What are blogs?
  • Blogs (or web logs) are a way to keep an online journal. People keep blogs on every topic imaginable, from education to politics to personal interests, like sports, cooking, and music. In education, blogs are fast becoming one of the best ways to further your own professional development.
  • The main differences between blogs and wikis is that blogs are usually written by one author or a small group (while wikis are built and edited by large groups who may not even know each other). Also, blogs are displayed in chronological order, with the most recent entries posted at the top.

Workshop activities:
  1. Set up an account on Google Reader. (You may have already done this.) Then explore the list of blogs below, and subscribe to ones that you think may be of interest. Remember that if you subscribe to something and you don't like it, it's easy to unsubscribe.
    Quick start for Google Reader
    Blogs to explore:
    Weblogg-ed (Will Richardson)
    Bud the Teacher (Bud Hunt)
    Teach42(Steve Dembo)
    2 Cents Worth (David Warlick)
    Mobile Musings (Karen Fasimpaur)
    Cool Cat Teacher (Vicki Davis)
    Bonus: You can put the Google Reader widget on your main iGoogle page.
  2. Here are some aggregated posts from bloggerss all over that are writing about NECC.
  3. Look for some blogs that relate to personal interests of yours, and subscribe.
  4. Think of a way you could use a blog in your professional or personal life. Click the discussion tab above to add your idea.
  5. If you want to create your own blog, you can use WordPress.
    Quick start for WordPress

Other blogging tools to explore:

Blogs in education - classroom ideas:
  • Writing prompts and response
  • Formative assessment
  • Interactive discussion
  • Daily assignment
  • Daily notes and related resources
  • Book clubs
  • Journaling
  • Electronic newsletters
  • Professional development tips

Blogs in education - links:

More resources:
  • Blogs in plain English

  • Another whole area of blogging is microblogging, very short blog posts that can be made from the web or from mobile devices like a cell phone. Here are some popular applications: