Resources at a Glance

What’s a blog?

Learning to Blog, Blogging to Learn

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Web plus blog equals BlogA blog is a weblog – an online electronic journal. Blogs are quick and easy personal publishing. Perhaps you have blogged before, have read a blog, or have heard about educational blogging. If not, never fear, this WordPress article about blogging can help you get up to speed on what blogging is and what it can do for you. At its core, a blog is a tool for communication with the world.

While blogging helps people to get their words out to the world, an educational blog helps people to teach or learn (by reading, writing, or interacting with the blog). Blogs can be personal and up-to-the-minute learning environments.

You may ask yourself "What’s in it for me?" Blogging is just another trendy tool that distracts learners from learning and teachers from focusing on actual content, right? So why blog?

Blogs are not a distraction, but a tool for learning and teaching. Use of blogs in learning and teaching contexts allows for virtually universal access to instructional content. Student blogging can increase motivation and quality of student work (peer review can act as a stimulus for increased attention to detail in writing assignments). Blogs can be a useful format for reflection within a community (and may allow for interaction among peers). Educational blogs can help learning get "out of the box" (the whole world becomes the classroom).

This site provides the following resources, guides, and activities to help you learn how to use blogs to teach and learn:

  • Links on every page to great online resources to help you blog and learn better
  • An online quiz so you can see how much you’re learning
  • Writing assignments using a simulated blog
  • Demonstrations of how to set up and use an educational blog
  • Hands-on experience with educational blogging
  • Lots of useful tips and tutorials to help get you up and learning on blogs in no time

You’ll learn all about blogs in the "Blog it" section, you’ll learn about educational blogging in "Learn it", you’ll set up a blog in "Try it", and you’ll begin publishing educational blog content in "Write it". Make sure you complete these sections in order. Each of the sections is meant to be worked through sequentially (you gotta learn to walk before you can fly).

While perusing the various sections, you may notice that the language used on this site is not "formal." This is on purpose. Blogs are not tools meant for formal writing (although many are used in that way). They allow for more colloquial use of language than is typical in educational settings, and encourage self-expression. They are more about reflection than they are about formality. Think of them as the jeans and t-shirts of reflective writing.

Make sure to check out the "Resources at a Glance" box on the top right hand of each page for links to great resources (and take the time to visit all of the sites and view all of the videos featured there). These resources are not merely additional content—they are core content (think of them as your homework).

If you haven’t done so already, make sure to take the online quiz before you begin looking through the rest of the site.