After my lackluster hands-on session two weeks ago in Holland about blogging (I really felt unprepared and not as helpful as I could have been), I was happy to find “Your Guide to Blogging” yesterday on the PBS Mediashift blog. Not only did it answer the questions I couldn’t during the session, but it’s a really great resource for people that really want to dive into blogging headfirst.
Starting with the definition of a blog, it moves on to what the “bog whoop” over blogging is about. While the writer, Mark Glasser, discusses cultural and political signifances of blog, I agree that the main reason that we (and by we I mean students and teachers) should be blogging is because it gives news, stories, and reflections voice and emotions that traditional journalism doesn’t have. Students writing abstractly for journalistic purposes mayengage a few, but students writing with emotion and personal connections engages many more.
The rest of the post contains everything you need to know about blogging from learning the lingo (to better understand “make sure you include a permalink to the post so someone commenting can leave a trackback”) to getting your blog noticed. Many other areas are covered as well including a pretty exhaustive list of blog search engines and a plethora of other blogging resources. I especially liked the “How to Blog Safely” article published by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Some of the suggestions in the blog safety article got a bit too technical for the average teacher not wanting to invest a lot of time in learning the technical side, but there were several really great suggestions that would work wonderfully in a classroom (limit your audience, use pseudonyms if possible).
If you have the time I highly suggest reading the Mediashift post, or at least forward it on to your district’s tech trainer for possible resources.