Web 2.0 and Emerging Learning Technologies/Blogs

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Main characteristics of a Blog:

  • It is a website in which the user - or blogger - posts items on a regular basis, displayed in a chronological order (the most recent posts generally appear at the top of the page).
  • The blogger does not need to have any previous knowledge on computer programming in order to use a blog and blogs are usually free.
  • While a website is often a one-way form of communication, blogs are two-way (like other web 2.0 tools) since readers are encouraged to contribute (leaving comments and sharing opinions); blogs, then, can also be collaborative.
  • The term blog derives from the shortened form of weblog or web log.
  • A blog is composed of text, hypertext, images, and links (to video, audio or other web pages).
  • The term blogging is referred to the act of authoring, maintaining, or adding something (an article) to a blog. Every article posted on a blog is called blog post, post or entry.
  • Blogs generally focus on one specific area of interest – from academic investigations, spirituality, recipes, photography to personal experiences, diaries and hobbies.
  • These blog communities enable people from all around the world to relate according to interests, and give them the opportunity to learn, share ideas, make friends, and even do business.
  • They can be private or public.
  • Within the educational field, teachers can create student blogs which can all linked to one main blog. The teacher (being the central administrator) should moderate student blogs and comments.
  • The user can delete one or more articles, or even comments posted by another person.
  • In the blog, the articles, photos or items posted can be embedded in a category or archived for months and years.
  • Blogs also possess a rich-text editor. In this way, what the user sees on the screen is what will appear in the blog.
  • They can have a photo editor which allows the user to capture date and time of the photo, upload individual or zip archives of photos, include descriptions, etc.
  • The user can also include a list of favourite links (favourite musicians, stores, bloggers, etc).


Teaching and learning possibilities

Another way to use blogs for the purpose of education is by consulting http://edublogs.org/10-ways-to-use-your-edublog-to-teach/.__ This eduglog provides different uses for the teacher and the tools to create their own blogs for teaching. Among the various possibilities, we found that the owner / moderator of the blog can:

  • Post materials and resources by uploading, or copying and pasting the materials and allowing students to have instant access to them from home or school. What’s more, the teacher can easily manage who gets to access them through password or plug in safety measures.
  • Host online discussions as it provides simple forum functionality, e.i. students can respond to blog posts and discuss different topics with the teacher managing and editing all responses through the blog’s administrative panel.
  • Have students as contributors, authors and even editors so as to produce class publications.
  • Replace the usual newsletter by posting posting class information, news, events, etc.
  • Ask students to blog and do it oneself but using one’s own Edublog in order to glue student’s blogs together.
  • Share your lesson plans as well as your ideas, reflections and fears with colleagues in one’s own country or a foreign country in order to make it a collaborative and genuinely productive experience.
  • Improve one’s teaching by including a wide range of multimedia tools such as video, slideshows, multimedia presentations.
  • Use the Edublog as a tool for organizing the school events.
  • Allow students, parents and other teachers to leave comments and feedback, being this one moderated or not!


Examples

ESL / EFL Teacher Blogs

A collection of the best ESL teacher blogs on the Internet. These sites provide insightful information, lesson plans, local cultural information on the countries they teach in, as well as reflections on teaching English as a second or foreign language.


This blog exists to help adult English language learners improve their English skills. You may find new ways to study, especially if you live in an area with few English speakers. There is a limit to what anybody can learn in class. It might sound strange for an English teacher like me to say, but most real learning happens outside of class. But studying on your own can also be very frustrating, so I hope the tools and information I post can help you.

    • What will be posted here?

All kinds of things: news articles, downloadable MP3s of English stories, tips for good writing, websites with grammar quizzes, and lots more. I will try to make sure that most things are free for you to use. PLEASE NOTE: The items shown in the MeCommerce box are offered for sale through a company called MeCommerce. Also, the links shown in the boxes that say Ads by Google are advertisements for outside websites and services. I have no connection to these sites, and I don’t know whether they’re any good.


Marmara ELT Resources

The site mainly deals with second language learning; in other words, english language teaching learning.it has many categories such as elt resources, elt tips,elt, classroom management, l2, grammar and vocabulary teaching and so on.


It’s a site that offers a generous variety of blog topics organized in different categories. Among the various blog topics, you can find: collage, E-learning, education news, learning, literacy and research, teaching, technology.


Blog of Proximal Development Teaching. Blogging. Learning.


Blogging: Blog in Teaching & Learning


BlogHeads (a blog designed by an Elementary teacher