Blogs as an Exploration


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Presentation given on February 26th 2009 to Brazilian EFL teachers in the Northeast of Brazil.

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Blogs as an Exploration

  1. 1. Blogging as an exploration Barbara (Bee) Dieu February 26 th 2009
  2. 2. 3 questions <ul><li>What </li></ul><ul><li>Why </li></ul><ul><li>How to </li></ul>technical pedagogical Barbara Dieu
  3. 3. What is a blog? <ul><li>a personal journal online </li></ul><ul><li>a powerful personal publishing tool </li></ul>Barbara Dieu
  4. 4. What do they look like? Barbara Dieu
  5. 5. What are the common features? <ul><li>a title and an aim </li></ul><ul><li>dated posts in reverse chronological order </li></ul><ul><li>permalink </li></ul><ul><li>automatic archiving of past posts </li></ul><ul><li>a comment and favourite link area </li></ul><ul><li>possibility to personalise layout </li></ul><ul><li>syndication of content </li></ul>Barbara Dieu
  6. 6. RSS <ul><li>Rich Site Summary </li></ul><ul><li>or </li></ul><ul><li>Real Simple Syndication </li></ul>Courtesy Will Richardson
  7. 7. RSS <ul><li>Brings content to the reader </li></ul>Courtesy Will Richardson
  8. 8. RSS <ul><li>Two Parts to RSS: </li></ul><ul><li>Feeds </li></ul><ul><li>Aggregator </li></ul>Courtesy Will Richardson
  9. 9. RSS <ul><li>Feed = URL </li></ul><ul><li>i.e. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>Courtesy Will Richardson
  10. 10. RSS <ul><li>An “Aggregator” </li></ul><ul><li>collects the RSS feeds </li></ul><ul><li>you subscribe to . </li></ul>Courtesy Will Richardson
  11. 11. RSS <ul><li>10, 20, even 158 feeds </li></ul><ul><li>or more </li></ul><ul><li>to 1 aggregated space </li></ul>Courtesy Will Richardson
  12. 12. RSS <ul><li>Web-based aggregator </li></ul><ul><li>Google Reader </li></ul><ul><li>Netvibes </li></ul><ul><li>Pageflakes </li></ul>Courtesy Will Richardson
  13. 13. RSS <ul><li>Click and copy address of feed </li></ul><ul><li>Paste in subscribe line </li></ul>Courtesy Will Richardson
  14. 14. What makes blogs attractive? <ul><li>acc ess and accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>cost </li></ul><ul><li>personal publishing space </li></ul><ul><li>immediacy </li></ul><ul><li>simplicity </li></ul><ul><li>interactivity </li></ul>Barbara Dieu
  15. 15. What is learning? Learning is essentially about change It involves changes in attitudes, beliefs, capabilities knowledge structures, skills Barbara Dieu
  16. 16. Still use the web as a book? Barbara Dieu
  17. 17. The shift in paradigm static x dynamic passive x active centralized x distributed closed x open Barbara Dieu
  18. 19. Why are blogs pedagogical tools? <ul><li>create a digital identity </li></ul><ul><li>help learners develop own voice </li></ul><ul><li>help learners reflect on learning process </li></ul><ul><li>develop autonomy /self-directed learning </li></ul><ul><li>allow for collaboration and sharing of ideas </li></ul><ul><li>create a portfolio to store work </li></ul>Barbara Dieu
  19. 20. Why use blogs in ESL/EFL? <ul><li>create extra opportunity for reading and writing </li></ul><ul><li>promote personal expression and interaction </li></ul><ul><li>encourage research and student autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>facilitate sharing and exchanging information </li></ul><ul><li>individualize language and content learning </li></ul><ul><li>motivate students </li></ul>Barbara Dieu
  20. 21. Key concepts <ul><li>ownership, openness </li></ul><ul><li>syndication, aggregation </li></ul><ul><li>subscription, interaction </li></ul><ul><li>use the right tool for the trade </li></ul>
  21. 22. How to get one? Barbara Dieu
  22. 23. How to use blogs? <ul><li>to evoke moments of your daily life </li></ul><ul><li>to comment on a trip, book, film, song, a piece of news </li></ul><ul><li>to share links, interesting material </li></ul><ul><li>to invite people to react to topical issues </li></ul><ul><li>to reflect on teaching/learning process </li></ul><ul><li>to create an academic/ professional portfolio </li></ul>Barbara Dieu
  23. 24. How to use class blogs? <ul><li>as a meeting place to interact with others after class </li></ul><ul><li>as an exchange plaza during interclass intercultural projects </li></ul><ul><li>for mystery guests/content-area experts to interact with the students </li></ul><ul><li>as an online community of practice with diverse teachers and students helping and learning from each other </li></ul>Barbara Dieu
  24. 26. “ The final lesson a writer learns is that everything can nourish the writer. The dictionary, a new word, a voyage, a book, a talk on the street, an encounter, a phrase learned” (Anais Nin) Barbara Dieu
  25. 27. How to keep informed Barbara (Bee) Dieu [email_address]
  26. 28. “ It is an exploration . You start from nothing and learn as you go” * Adapted from E.L. Doctorow What is blogging?