Web + log = Weblog
E-learing toolkit: Weblogs
We have been discussing Weblogs in much detail over the past week or so in ETEC 565, which has led me to this toolkit activity. I’ve spent the greater part of this afternoon browsing through some educational blogs which has been interesting and has led me to discover many articles, video clips, views and opinions of educators worldwide. Sampling through the different weblogs, I came to the realization that every blog starts small; they all seem to be at a different point in terms of their content, number of comments, pages, etc… The Weblogs that are more developed are truly a work of art in a sense, rich with information, well thought out and clearly visited on a daily (hourly?) basis!
In the New Year, I thought it would be a good idea to start a blog chronicling my journey through the MET program. I created this blog using WordPress, which turned out to be very easy and quick. However, I did struggle with understanding the difference between categories and pages, and this confusion remained with me, until I started ETEC 565 and created my reflective weblog for the course. Through the creation of the pages that we were asked to create, I finally understood how a WordPress blog is organized!
So far, I have enjoyed the blogging experience in ETEC 565, not only posting assignments, but also being able to choose a theme and customize the header of my blog. There are limitations to how unique your blog looks, but I think that I’ve made a tweak or two to help it stand out.
Throughout our discussions concerning Weblogs, I picked up a great book by Will Richardson (2009) titled “Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Web Tools for Classrooms” through the Professional Learning Centre of the Calgary Board of Education. I’ve been thinking about how teachers could use blogging with students and I would like to share Richardson’s following ideas: (p.39)
You can have your students create their own Weblogs to…
- learn how to blog.
- complete class writing assignments.
- create and ongoing portfolio of samples of their writing.
- express their opinions on topics you are studying in class.
- write comments, opinions, or questions on daily news items or issues of interest.
- discuss activities they did in class and tell what they think about them. (You, the teacher, can learn a lot this way!)
- write about class topics, using newly learned vocabulary words and idioms.
- showcase their best writing pieces.
Richardson also provides ideas for teachers wanting to create a reflective, journal-type blog and/or a class blog. Blog safety is an important consideration when blogging with students and it is important to be aware of the policies of your school district. There are many good arguments concerning private vs. public blogging with students and it is very important that the teacher and students understand the consequences of both types of blogging before embarking on a blog project.
I look forward to blogging in more detail and reading other Weblogs as I journey through the MET program and my teaching career.
Richardson, W. (2009). Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. 2nd Ed. Corwin Press.