The Advancement of Tertiary Teaching and Learning/E-Learning/Blogging unplugged
What is a blog[edit | edit source]
A Blog (short for Web Log) can be thought of as a diary or journal where an individual or group of people blog (yes, blog is a verb and a noun) about a topic or topics that interest them. The postings are arranged in reverse chronological order (latest first).
History of blogs[edit | edit source]
Rebecca Blood has a useful article on "Weblogs: a history and perspective"  though written in 2000 it is still a useful summary.
Definitions[edit | edit source]
If you're after some definitions try Google's define feature 
Anatomy of a blog[edit | edit source]
There's a useful labeled image at Blogger forum . Have asked Steve the author if we can publish it here
How to find blogs[edit | edit source]
Just as books have many different styles and purposes, so do blogs. The easiest way to findout about blogs is to read some. But how do you find them. Well you could type "fishing blog" into your favorite search engine (and when I did this I found 1,310,000 entries!) or you could use a search engine that specialises in blogs (and only blogs). Here are some suggestions.`
Blogging software[edit | edit source]
If you are going to blog you need blog software. With some the blog is hosted and with others you need to load the software on your own servers. The latter is probably preferable for education settings if you want to have more control.
Free hosted blogs[edit | edit source]
- Blog City  has support files  which contains lots of tutorials.
- Blogger  Blogger Tour  provides a useful overview for people new to blogging, and Blogger Basics  takes you through the basics to get started.
- BlogSome 
- BlogSpirit  one of the few free blogs to offer categories. Help  ranges from Introduction to Blogs through changing the look of your blog and loading images, and more
- BlogHi 
- BlogText 
- ModBlog 
- MyBlogSite  Take their tour 
- SeoBlog  FAQs 
- Wordpress.com 
Open Source software[edit | edit source]
- Blosxom  Java
- BMachine  Perl
- Drupal  PHP || MySQL
- EasyMoblog 
- Geeklog  PHP4 MySQL
- GreyMatter 
- LoudBlog  PHP MySQL
- Pivot  PHP
- pLog  PHP MySQL
- RBlog 
- Scoop 
- Simplog 
- Su Logu  PHP MySQL
Blog plug-ins[edit | edit source]
Blog Rolls[edit | edit source]
A Blogroll is simply a list of links to other websites or blogs. There are no exact criteria for what to include in a blogroll, but as they tend to be more static than a blog, they often include favorite or useful sites. Mpst blogsoftware does not include blogrolls and you need to add one in. Here are some links to blogroll creation software:
See Wikipedia for more information w:Blogroll
Tag Boards[edit | edit source]
Tag Boards enable visitors to leave messages. Unlike comments which relate to a specific posting, it is usual to only have one Tag Board for the whole blog. Tag Boards are often used to encourage interactivity. Tag Boards don't usually come with blog software so you need to add one in:
Blog readers[edit | edit source]
If you are reading more than a handful of blogs you will find it useful to use a blog reader. Many blogs (and other sites) provide feeds (eg RSSand ATOM) which blog readers can collect and present to the user in a variety of ways. This saves you having to visit each blog web site individually. RSS Compendium  has a good list of readers.
Using blogs in teaching and learning[edit | edit source]
So you've searched for some blogs, you read your favourites via your feed reader and you are now ready to start using one with students. What can you do? Well the sky is the limit really I suppose but here are some suggestions:
- Use one of the feed readers which can put content on your course web site to provide updates on what's in the news.
- Use a photo blog for art students to portfolio their work. Invite art critics to provide feedback in comments.
- Ask students to blog about the required reading, and post a comment on a peer's blog each week. e.g. Crooked Timber 
Resources[edit | edit source]
Here are some resources specifically about using blogs in education.
Articles[edit | edit source]
- Cooper, CD. & Boddington, L (2005) Assessment by blog: Ethical case studies assessment for an undergraduate business management class. BlogTalk DownUnder Conference 
- Poling, C (2005) Blog on: building communication and collaboration among staff and students. Learning & Leading with Technology March 2005 v32 i6 p12(4)
Video[edit | edit source]
Richardson, W "Weblogs in education video"