What is blogging?
The term blog is short for Web log, and is effectively an online journal. Blogs can be written by anyone and about anything and are usually displayed in reverse chronological order, with the most recent post appearing first.
So, blogging is the act of keeping a blog. Of adding regular posts, linking to external content and responding to comments.
Where to blog?
There are a number of free hosting sites that help make blogging simpler. In fact, there are so many it can be difficult to know which one to use. So here are 3 of the most popular sites:
A host site where you can start a blog in seconds without any technical knowledge. Almost everything on WordPress.com is free, and things that are currently free will remain free in the future, but you can also purchase a la carte upgrades for things like custom design and custom domains.
One of the earliest dedicated blog-publishing tools, it is credited for helping popularise the format. Blogger is now owned by Google, which can aid signing up if you already have a Gmail account.
Tumblr lets you effortlessly share anything.
Post text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos from your browser, phone, desktop, email or wherever you happen to be. You can customize everything, from colors to your theme’s HTML.
Each site has its own advantages and it really is down to personal preference. I’ve played with all three and have found that WordPress works best for my needs.
From the perspective of an educator, blogging can provide a useful platform for sharing best practice. It’s a simple and informal way to record your experiments in the classroom, and to aid other educators by showing them what works and what doesn’t (because this is just as important).
It can also be a space for reflecting on your own practice, as a professional development tool. The added advantage of using a blog for this activity would be that you can then track your progression over the length of your blogging project. This could then also be used as evidence for Performance Management or similar strategies.
If you wish to get your learners involved in blogging there are many benefits. On her blog, Getting Smart, Susan Lucille Davis lists her 10 reasons for getting learners blogging:
1. Blogs provide an authentic audience.
2. Blogs allow learners to express themselves and write about things that matter to them.
3. Blogs create a space for feedback.
4. Blogs provide opportunities to engage in civil discourse.
5. Blogs can record progress and development.
6. Blogs provide opportunities for regular writing practice.
7. Blogging allows students to experiment with multiple media formats.
8. Blogging broadens students’ perspectives and connects them to the world.
9. Blogging teaches transparency.
10. Blogs can create opportunities for positive change.