stands for Web-log, a writing space to organize thoughts and share
information with others.
are blogs used for educational purposes.
In education, the Weblog is becoming the
favoured Web-presence; educators and students alike are taken by the
blog's advantages over the traditional Website. Without being radically
different, the date-stamped blog structure lends itself to regularly
updated personal records and comments on current Web-based resources, with
quick and visible responses from other bloggers. In this way a
Weblog becomes an accumulation of writing and other content maintained by
a community of Webloggers who share a common interest. This
easy interaction facilitates the development of learning communities.
Benefits for Teachers
can be a useful resource for educators to find information related to
their particular discipline or interests. In effect the blog allows
colleagues to act as filters or judges of content form many sources and to
allow as many editors as they like. A second major advantage of using
blogs in this way is that the content of a blog can be guaged by the
confidence the reader has in their colleagues contributing to the blog.
Teachers can use weblogs to provide an area to point students to useful
see an example, click
discuss issues arising as part of a teaching and learning program.
Here you can see a sample of weblog used by a teacher to give his/her
students information about a course schedule
To see more click
Typical of weblogs employed for teaching would include:
Links to websites as
see an example, click
Teachers make articles available to read electronically. Blogs maintained
by individual students or a class enable teachers to assess their
studentsí thinking patterns and depth of understanding.
As a consequence, the learners are self motivated and learning together.
Here you can see a sample of blog used by a student as a diary.
To see a sample of blogs mantained by
a class, click
The emergence of blogs as a component in the two-way flow of information
on the web has opened up exciting new avenues for the educational
community. The potential of weblogs in education is almost
limitless. Also, blogs are easily linked and cross-linked to form learning
communities. They help small groups communicate in a way that is simpler
and easier to follow than email or discussion forums. They promote
cohesiveness and group culture.
The school blogs show how even the newest writing form can get all
pedagogical. When teachers see something kids actually like to do, they're
not slow to catch on to ways to make it educational as well.
Each student has his or her own blog where they write about school camp,
post their book reviews - and, of course, complain about the horrors of
If the idea is to get the kids writing and thinking, it seems to be
working, even if sometimes the spelling isn't so good.
Children's involvement with web-sites has to more than a posting of a few
pieces of their work on a third person's static web-site for a
non-existent world to see. There is no ownership in that. The school blogs
can give children their own soapbox, their own voice. They become habitual
Here you can see an example of blog used by a students as
a class diary:
To see more samples, click
There are two main types or styles of weblogs that are generally called a
filter style and a journal style.
The filter style of weblog is where the author filters
through the vast mass of information available online and selects and
makes available on their site what they consider to be the most useful,
interesting or important for their audience.
The journal style of weblog is more of a free form and
open structure containing the author's views, opinions and thoughts.
Weblogs are fully functional Web sites with built-in tools. The main
features of a weblog as a publishing tool are:
Ease of use where
the author can publish to the web without the use of any programming
There is no need for
installing any server software on the users' machine
The user has
extensive control on how their weblog looks and operates
Whenever the user
edits his or her weblog the results are instantly updated and available
Like any other
website weblogs can be simply linked to and navigated
Generally, blog software comes with a personal Website for those who donít
already have one. The software captures your words in dated entries,
maintaining a chronological archive of prior entries. In the spirit of
sharing inherent to Net culture, the software and the personal Websites
are usually free.
If you already have a web site and you want to use weblog sotware to
publish to, you simply need FTP access to it. But if you don't already
have a web site, usually most of the weblog software allows you to create
Hosted services allow for webblog software to be run on an external web
server where the user publishes updated pages to a specified location on
the web. A hosted service has some significant advantages for the user
because of the simplicity of installation and setup. No existing web space
is required and through the use of existing templates the user can create
and use a weblog very rapidly.
The alternative to using a hosted service is for the user to obtain their
own weblog software which allows customization to specific needs and
website. Examples of available weblog sotware include:
Blogger gives you a way to automate the blog publishing process without
writing any code or worrying about installing any sort of server software
or scripts. And yet, it still gives you total control over the look and
location of your blog.
Prospective users create an account to allow log in and are guided through
a process of creating a blog including decisions about title, description,
public status and whether the blog is open to the public.
If users have a web server, a FTP facility allows for this. Alternatively
the weblog can be set up on Blog*Spot which is Bloggers's free hosting
service. Templates are provided to determine page format which can also be
customized through the use of HTML.
Blogger offers several key features including:-
Archiving of posts
Adding of permanent
links allowing other websites to link directly
A "BlogThis" feature which posts a link from a currently browsed site
directly to a user's weblog without entering Blogger
An ability to add a
search engine to a blog is possible which allows users to search
content. Blogger recommends a free online search engine product named
The basic Blogger service is completely free. The only "payment" required
is that to include a link back to Blogger.com to help spread the word.
There is also a subscription version of Blogger, called Blogger Pro.
It offers advanced functionality, and can be upgraded at any time.
Greymatter is an example of the purchase of software rather than using a
hosted service. It is a Perl based weblog system which is installed on the
users server. It features:
An advanced template
system allowing the user complete control over the interface
A facilty for
uploading and building entries around images.
of other websites directly back to the blog.
Built in search
facility to allow visitors to search entries
An archive option
No limit to the
number of authors who are able to add entries to a jorunal with
access levels for each author.
The use of Greymatter or similar products intoduces a considerable degree
of complication for the user in comparision with a similar weblog such as
Blogger described previously. It involves finding paths to files, setting
permissiona and configuring script permissions. However, because it runs
completely on a users server, reliability is never dependent on outside
Moveable Type has all the features offered in Greymatter discussed
previously, excepting a built in search engine. However, it does provide
for a relatively easy installation, a very clear templating system and
importantly, a single administrative point for multiple web logs. This
means that a single entry can be posted to multiple weblogs in one
operation rather than posting multiple times.
is available through Manilasites. It can also be purchased as a part of the Frontier
web-hosting software package, available from
Userland. Manila allows students to create a website where they can
start a new homepage every day. Old homepages are archived and can be
accessed via a linked calendar. Manila provides users with a simple
interactive format that makes it easy to create and post
professional-looking web pages. It has been used effectively in school
contexts by students as young as age 10.
Links to some sites (just click
the title to access the site)
From Primary School to University.
The above informative material is adapted from:
Blogs; Learn to Blog, Blog to
by Jay Cross;
What are SchoolBlogs?
by Peter Ford and Adam Curry;
article from the Sydney Morning Herald (May 16 2002);
Creating a new Schoolblogs Site
by Denise Wood;
Weblogs In Education by
Peter Ford and Adam Curry; Shoreham Elementary
Schoolís website ;
Washington State Universityís website;
The Richard Stockton College of NJís
website; Centenary College of Louisianaís