Introducing blogs

Most people have heard of blogs and many will have read them, although not always realising that is what they are doing. The term 'blog' is shortened from the term 'weblog' and can be thought of as a website with a set of tools that make to easy to publish. They are called ‘logs’ because the posts are organised chronologically like a diary.

Often, blogs are maintained by an individual person who posts a message, maybe with images etc, online. Others can comment on these posts as you did in the previous activity. Alternatively, multiple users can publish content in shared blogs or a collection of individual blogs can be 'pulled together' (aggregated) to make it easier to manage group communications.

Don't worry if this sounds a bit complicated, as you progress through the course and see the different types of blogs and you will get to understand how the world of blogging works.

Activity 2 What are blogs and why use them?

Timing: 45 minutes over the first week of the course (online)

The objectives of this course activity are to:

  • develop your understanding of what a blog is
  • develop a rationale for including blogs in your teaching.

Watch this video (3 minutes) from Commoncraft for a brief introduction to blogs.

Blogs in plain English [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

If the video does not appear then there may be firewall/filtering issues. The video is less than five minutes long and you are advised to watch it on a machine that is not filtered if possible, or read the alternative description linked below.

For an alternative description of a blog please see this Becta (2010a) resource.

Now read Stephen Downes’ blog post, Blogs in Education. He provides a useful introduction to blogs and the benefits of using them in education.

Go to the course forum and share your initial thoughts and experiences of using blogs. Can you see any opportunities or benefits of using blogs within your teaching?


Want to find out more? (optional activity)

Anne Davis provides a useful rationale behind using blogs in education. This blog post has received over 140 comments from educators around the world!

Introducing ourselves through a blog

E-safety when using blogs