Last week we examined how blogs are being used in the classroom as a part of the instructional process. This week I am going to provide a great resource for getting started, and provide some more examples and resources. These include insights into subscribing to blogs (for those who might not be familiar with the process) and links to a couple popular tools for educational blogging.
Here is a great resource for learning all about blogging in education and how to get started: Blogging in classroom – How to get started, by Mike Wallagher. Here's a similar article from 2015: Blogging in The Classroom: How to Get Started, by Matt Banner.
Examples of blogs in the higher education realm
As a member of an institution of higher education, I chose to provide a few examples of blogs specific to that realm. These blogs offer a variety of perspectives related to the higher education experience:
http://professorluongo.blogspot.com/: A good example of a teacher's blog, by an instructor at St. Peter's College in Jersey City, NJ. A nice site with a couple posts a month about various topics related to teaching. There are links provided on the right hand side to some of the professor's student's blogs.
http://mpbreflections.blogspot.com/: A blog about “21st Century Teaching and Learning”, by Michelle Pacansky-Brock, a college educator and an advocate for innovation in higher education. “Michelle has been the recipient of the 2007 Sloan-C Excellence in Online Teaching Award, the NISOD Award for Teaching Excellence and her innovations in teaching have been showcased in U.S. News and World Report.”
http://genderpopculture.blogspot.com/: Students enrolled in Gender & Popular Culture at The College of New Jersey are given assignments through this blog, and their blogs are all linked to this location. Each student's blog, where s/he will examine his or her pop culture topic of choice, is the primary element of the course.
http://digitalparent.maremel.com/: A parent's perspective – this parent is a college teacher, and a parent of teens/tweens.
Subscribing to Blogs
For those not already familiar with this … there are two common ways to do this – some blogs allow users to subscribe by simply entering their email address (and then confirming the validating email sent to them). The more common technique for subscribing to a blog is to subscribe to an RSS Feed. An RSS Feed directs the blog, or a summary and link to it, to a special place where you can go and view it (as opposed to having it go to your crowded email In Box). This link provides information you need to learn how to do this: http://email.about.com/cs/rss/a/rss_spam_free.htm. While it may take a little investment in time to learn about this for first timers, once you are familiar with it you can easily use the process to subscribe to other blogs.
Some suggested sites where you can create your Education-specific Blog
There are many websites on the Internet where educators can write their own blogs. One way to do this is to become part of an organization that provides its members a place to blog, such as Educause, or Classroom 2.0. The other way to write your own blog is to set yourself up on one of the many sites that are designed to allow you to create your own domain or subdomain, where the content is entirely yours. While this may sound a little daunting to newbies, it really isn't too hard to get started. Below I have listed two such sites, both of which are free, and are very widely used.
Edublogs.org – This is a very popular blogging tool used by thousands of educators to create and host teacher and student blogs. It is easy to use, has a great deal of available functionality, and there are plenty of resources available to help you learn about using the tool.
Blogger.com – This is an extremely popular free blogging site that is also easy to use. Any “blogspot.com” blogs you come across were created here.