Blogosphere January 10, 2006Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools.
This semester I will ask my students to maintain at least one entry each week in a blog, something I have never asked them to do before. First, they will need to master a few online tools.
I will recommend that they use their Web Logs for posting ideas, thoughts, insights, and observations about educational technology and I will recommend two sources for creating a blog, although there are many more: blogger.com and wordpress.com.
Once they set up the accounts, I will warn them that they do not need to identify themselves by name or gender if they feel safer that way. In addition, in Blogger, they can leave their blog OFF their public list but they need to make their blog available by RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. That way, classmates and their teacher can see when they have updated their blog.
I also suggest they get some sort of an image transfer program available online. One of the very easiest ones to acquire and use is available at hello.com. They can use Hello to upload images directly to their Blogger blog. They can also upload images at flickr.com and post them directly to any one of several different blog hosts.
They will also need an aggregator so they can see the blogs their classmates have posted. There are many available but one of the easiest to use is found at bloglines.com. They simply create an account then add blogs to their blog feed. I also recommend that they set up an account at castpost.com if they want to share upwards of 100 MB of video they can post to their blog.
The last thing they will need is a word processor. I recommend that they type their blog entries into a word processor first to make sure it is free of mechanical errors then copy and paste it into the blog. Teachers are constantly opening themselves up to criticism if their printed words are full of spelling or grammatical errors.