way through these materials.

checkRead Bloggers: A Portrait of the Internet's New Storytellers from the Pew Internet & American Life Project (7/19/2006). This article provides recent data about the experiences of bloggers. It will give you a good overview from the perspective of blog creators.

Guidelines for Student Bloggers

If you're working on a blogging project, think about the guidelines participants will need to be successful.

Read Escrapbooking: Blogging for ideas.

Explore examples of guidelines for commenting.

try itRead Top 10 student blog posts. Examine the student postings. Are these exemplary examples? What kinds of activities would be useful in your interest area?

 

Creating and Using Blogs

One of the reasons blogging is so popular is because of it's simplicity. Here are the basic steps:

Creator. Create your content including text, visuals, audio, and video elements. Upload resources to a website or blogsite.

End User. View or download directly from a website. Or, subscribe to the RSS feed. Then, view or play on a computer or handheld device.

try itGo to edublogs and create a blog. Use the edublogs instructions sheet (Word version) or (PDF version) for the basics of creating your blog. Choose a theme for your blog. Will it be a personal blog or a professional blog? Who is the audience for your blog? How will you use the comment features of your blog? Will you invite guest authors such as student authors?

Read 123 Blogs by Travis Daily (a High Tech Learning student) to learn the basics of using Blogger.

Read The Blogmeister to learn about ways to use blogs with young people. You can also browse blogs by state or country.

Blog Tools

Popular tools for the general public include:

Although there are many blog tools for the general public, the following resources were designed specifically for librarians and educators.

If you have control over your web server, consider using open source software to creating your own blogs. Download to Wordpress.

Blog Examples

There are thousands of blogs being maintained by librarians and educators. Explore a sampling in your interest area. Some of the examples below are from the late 2000s when blogging was at its most popular. However they still serve as effective examples.

Primary School (PreK-Grade 3)

Intermediate School Blogs (Grade 3-6)

Middle School Class Blogs

High School Class and Teen Blogs

Library Blogs

 

Professional Blogs

Before jumping into the use of blogs with students, consider exploring professional blogs.

Read Looking at Liblogs: The Great Middle (PDF) by Walt Crawforld in Cities & Insights (August 2006).

Here are a few I read regularly:

Others to Explore:

General Blogs

Blog Directories

Learn More

Bud The Teacher: Blogging Guidelines and Resources

Links to the materials in this section can be found in the navigation bar on the left side of this page. Continue to the arrow means an internal linkLearning Spaces: Blogs: Audio Sharing page.


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