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Slogs and Splogs January 17, 2006

Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools.
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slog   As I noted earlier, I wanted to challenge my students to write a weekly blog as part of the course I am teaching called Teaching with New Technologies. I am hopeful that they will give me bursts of insight from their perspectives as teachers in training.My class is an interesting group this semester. I gave them a survey just to asses the availability of technology in their lives. Twenty percent have dial up Internet connections while 80 percent have cable or DSL connections. Twenty percent had never used our online course management system before but fifty-five percent were regular users of MySpace.com. A few maintained their own web pages, they reported, but a little investigation showed that they were using the tools available at MySpace.com or LiveJournal for creating their pages. They should find creating and maintaining their own pages from scratch to be an interesting experience.

Of my students this year, 95 percent are PC users with only one student who is a regular MAC user. I will have to make sure my instructions are in MAC as well. The response that most intrigued me was the number of students using Messenger services. Ninety percent reported regularly using MSN Messenger (ten percent), Yahoo Messenger (ten percent), or AOL Instant Messenger (seventy-five percent). This numbers suggest that e-mail might have been a passing fad that only dinosaurs like me use.

One of my students taught me a new word from the blogosphere world, slog or sports blog which is different from splog or spam blog. Span Logs are bogus sites webmasters use to generate search engine status for legitimate commercial sites. By creating links back to the legitimate site, they get better positioning in some search engines. The information science behind it is as intense as the politics behind it.

The slog site my student maintains has him reporting on college sports activities from a student perspective. He gets to write regularly and occasionally gets free tickets to events. College Sports TV is the sponsor and one can read his slog at http://slog.cstv.com/arizona (RSS feeds available).

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