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Blogs, or weblogs, are popular Web 2.0 tools that function like online journals, diaries, online portfolios, reports on topics of interest or provide links to websites often centred around a particular theme or subject matter. Posts appear in reverse chronological order, with newest posts first, which encourages people to revisit. Entries can include text, images, voice, video, links and other interctive features and are easily written, edited and updated. Readers of blogs post comments and bloggers can keep track of other blogs.






This Common Craft video provides a simple explanation of what blogs are.











Blogging in the classroom

Blogs are an excellent way for students (and teachers) to express and explore ideas while creating a learning community through meaningful communication and sharing within the classroom. Blogs:
  • provide an authentic audience for student writing - other students, teachers, parents and potentially a worldwide audience. Students' learning can be shared with parents.
  • can encourage verbally-quiet students to have a voice for their thoughts.
  • encourage students to be reflective in the course of their learning. Blog writing can be an effective means for students to develop their planning, drafting, writing, editing and evaluating their work.
  • encourage students to read and making meaningful comments to other students' posts.
  • encourage student collaboration and engagement in each other's work.
  • can be used to showcase student work, host online discussions, display class notes and resources, distribute assignments, archive handouts, post homework and answer questions virtually.

One class blog can be created where all students and the teacher can contribute. Alternatively individual student blogs that are linked to the teacher's blog facilitates individual reflection.

To find blogs on specific subjects, you can use Technorati, a search engine for blogs searching the tags of blog postings.

10 ways to use a blog in education

7 things you should know about blogs by Educause.

10 ways to use your Edublogs to teach




Blog examples



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This Year 7 class blog has students' individual blogs linked.





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The following is an education blog by Anne Mirtchin, an IT and Accounting teacher, from Hawkesdale P-12 College, Victoria, Australia.


Anne also maintains another blog On an e-journey with generation Y

Judy O'Connell's blog Hey Jude is also another exemplary blog worth checking out.

Other useful education blogs include
Extreme Biology Blog created by an American Biology teacher for her class.



Free blog hosting


Edublogs - designed especially for teachers and students.

Class Blogmeister - created by Web 2.0 and education guru David Warlick specifically for P-12 educators to have control over the blogs created, read and used by students. Teachers can evaluate, comment on and publish students' blog entries in a controlled environment.

Wordpress

Blogger