A blog is a shortened version of weblog and represents a website that is easily created and updated. Blogs are written about just about any subject. Their entries appear in reverse chronological order (newest entries on top). Blogs contain reflections, ideas, conversations, links to great resources and even multimedia. Blogging is a two-way street. Readers can participate in the experience by commenting on blog entries, thus creating online conversations. You are encouraged to leave comments, start conversations and interact with others. Blogging is incredibly easy to do. It takes very little time, it's free, and it's a great way to open your classroom to a world of ideas.

Teachers use blogs to share and gather ideas and to stay informed with the latest developments in their field of specialty. There are thousands, probably millions, of participants in the 'edublogosphere', all happy to share their ideas with you and engage in meaningful dialogue about educational issues. In the classroom, blogs are used to create collaborative learning spaces where teachers and students make discoveries, share ideas and discuss important topics.

Popular blog creation sites:

Blogger [] - General
Wordpress [] - General
Blogstream [] - General
Edublogs [] - K12 specific
Class Blogmeister [] - K12 specific - K12 specific

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external image edublogs.png

Educational benefits / classroom applications:

  • Research shows that blogging promotes critical and analytical thinking.
  • Blogging combines the best of solitary reflection and social interaction.
  • Blogs allow students and teachers to contribute to a wider body of knowledge. People from outside your school can benefit from reading your blog.
  • Create a class portal where students can access supplemental materials, syllabuses, homework, assignment rubrics and other communications.
  • A blog makes a great class website where students, parents and the general community can keep informed about classroom events.
  • Students can collaborate with each other online, sharing ideas and learning from each other.
  • Classrooms can be opened up to a wider community, allowing other schools to collaborate on projects.
  • Students can submit work electronically to a blog, creating a central repository for all completed work.
  • Students' work can be archived into a culminating e-portfolio.
  • Schools and departments can use blogs to archive minutes from meetings, create ongoing dialogues, share links and store documents and presentations.
  • Materials and resources can be archived online for easy locating in the future.
  • Blogging in schools allows for online assessment and interaction with the user.

Concerns and solutions:

  • Blogs are posted to the World Wide Web and can be viewed by anyone. Student privacy is paramount. Never publish last names or personal details of students. Teachers should discuss privacy issues in detail before allowing their students to blog.
  • Blogs display what your students produce, warts and all. Students will misspell words and use poor grammar. Teachers should work with their students on this and form strategies to minimize embarrassing entries.
  • Teachers should review their school's Acceptable Use Policy with their students to ensure that discussions remain clean and on topic.
  • Comments to your blog can be moderated if you are worried about abuses from outsiders. You can choose to approve all comments, rather than allowing comments to automatically appear.
  • You can delete or edit anything you wish after it has been posted on a blog.
  • You can preview students posts before letting them become public.

Real-World Examples From teachers:

Additional resources:

  • Feedster - a massive blog search engine. Search the blogosphere for topics of interest.
  • Technorati - another popular blog search engine.

Further reading: