Educ 5413 Shared findings and discussion on blogging

[To see our discussion & growing knowledge on other topics related to teaching with technology, go to our Educ 5413 course wiki and also our Resources on Teaching with Technology]

Responses to questions from the WebQuest on Blogs.

What common features do you notice among the blogs?
  • all have the option to post a comment
  • chronological order: most recent posts are at the top and easiest to get great
  • hyperlinks to other resources & sites
  • most info updated fequently
  • can be managed from any computer in the world with access to the Internet (cross platform)
  • they have a title
  • RSS feeds

Are there some features common to some, but not all, of the blogs?
  • links to other web pages related to the topic of the blog.
  • some are strictly topical, some are personal e.g. guy writing from Iraq -- his personal account of what was happening there; topical ones are about various products or issues e.g. blogging in education.
  • some have contact info
  • some have advertising

What primary differences you notice between the blog sites and the non-blog sites?
  • can't comment
  • other pages can link to blogs, even they aren't blogs themselves
  • blog is a discussion by an individual, whereas a non-blog page is not

What are the key characteristics of a blog?
  • reflective journal
  • can see when info added or updated
  • chronological order
  • anybody can create (provided they have access)

Are there "essential elements" of a blog?
  • topic
  • text part? only pictures? should relate to the purpose

How can we use 
blogs in education?
  • free way for communication
  • could have as a class
  • as a teacher for students
  • students for the world
  • teacher for the world
  • can be like pen pals (each person has one)
  • students can work in groups without having to meet face-to-face.Students can comment and change, as if they were right there sitting next to each other. To do this, all students in the group need to be co-owners of the blog. (another way to do this more easily is using a wiki)
  • Can pose questions -- teacher or students responding.
  • Sharing research ideas

What does RSS stand for and what is the big deal anyway?
What the heck is a News Aggregator?
Other issues & questions:
  • Do all bogs require commenters to say who they are or to log in?

For teaching:

How could you use blogging in your instruction?
Would this practice benefit your students?
What hurdles might stand in the way (of using blogging in your instruction)?
What would it take to remove the hurdles?
Is it worth the fight?