Activity: Engaging Student Writing with Weblogs
One of the great things about technology today is the way in which people come up with creative applications that were not initially envisioned by anyone.
An example of this is the social invention known as blogging, a contraction of web logging.
Why are we talking about this obscure topic in a course for educators? Because blogs cause kids (and some adults) to get excited about writing, and what's not to love about that!
At the end of this session, you're going to...
- be able to explain what blogging is and how it's done
- be able to describe how blogging might be integrated into one of your courses
- experience blogging directly by creating and maintaining your own blog
Definitions and Background
Let's divide and conquer your innocence on this topic by working in teams to get a handle on what blogging is and how to do it. Working in pairs, read the following pages and be prepared to explain them to your partner. One of you is A, the other B.
First, look at some examples. Answer these questions:
- Who is doing the writing? How old are they? What do they do for a living?
- Why do you think they blog?
- What kinds of things do they link to?
- How much of the blog is about their personal life
versus their commentary about things they link to?
|Neil Gaiman||A Family in Baghdad|
|Wes Molebash||Defective Yeti|
|Jenny Levine||Bernie Dodge|
|hipteacher||Reflections of a Techie|
Now look at the history of blogs, at least as seen in their earliest days....
|Fear of Links (1999)||Weblogs: A History and Perspective (2000)|
Next... both of you explore this site. Generate a list of ideas for using weblogs in your own teaching.
Finally, let's start your blog. Go to Blogger.com. I'll walk you through the process of setting up your blog on Blogspot.
I've prepared a job aid to guide you.
Additional Blogging Resources
For further exploration...
- Landmark Blog Meister
- Emerging Alternatives: Blogworld
- Weblogg-ed: Using Weblogs in Education
- Blogs as Writing Practice
- A Map of the World of Blogging
- San Diego Bloggers