What Is a Blog?

  • Wikipedia defines a blog as, "A weblog (usually shortened to blog, but occasionally spelled web log or weblog) is a web-based publication consisting primarily of periodic articles, most often in reverse chronological order."
  • Blogging is the posting of journal-like pages to a website. While these pages can contain photos or media, they are primarily focused on the easy ability to post written thoughts to a website. The postings are organized chronologically. Typically, a blog "post" can be "commented" on by others, allowing for a dialogue on a the topic of the post. Teachers and educators have used blogs to allow for what is commonly called "peer review," meaning that students can post writings or assignments to the web, and other students can respond or encourage through the comment feature.
  • In a broader and more educational system, blogs are about communicating. You observe your experience, reflect on it, and then write about it. Other people read your reflections, respond from their perspectives by commenting or writing their own blog article. You read their perspectives, often learn something through their eyes, and write some more.
    1. Blogging is about reading and writing.
    2. Literacy is about reading and writing.
    3. Blogging is about literacy. (dfw)

Blog vs Wiki: Which do I want?

While there may be many ways to implement each of these Web 2.0 technologies, there are some fundamentals differences in the way they are most commonly used which may imply a certain choice for certain situations. The following matrix is certainly not an attempt to rigorously define the two technologies, but rather a quick snapshot. (http://abpc.wikispaces.com/)

Wikis are a means of sharing and editing data [ideas, text, photographs] for the creation of collaborative knowledge.
Blogs are a way to share personal information, a way for the owner(s) to express themselves to their target audience.
Content and Control
Wiki content creation and control falls to the audience [although there is an administrator.]
Blog content creation and control falls to the owner.

Educational Blogging

  • Educational Blogging is blogging by students, teachers, administrators, industry experts, and other involved entities that focus primarily on the educational process and educational interests.
  • One of the great educational benefits of the read/write web, and blogging particularly, is the opportunity for the student to become a "teacher" by presenting material to an audience. When we teach, we learn.

Why Use Blogs in the Classroom?

  • Rationale for Educational Blogging (Anne Davis)
  • Thoughts from our colleagues in Alabama (http://abpc.wikispaces.com)
    • Blogging can be a powerful promoter of creative, intuitive, and reflective thinking
    • Blogs promote communication and interaction
    • Blogging is a powerful medium for increasing access and exposure to quality information and the skills to deal with that information
    • Blogs provide an authentic audience that can include subject authorities or experts
  • Top ten reasons from www.edublogs.org
    • Post materials and resources
    • Host online discussions
    • Create a class publication
    • Replace your newsletter
    • Get your students blogging
    • Share your lesson plans
    • Integrate multimedia of all descriptions
    • Organize, organize, organize
    • Get feedback
    • Create a fully functional website

Educational Blogging 101:

Edublogging 101 is all about blogs and how they can (and do) relate to education. Visit their site for information on the following topics:

Some examples

The Eddies: Edublog Awards

2007 Nomination Categories

  • Best individual blog: The best edublog maintained by an individual
  • Best group blog: The best edublog maintained by more than one person
  • Best new blog: The best new edublog (group or individual) of 2007
  • Best resource sharing blog: The best edublog of whose primary purpose is to share information, links and resources.
  • Best designed blog: The most beautiful edublog
  • Most influential blog post: The edublog post that has had the biggest impact (for better or worse!)
  • Best blogged research paper or project: The best research paper or project in any field that has been committed to an edublog
  • Best teacher blog: The best blog kept by a teacher for or about teaching
  • Best higher-education student blog: The best blog kept by a student in higher education (16+)
  • Best librarian / library blog: The best edublog kept by, for or about a library or librarian.
  • Best educational tech support blog: The best edublog for providing hints, tips and support for your tech needs.
  • Best elearning / corporate education blog: The best edublog kept by or written about education and training in a business context.
  • Best educational use of audio: The best use of the audio medium in any form.
  • Best educational use of video / visual: The best use of the visual medium in any form.
  • Best educational wiki: The best educational use of a wiki.
  • Best educational use of a social networking service: The best educational use of any social networking service.
  • Best educational use of a virtual world: The best educational use of any virtual world space.
  • Best educational use of open source: The best educational use of an open source platform.
  • Digizen’s 13-19 competition: For young people creating and sharing online resources around the theme of cyberbullying
  • Conveners award: A special award given to an edublog that particularly deserves to be of note.




15 Must-read Blogs for Blog Writers

According to: Leo Babauta
  1. FreelanceSwitch The blog you’re reading right now is filled with excellent articles from a number of very good blog writers. FS is an up-and-coming blog for two reasons: it has good writing on topics people are interested in, and it provides great resources for freelancers. You can’t get a better example than that.
  2. 43 Folders Written by Merlin Mann, who has a unique style. He doesn’t write as much these days as he seems to be busy with multiple projects, but he can make an ordinary topic interesting just with his funky blend of words.
  3. Lifehacker One of my favorite sites, the Lifehacker writing team is headed by Gina Trapani and Adam Pash. These guys can do how-tos and referral posts like nobody’s business, and do it with style.
  4. Lifehack This site is great because of its wide variety of excellent guest posters. Some of the best writers in the personal development, technology and communications fields come together on Lifehack.org.
  5. Web Worker Daily One of the newer blogs on this list, WWD has emerged as a very solid read, every single day, for the web workforce. Editor Anne Zelenka heads an excellent writing group.
  6. The Simple Dollar Written by Trent, who is a prolific writer who puts quality into every post. His site is a major success simply because of his solid, useful, and thoughtful writing.
  7. ProBlogger Darren Rowse is at the top of the meta-blogging crowd simply because of his writing. He isn’t necessarily more knowledgeable than others in the field of writing about blogging (although he certainly knows his stuff), but Darren is the best because his writing is clear, useful, personal and interesting. A must for any blogger.
  8. Zen Habits I don’t know who writes this site, but he’s not bad. Useful articles, every day.
  9. Get Rich Slowly Along with Trent, J.D. Roth is the top in the personal finance field (which includes a bunch of very good bloggers). J.D., more so than most bloggers, comes off not only as knowledgeable, but humble and sincere — and that sincerity is what wins his readers over every time. Plus his articles are just extremely useful.
  10. Wise Bread This is the best little-known blog out there. Its been growing, so more and more people have come to know the Wise Bread name, but the writing on this blog is very well done, from a number of very good writers you’ve never heard of. Definitely worth a look.
  11. dooce Heather Armstrong was fired from her job for what she wrote on her blog about her workplace and colleagues. But she’s most famous for her style — photos, design and writing. She’s got great humor, great anecdotes, and a personal flair that is unmatched.
  12. Copyblogger Brian Clark is a master of blog writing, and if you want to be a good blog writer, you should not miss a single post he writes. Seriously. He knows the art better than anyone.
  13. Engadget These guys aren’t at the top of the technology field for nothing. They’ve got the latest tech news, written in an engaging style.
  14. A List Apart Not enough good things can be said about this blog. Written for bloggers, it’s got thoughtful, well written articles about writing, design, the Internet and more. A great archive of articles here.
  15. Seth Godin What can be said about Seth that hasn’t been said before. Every post is interesting, but look through his archives for some real gems. He’s always got something to say about everything.