Saturday, October 2, 2010

Why Blog

Why Blog?
This is a post for my JHU Technology and the  Science of Educators (Fall 2010) course. I was trying to decide how to present information about what a blog is and I decided that what better way than to do it than within a blog post! Plus I can encourage folks to respond to my blog, since they are getting graded on their class participation. (of course anyone out there in the blogosphere is welcome to comment as well) Wow, I love the power of being in education ;)

Explore some blogs (You can take a look at the blogs I have tagged on www.delicious.com --we will talk about Social Bookmarking in a couple of weeks).
Make some observations about some of the blogs you look at:
You might comment on any (you don't have to comment on all!) of the following:

* What do you see as common components of all/most of these blogs?
* What are some things that may be very different from one blog to another?
* What are some of the audiences for these blogs?
* What are some of the purposes for these blogs? * What are the tone of the blogs?
* Are all blogs equal? Why or why not?
* What other comments do you have about these blogs? (Remember you will be choosing a blog to follow for 2 weeks--it can be any of these or any other blog related to your educational interests)
* How are these education related blogs similar or different from any blogs you may have looked at on a more personal interest level (ie, politics, news, sports, etc)

11 comments:

Jaimie said...

I LOVE blogs. I have a wide range of interests and have learned so many new things since I began exploring the world of blogging. I gravitate towards topics such as: special education, parents who have kids with special needs, assistive technology and international adoption blogs. Some of the blogs from the delicious website have topics that are similar to my interests. I use Google Reader to keep the blogs I read manageable.

Many posts I've read in education blogs lately have been about changes in educational policy (and the impact the changes have in the classroom), administrator/teacher relationships and the new role that technology is playing everywhere. Some, but certainly not all of the audiences out there are: teachers (special, regular and gifted), technology specialists, students, administrators, parents and random people from around the blogosphere.

Some differences: the "jazziness" of the blogs. Some blogs are very plain and only use the basic built in features from the host site with few graphics/different styles. There are other blogs that make you wonder what professional built the website. I've read some truly amazing blogs where there is literally nothing but text along with some bolding/italicizing. There are blogs out there that are way too busy and detract from what the author is trying to say.

All blogs are definitely not created equal! Cohesive writing, grammar, spelling, writing style and flow are all a part of what makes a blog good. Something that frustrates me to no end is when a blog completely dies out of the blue. I get attached to blogs and I hate it when the author disappears. I have a blog and I'm the worst about keeping it up to date, so I guess there is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Laura said...

To be honest, I was a bit overwhelmed reading these blogs, as I'm not an avid blog reader and not used to the format of the discussions. In addition to the blogs on delicious.com, I googled my own to see what else I could find. I happened to find a "top 100 education blogs" list, some of which were also on yours, Beth. There were a variety of subtopics relating to education - policy, technology, teaching, research, just to name a few. I found that many of these blogs had thought-provoking ideas along with helpful links to further explore the topic, while others were not updated as often, or seemed to be an outlet for a frustrated teacher.

A variety of educational topics also makes for a variety of audiences - parents, teachers, students and other stakeholders in the world of education. Some of the blogs I scrolled through didn't appeal to me because I am not a parent or a high school student, while others I did find appealing because the blogger wrote about things that I also feel strongly about. For example, http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/ - this website's most recent post about how school follows us everywhere, is something I constantly struggle with.

I also found that some of the blogs were more organized than others, making them easier to read and follow. I usually have a short attention span when it comes to websites, so if I'm not able to locate what I need relatively quickly or I find the material hard to access, I'll move on; which is what I did with some of the blogs that I encountered.

While looking for a blog to follow for our assignment, I couldn't find just one that I really felt strongly for, so I'm going to follow a few to see if anything really jumps out at me within a day or two. I'm looking forward to building a better relationship with blogs!

Ceci R. Aikens said...

Why Blog ? Is a question I use to ask myself all the time especially when blogs first came out. I thought to myself " This is the most stupid thing I ever heard of" mind you I was only in middle school.

But as I got older I found my self not to be a blogger but a blog reader. I like reading and seeing other people's thoughts and ideas who have the same intrests as me, whether it be gossip, arts and crafts or party ideas. Soon I found my self setting up a google reader account and checking it faithfully. But the one thing I do not do is comment, I just don't like to do it. But I will for this assignmet, so it will be something new for me.

The common components of most of the blogs are the time and date the blog was posted, a picture for almost every post, a place to comment, and links to other posting or places on the side of the page.

Some of the major differences of the blogs are the number of followers some had a few followers others had thousands of followers.

Some blogs were used just for student to share their work.

Other blogs were had many authors and were used as advertisement in some cases.

While other blogs were used just used so that the author can share or "vent" their feelings.

Blogs are not created equal because it is a space where people are able to express theselves freely. People are soooooo different and their blogs reflect who they are.

Ceci said...

Why Blog ? Is a question I use to ask myself all the time especially when blogs first came out. I thought to myself " This is the most stupid thing I ever heard of" mind you I was only in middle school.

But as I got older I found my self not to be a blogger but a blog reader. I like reading and seeing other people's thoughts and ideas who have the same intrests as me, whether it be gossip, arts and crafts or party ideas. Soon I found my self setting up a google reader account and checking it faithfully. But the one thing I do not do is comment, I just don't like to do it. But I will for this assignmet, so it will be something new for me.

The common components of most of the blogs are the time and date the blog was posted, a picture for almost every post, a place to comment, and links to other posting or places on the side of the page.

Some of the major differences of the blogs are the number of followers some had a few followers others had thousands of followers.

Some blogs were used just for student to share their work.

Other blogs were had many authors and were used as advertisement in some cases.

While other blogs were used just used so that the author can share or "vent" their feelings.

Blogs are not created equal because it is a space where people are able to express theselves freely. People are soooooo different and their blogs reflect who they are.

Marnelyn M from Technology for Educators class said...

I explored a few of the blogs on your Delicious links, but the one that interested me most was "Gifted Exchange". The primary focus of this blog is to bring light to the recent pedagogy and developments in gifted education. The title of the blog alone suggests that all blogs are not created equal. It seems that the target audience for this blog are people "in the know" of education issues and parents who are involved in their child's education. The creator of this blog talks about making flashcards with her child and the realization she has about the process of learning as valuable even if it involves route memorization. She also discusses educational activities you can do with your kids.

What I noticed about the blogs is that educational topics tend to mix with personal topics as well. You get some personal narratives weaved into current academic topics. But, I still liked the tone of Gifted Exchange. It showed a well-informed and researched parent, not condescending at all. However, after going through her blog, I am left wondering about the other children whose parents may not be as well informed about educational development.

Mike D. said...

With over 50 million blogs and several billion postings, it is hard not to be overwhelmed by the scope of available blogs. At best, blogs can be the voice of democracy by allowing individuals to express themselves freely on an issue - social justice, education, entertainment, the news, etc.

What do you see as common components of all/most of these blogs?
Blogs are personal and speak to the interests of the blogger. Most blogs have links to other blogs or resources. They have a way to subscribe for updates and they have a way to share the blog (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). In general, posts are kept fairly short.

What are some things that may be very different from one blog to another?
Blogs are endlessly customizable and reflect the theme of the information being displayed. Images, animation and video are used by some bloggers. A blogger’s writing ability and creativity are quite different from blog to blog.

What are some of the audiences for these blogs?
Search engines will display links to blogs on any given subject, particularly if the blog is read by a lot of people. The audience is dependent on the subject matter, but because of the incredible variety, blogs can be about anything and everything.

What are some of the purposes for these blogs? What are the tone of the blogs?
Blogs have a wide variety of purposes. Some are for entertainment, some are designed to inform and educate. The tone of the blog depends on the subject matter. For example, conservative and liberal pundits would obviously express their views with different tones depending on whom they are talking about.

Are all blogs equal? Why or why not?
All blogs are not created equally. Some are generic and plain looking, while others contain flashy multimedia.

How are these education related blogs similar or different from any blogs you may have looked at on a more personal interest level?
Education blogs are similar because they have the same general format – a blogger’s personal writing, with links to other resources. I might evaluate education blogs differently because I am an educator myself. My own experiences temper my opinion as I read.

Erin said...

Obviously, the blogs I explored deal with teaching. They all had that in common. I think that is the point of blogging, and following blogs though. They all share one thing in common, they are all about a passion, or interest of the blogger, and the followers. In my past a blog was found on Myspace, or some other social site. They were used as personal diaries per say. Of course now a days people still use blogs as diaries, however not all blogs are created equal. There is a whole new world of information out there. In my past, people blogged and either really just need to get their point out there and didn’t really want the response, or they were just blogging to gain attention. OH how things have changed. I know that this does still occur, but now people across the world hold conversations on blogs and wikis, and so many other means of communication. Blogs are now used professionally, educationally, and sometimes just to save paper.

New thought... Our school is desperately trying to go use less paper, why not start a blog to communicate with parents (I teach elementary) instead of sending notice after notice home. OH wait—if I did begin to bog, then a whole new list of plus and deltas arise. Yes, less paper might be used, however do all have access, can I reply on them to keep current, finding the line of professionalism and personal, and the new stigma of instant communication. If I allow myself to blog, and receive response and feedback, what relationships am I now building with those families? I like the face to face communication and call me old fashion, but a nice hand written note can be good. Are we turning to a new era where we might not ever have to be face to face?

I will say this, the idea is great, and I love the whole concept, but at the same time, it can be scary. It's new and with time I am sure it too will find a balance in my life.

joren4 said...

I know several families who keep blogs with pictures, things their children learn, vacation stories, etc but I never really thought about using blogs in these professional/ educational ways.

I especially love Mrs. Perry’s Classroom Blog. How amazing! I can’t see using something like this for my students with autism at this time but our general education students (likely4-5th graders) would LOVE this! I especially love the highlighted student work as a topic starter. What a great way to encourage students to edit their work (you don’t want friends catching your typos!) and share with the entire class.

I would say that all blogs are equal depending upon their intended audience and purpose. I certainly wouldn’t benefit the same from an auto mechanics blog as I would from another teacher in my field. If nothing else all blogs are (hopefully) meaningful to the originator.


I’m interested in searching out the perfect blog to follow. Wish me luck!

Anonymous said...

My apologies for the trouble; I posted my comment on 2010/02 instead of 2010/10 blog.

This is my first blogging experience although I created a wiki page for my students and update on a regular basis, I never blogged before. My wiki is similar to an educational website that I post educational audios/videos and articles for them to review to maintain their language skills -- more likely one way.

After reading the first 5 chapters of the textbook, I have different thoughts on wikis, blogs, and RSS. It was exciting to learn about RSS; I have been subscribing 8-9 different blogging sites such as Delicious, EduBlog Insights, Excellence and Imagination, Ideas and Thoughts from an EdTech, The Fischbowl, and Weblogg-ed, etc. I like Ideas and Thoughts from an EdTech blog because it has various visual aids such as HD videos, YouTube, etc.

Posting videos and images is a new way of blogging and I think it’s a great tool to send messages in a powerful delivery to the potential viewers. A lot of sites keep rolling down the pages and the pattern is very monotonous. I would like to keep following this site to learn more about blogging for the next two weeks.

I can’t agree more on the comment about wiki in the textbook; WYSWYG. Which word can better explain about wiki than this one? It's exactly what wiki is. My next step is to mobilize these tools in my class. I would like to do some touch-ups on my wiki to make it more two-way communication. Info share between students and teachers is integral in education and I would like to implement these practices to my classroom teaching.

Blogging will be a great tool for collaboration if I can use it more creatively. Integrating RSS to my classroom won't be my option, though. That can be done outside the classroom if I have enough followers to share ideas and thoughts. This week's assignment was very challenging; however, I learned a lot about these must-have tools for education. Stay tuned. More to come.

Michelle S.

Pink said...

My apologies for the trouble; I posted my comment on 2010/02 instead of 2010/10 blog.

This is my first blogging experience although I created a wiki page for my students and update on a regular basis, I never blogged before. My wiki is similar to an educational website that I post educational audios/videos and articles for them to review to maintain their language skills -- more likely one way.

After reading the first 5 chapters of the textbook, I have different thoughts on wikis, blogs, and RSS. It was exciting to learn about RSS; I have been subscribing 8-9 different blogging sites such as Delicious, EduBlog Insights, Excellence and Imagination, Ideas and Thoughts from an EdTech, The Fischbowl, and Weblogg-ed, etc. I like Ideas and Thoughts from an EdTech blog because it has various visual aids such as HD videos, YouTube, etc.

Posting videos and images is a new way of blogging and I think it’s a great tool to send messages in a powerful delivery to the potential viewers. A lot of sites keep rolling down the pages and the pattern is very monotonous. I would like to keep following this site to learn more about blogging for the next two weeks.

I can’t agree more on the comment about wiki in the textbook; WYSWYG. Which word can better explain about wiki than this one? It's exactly what wiki is. My next step is to mobilize these tools in my class. I would like to do some touch-ups on my wiki to make it more two-way conversation. Info share between students and teachers is integral in education and I would like to implement these practices to my classroom teaching.

Blogging will be a great tool for collaboration if I can use it more creatively. Integrating RSS to my classroom won't be my option, though. That can be done outside the classroom if I have enough followers to share ideas and thoughts. This week's assignment was very challenging; however, I learned a lot about these must-have tools for education. Stay tuned. More to come.

Michelle S.

Beth Poss said...

Thank you for all of your thoughtful comments on the blogs that you looked at It sounds like most of you have found at least one blog you are interested in following for your Blog Reflection assignment Ceci--you followed blogs in middle school! A true digital native; makes me feel old! Erin, don't worry--I think we will always need pencil and paper, but you must admit, that blogging is greener!