Blogs

Blogs (short for 'weblogs') are often used by individuals as a kind of public diary or for commentary on current events. Many are politically-oriented for this reason. Often written with short articles of a single paragraph or half a page, blogs are usually updated frequently, sometimes even several times per day. Viewers of blogs can surf in the usual fashion to that webpage, but many receive the blog update in a 'subscription' format.

Known as RSS (short for 'real simple syndication'), the subscription service is free and automated from all blog-hosting websites. Users simply click the RSS button and request that future blog entries be delivered to them via RSS. Most users do not ask RSS to be delivered as an email to them; instead, they frequently check a webpage that lists all at once multiple RSS 'feeds' from different sites, and thus provides an at-a-glance view of many recent posts.

RSS reader sample

Instructors may wish to use blogs to provide an additional way to communicate with students who are used to visiting an RSS Reader. Strategies for using a blog for instructional purpose include:

  • providing Internet links to current events of relevance to course content
  • posing timely questions about the reading material in the course
  • offering provocative or controversial questions for discussion (students can comment with a single click on each blog post, and engage each other in dialogue in this fashion)

Blogs can be created for free at multiple sites, including http://www.blogger.com (also known as BlogSpot), WordPress, and http://www.typepad.com.

 

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Tison Pugh
College of Arts & Humanities Tison   Pugh The common feature of all medieval literature, despite differences in authors, cultures, and genres, is that it is very, very old, and for my pedagogy to be effective, I must demonstrate that this old literature is still very much alive. To accomplish this goal, I rely upon pedagogical practices that center on stu...

Barry Mauer
College of Arts and Sciences Barry   Mauer A university does not just teach salable skills. It should do that, but more importantly it teaches methods that lead to self-knowledge, critical thinking, citizenship--defined in its broadest sense as responsibility for one's locality, state, nation, and globe--and literacy, which is the ability to read and w...

Ricardo Zaurin
College of Engineering & Computer Science Ricardo   Zaurin In my opinion, teaching is not only reciting concepts and formulas. The professor must be an integral and active part of the learning process ensuring that the information and knowledge is presented in a way that all students feel motivated and eager to learn.  I involve my students in the class, challenging ...