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Introduction

What to expect
In this section I describe some options for getting into blogging, outline why one might use one option rather than another, and I then describe some educational uses of blogging. Links are provided to allow you to explore these things further. With the information given here, you could have your first blog written in about ten minutes.

Above is a screen shot of my blog on the tools described in this wiki.
Using blogging in an educational context requires more of the teacher than just setting up the blog, as there are issues of access, control and inappropriate postings. A blog could be used for book reviews, group projects etc. This can be a good way for students to show off their work to their parents at home if you are comfortable with the privacy issues involved.
Here the special skills are defining and choosing the roles that the students play, whether they can start new posts, or whether they can freely add material, or whether it has to pass through moderation first. A sense of class discipline may be imposed by ensuring that students earn access to more senior roles on the blog, and drop back to fully moderated status for inappropriate postings.
There are a number of blogging sites and wordpress is just one of them. The easiest way to get started is by accessing the online site wordPress.com. WordPress have an online guide to getting started here: Wordpress Intro.and a sixty page more advanced tutorial here:http://learn.wordpress.com/
Blogging is also a good tool for classes doing eTwinning, although if you are involved in primary or secondary education the eTwinning resource site is probably a better place to start out.
For the technically minded there is another wordPress option, which is to download the wordPress software and set it up on your own machine. This might be an appropriate solution if you have no, or only limited, connectivity to the internet, as a school bloghost could be set up, with blogs for teachers, classes, clubs, committees etc. I have not done this but I understand its quite straight forward. Another option here would be to use the apple server platform with asociated software, or a school moodle, but these are both more advanced solutions than we are considering here.
Educational use.
Blogs may be used as a cooperative tool for joint class projects, or as a tool for presenting class notes in a permanent form to the students telling them what topics have been covered and highlighting those which might be considered important.
A personal blog might also be used to record your post class notes on how the class went, what needs to be reviewed again, what worked, and what did not. Finaly it can be a good way for a teacher to record the classes progress, as even short notes made online each week on what was covered can be useful for students who might have missed classes, as well as providing a set of revision notes for the calss at the end of the year.
Homework as student blogs
Bloging can be used as part of a homework assignment. Although this is probably of less relevance in the further education sector, I’ve put this in anyway. Here the key advantage is immediacy. If you ask your students to write a short paragraph on the material covered in each class, it gives you immediate feedback as to what they are learning, and what concepts you failed to get over. It allows you to comment or correct on the following day while the material is still fresh, rather than going through the whole homework due, homework brought home, homework returned to students cycle, which may take a couple of days under normal practice.
Further reading:
A good starting point is an article by Mark Sample, writing as “Prof Hacker” in the American Chronicle of Higher Education. this article has a number of embedded links which are worth following:
Link To Article I have a video on signing up for Word press here: A Video describing how to sign up for a Wordpress Blog at Wordpress.comand a video introduction to the sign up process for Blogger, a Wordpress alternative is here:Video on signing up for Blogger from Wendy Elwell


Any Questions? I have set up a discussion forum for this web page here:
Eleven Tools Word Press Discussion Forum