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EdTech and Student Services: Supporting Online Learners Through Blogging


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A presentation for the 19th Annual Sloan Consortium Conference on Online Learning - Find out how blogging platforms can support your outreach to students. Tips for getting started. Examples from a range of colleges and universities.

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EdTech and Student Services: Supporting Online Learners Through Blogging

  1. 1. EdTech and Student Services: Supporting Online Learners Through Blogging Melissa A. Venable, PhD Education Writer – #aln13 The Sloan Consortium International Conference on Online Learning – Orlando, FL – 2013
  2. 2. What is a Blog? The terms blog and blogging can refer to a type of website that allows for reader feedback and/or a style of writing and content presentation that is informal and usually updated chronologically. The use of a blogging format to provide resources encourages conversation and an exchange of ideas and information.
  3. 3. What is a Blog? Typical Features: • Structure: Header, Navigation, Branding, Content, Widgets, WYSIWIG editors, Themes and Templates, Statistics • Content: Posts, Archives, Tags, Categories, Images, Text, Author Bio(s) • Connection: Commenting, Social Sharing Buttons, Links, RSS
  4. 4. Why Use a Blog? • Flexibility – from an individual journal to largescale website or course site • Ease of use – familiar editing options, intuitive administrative interface, quick set-up • Affordability – many platforms with free accounts with ample storage space and options for customizing • Accessibility – browser and operating system compatibility, unique URL • Professional interface – theme and template options, embed multiple file formats
  5. 5. Edu-Friendly Platforms • WordPress • EduBlogs • Blogger • Usability! Find an option that is easy for you to use – so you’re more likely to continue blogging. • User Community! Look for a platform that other educators, centers, etc. are using. Ask peers for recommendations. • In-house? Check with your institution’s academic technology center to find out about hosted options. Your school may already have a blog platform and support in place.
  6. 6. Examples of Blogs in Use Explore how college and university centers (for-profit and notfor-profit) are using blogs to communicate with students. Note the different platforms and range of features used. • Career Services – University of Oregon Career Center – Rasmussen College Career Services • Academic Advising – University of Massachusetts – Amherst Undergraduate Advising – College of Charleston Academic Advising & Planning Center
  7. 7. Examples of Blogs in Use • Library and Research Activities – Capella University Library – Stanford University Digital Library Blog • Learning Skills – University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center – Walden University Online Writing Center • Technical Support – University of Oklahoma Academic Tech – University of Minnesota Duluth Information Technology Systems and Services
  8. 8. Examples of Blogs in Use • Financial Aid – Vanderbilt University Undergraduate Admissions – University of Rochester Financial Aid • Health and Wellness Counseling – Loyola University New Orleans Counseling Center and Student Health Services – Ohio State University Student Health Services
  9. 9. Getting Started Create a Blog Purpose Statement using the following questions … and refer to it often! What are your goals? • Identify your audience(s) | What do they need? | What do you hope to gain? | How often can you publish? What will you share? • Topic Categories | Scheduled Events | Resources | Reports and News How will you share? • Articles | Tweets | Podcasts | Videos | Slide Presentations | Surveys and Polls Who will contribute? • Director | Counselors and Advisors | Partners (e.g., Employers, Alumni) | Students
  10. 10. Blog Post Types & Formats • • • • • List Posts (“Top 10…”) Interviews Blog Series Video Possibilities Reviews (books, products) • FAQ • Invitations • Guest Posts • • • • • • • • How-to____ News, current events Profiles Case Studies Checklists Contests Presentations Updates
  11. 11. Blogging Communities & Resources • • • • • • • CopyBlogger ProBlogger New Media Expo Career Counselor Technology Forum TechKNOW Tools Wiki (Academic Advising) Education Twitter Chats LinkedIn Groups
  12. 12. Keep the conversation going ... Contact me! Melissa A. Venable, PhD Education Writer m