Introduction to Blogger Using blogs to support student writing
What is Blogger? A blog (a blend of the term web log) is a type of website or part of a website. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. (Source: Wikipedia) Blogger makes it easy for teachers and students to share work, class notes, and pictures online. And with new access controls, educators can even make private blogs for their classes’ eyes only.
What are the advantages? Students who chose to write their essays as blogs were: More likely to meet deadlines More like to act upon feedback/next steps More likely to read one another’s work Other positive feedback from the students: Like that they often got quick feedback Like that they built up an “online portfolio” of writing Like that the could use spell check and easily fix errors Liked the sense of a public presence and that they had an audience
Teacher Uses? As a teacher, Blogger can help you stay connected to your students, their parents, and the rest of the school. With Blogger you can update parents about their children's progress and keep them posted on upcoming events; publish a class or school newsletter; share photos and student work; post course documents, projects and results; and easily assign collaborative group projects online with an easy way to track students’ progress. (Source: Google for Educators)
Teacher uses? Other uses for wikis and blogs could include: A teacher or class blog could provide: Extension and Support activities http://tonyrz.wordpress.com/ Info for parents Be used a reflective teaching blog http://schoolx.wordpress.com/ http://mye-learningfellowshipjournal.blogspot.com/
Student Uses? Students can use Blogger to communicate ideas, photos and class notes, improve their writing skills, and even jump right into web publishing without having to learn HTML. Free blogs, accessible from any computer that’s connected to the Internet, can help students easily create hubs for collecting information for both long and short-term projects; store information as unpublished drafts; collect feedback on their work from classmates, teachers and parents; and take on collaborative projects where multiple students can work and comment. (Source: Google for Educators)
Student uses? A student blog could be used for: Practice Essays http://naakooley.blogspot.com/ Reading Logs http://losalini.blogspot.com/ Creating online Study Guides Reflective blogs on the learning process An online portfolio
Setting up your own blog To get started with Blogger, visit the Blogger homepage, enter your username and password, and click Sign in. Enter a display name and accept Blogger's Terms of Service. Then click the Create a Blog link and get started! Pick a name and address (URL) for your blog. Then, choose your favourite template (this is how your blog will look when you publish it). Now get creative, add information to your personal profile, and customize how your blog looks, if you feel up to it. Start blogging now! (Source: Blogger Help)
Writing a post Once you've signed in to Blogger, you'll see your dashboard with your list of blogs. Here's what you need to do: Click the NEW POST button and enter anything you want to share with the world. Next, you'll see the Create New Post page. Start by giving your post a title (optional), then enter the post itself:
Writing a post When you're done, click the Preview link to make sure it's ready to go: Once you're satisfied with your post, click the Publish button. This will publish your new post. (Source: Blogger Help)
Adding a hyperlink To add a hyperlink ( a highlighted word or phrase that links to another web page or website) : Write the word that you want to use as the linking word and highlight then word by holding down the left button on your mouse. Then click the icon with the world/globe and the figure eight link. This will bring up a grey box titled hyperlink. Type or paste in you’re the URL (website address) you want to link to and press ‘okay’. (Source: Blogger Help)
Adding images You can now upload photos to your blog(s) using Blogger Images; just click the image icon in the post editor's toolbar. When you click this icon, you'll get a window that allows you to select an image or multiple images from your computer. Click the Browse button to locate the ones you want. Alternatively, you can enter the URL of an image that's already online and insert it into your post.
Adding images If you click the link to choose a layout, you can customize the way your images will appear in your post: The left, centre and right options determine how the text of your post flows around the pictures. The size option lets you scale the pictures to different sizes within this posting area. Note that the picture will still be uploaded in its full size; this option just determines how it's scaled within the content of your post. (Source: Blogger Help)
Embedding a video If you already have a video on your computer, you can upload it to your blog as follows: Click the film strip icon on the post editor toolbar. In the popup window, click "Browse" to find the video on your computer. Enter a title for your video. Agree to the Terms and Conditions (if this is your first video upload). Click "Upload Video.“ (Source: Blogger Help)
Embedding a Youtube video To embed a video from YouTube, just copy the code from the "Embed" box on the video's YouTube page. You can find the "Embed" box in the "About This Video" box when you're watching the video. To embed a YouTube video within a blog post, first click "Edit HTML" from within the post editor. Next, paste the video's code into the body of your post. That's it! (Source: Blogger Help)