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"A blog a log or journal maintained by a person or a group of individuals with entries listed in reverse chronological order [with an option to] allow others to reply to original entries via comments. Entries can include text, images, podcast audio/video, links or embedded content from other sites." [–Blogs at Penn State Community Hub]"
When choosing a framework, keep in mind that most blogs are considered a one-to-many tool (one author, many readers/commenters).
Implications for Teaching and Learning
The following 5 uses have been extracted from Educational Blogging by Stephen Downes in the Educase Review. ( http://www.educause.edu/pub/er/erm04/erm0450.asp?bhcp=1 )
"Henry Farrell identifies five major uses for blogs in education:
- Teachers use blogs to replace the standard class Web page. Instructors post class times and rules, assignment notifications, suggested readings, and exercises. Aside from the ordering of material by date, students would find nothing unusual in this use of the blog. The instructor, however, finds that the use of blogging software makes this previously odious chore much simpler.
- Instructors begin to link to Internet items that relate to their course. Mesa Community College’s Rick Effland, for example, maintains a blog to pass along links and comments about topics in archaeology.15 Though Mesa’s archaeology Web pages have been around since 1995, blogging allows Effland to write what are in essence short essays directed specifically toward his students. Effland’s entries are not mere annotations of interesting links. They effectively model his approach and interest in archaeology for his students.
- Blogs are used to organize in-class discussions. At the State University of New York at Buffalo, for example, Alexander Halavais added a blog to his media law class of about 180 students. Course credit was awarded for online discussion, with topics ranging from the First Amendment to libel to Irish law reform. As the course wound down with a discussion of nude bikers, Halavais questioned whether he would continue the blog the following year because of the workload, but students were enthusiastic in their comments. Mireille Guay, an instructor at St-Joseph, notes: “The conversation possible on the weblog is also an amazing tool to develop our community of learners. The students get to know each other better by visiting and reading blogs from other students. They discover, in a non-threatening way, their similarities and differences. The student who usually talks very loud in the classroom and the student who is very timid have the same writing space to voice their opinion. It puts students in a situation of equity.”
- Some instructors are using blogs to organize class seminars and to provide summaries of readings. Used in this way, the blogs become “group blogs”—that is, individual blogs authored by a group of people. Farrell notes: “It becomes much easier for the professor and students to access the readings for a particular week—and if you make sure that people are organized about how they do it, the summaries will effectively file themselves.”
- Students may be asked to write their own blogs as part of their course grade. Educational Technologist Lane Dunlop wrote about one class at Cornell College: “Each day the students read a chunk of a book and post two paragraphs of their thoughts on the reading.” In another class, French 304, students were given a similar exercise. Using a French-language blogging service called Monblogue, Molly, a business student, posted a few paragraphs every day."
- Blogs may be uses as part of an e-Portfolio.
- Class blogs can build a community of active participants in their education.
- Blogs can be used as a collaborative tool.
- Blogs can be used as part of any writing curriculum.
- Blogs allow students to share creative works (art, music, video, poems, etc)
- Blogs can be used as a research journal - an example is The Redfield Lab (Zooology Postdocs)
Resources, Related Blog Posts, Miscellaneous Thinking
I was wondering if anyone out there has developed or has seen criteria for evaluating students' blog posts? I'm beginning the process of creating a rubric for this purpose for a first-year seminar. Would love to hear your ideas and thoughts. Emily Rimland email@example.com, gruenelf on Twitter University Libraries
Various Blog Posts from Around PSU
- See Blogs Community Hub Directory (organized alphabetically by author last name)
- Cole Camplese's original Blogs at Penn State post, "When is a Blog not a Blog"
- Cole Camplese's writings about the Blogs at Penn State and why we are building them
- Brad Kozlek's Blogging is More About Reading Than Writing, Blog as Slideshow - S5 and MovableType, and Do You Use Blog Comments Feeds?
- Ellysa Cahoy's Why I Blog, Blogs and Wikis Class, and My New Portfolio
- Chris Stubbs' Comments, Futures Markets, and Participatory Culture, Blogging from Facebook and One-Click Blog Assessment
- Nikki Massaro Kauffman's Face-to-Face with How We Really Learn
Learning About Blogs
- Blogs in Plain English
- Blogs and Wikis for Internal Communications - @Robin2go, @ndw1, and @NikkiMK06's Web Conference 2008 session presentation including information on blogging
Educational Uses of Blogs
Misc. Uses of Blogs
From Blogs and Wikis for Internal Communication presentation...
- Announcements of changes in workflow, software, etc. Example
- Professional Development sharing tips, training opportunities, conferences, current articles and research. Example
- Workplace Socialization that would otherwise fill an inbox, like recipe exchanges, charity events, social gatherings, etc. Example
So What, Podcast
Summer Camp Participant/PSU Community Blogs
- Allan Gyorke's Portfolio: My Work and Study of Educational Technologies
- Anne Behler's According to Anne
- Brett Bixler's Ramblings of a Mad Instructional Designer
- Chicken and Stars
- Cole Camplese's [Learning & Innovation http://camplesegroup.com/blog/]
- Chris Stubbs' The Voices in My Head
- Ellysa Cahoy's E-Tech
- Erin Long Cramer's Blog
- James Endres Howell's The Education of James Endres Howell
- Larry Ragan's Competencies for Online Teaching Success (COTS)
- Michelle Panulla's Caution: The beverage you are about to enjoy is extremely hot.
- Michelle Weaver's A Day in My Life
- Nikki Massaro Kauffman's In Clear Text (Professional) and Caution! May Contain Small Parts (Personal)
- Paul Carlisle-Kletchka's I *Can* be Bribed with Baked Goods
- Robin Smail's Renegade Design
- Scott McDonald's McEducation
- Shannon Ritter's Shannon at Work and Media Cupcake