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Using Blogs for eLearning


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Presentation delivered at Devcon 2009

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Using Blogs for eLearning

  1. 1. Using blogs for quick e-Learning
  2. 2. Blogs g • Easily share resources and ideas with a web audience that is willing to share back what they t think about those ideas. t ose deas – Will Richardson – Blogs Wikis, Podcasts, Blogs, Wikis Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms
  3. 3. Blogs g • A Web-based publication consisting p g primarily of periodic articles • Normally –but not always in reverse chronological order • Format varies -can include simple lists of links, article summaries or full articles • Range in scope from personal diaries to journals discussing music, sports, politics, etc.
  4. 4. Creating a blog g g • You write items on an ongoing basis • If you let them, visitors can – Comment on entries – Link to entries – E mail you E-mail
  5. 5. What’s the big deal? g • Others can subscribe to your blog • When you post a new item, an email can automatically be sent to them – AND/OR • A new it item will b posted i th i f d ill be t d in their feed aggregator
  6. 6. Why use Blogs? y g • Quick way to provide news and event updates to your users • It’s easy! All you need is internet It s access and the ability to type an email • Since Blogs typically use RSS feeds feeds, it’s easy for your users to receive information
  7. 7. Blog Features g • Blogroll – Enables you to link to blogs you read frequently q y – Used for “reciprocal linking” • Commenting – Allows users to provide “feedback” to posts – Problems with SPAM
  8. 8. Blog Hosting Services g g • Use free Web-based commercial Web based services • Use subscription hosted services subscription, • Use software on your own company server
  9. 9. Free Web-based services • Pros: free and simple to use. • Cons: communities of kids with ads on the blogs; lack professional tools; you won't own your content • Examples: Xanga (free with adsads, premium service available), LiveJournal (free and paid versions), versions) and MSN Spaces (free)
  10. 10. Hosted Services • Pros: good enough quality for professional blogging; hosted online so no need for an IT department • Cons: modest subscription fee, limited customization, customization must use provider's provider s domain name • Examples: TypePad and Blogger
  11. 11. Professional Services • Pros: total control, good metrics and tools, your company domain name • Cons: need IT department to manage it on your company server • Examples: Word Press (free download), Radio Userland, and Movable Type
  12. 12. Create a blog g • Create an account • Name your blog • Chose a template • Start blogging • Customize and tweak • Se Set up a feed eed
  13. 13. Create an account
  14. 14. Name your blog y g
  15. 15. Choose a template
  16. 16. Your blog has been created g
  17. 17. Ready to start blogging y gg g
  18. 18. Where to get content? g • Google alerts – topics of interest • Linkedin groups • Other blogs • Magazines, newspapers etc. • Info from your vendors
  19. 19. Write with the reader in mind • Remember WIIFM? • That's what you should be keeping in mind. mind • Your reader will read your post looking for what's in it for them them.
  20. 20. Make it valuable and worthwhile • Don't waste people's time. Don t people s • If you don't have anything to say, no problem, problem plenty other people do do. • Share their articles, do an interview, review a book book.
  21. 21. Proof-read • Proof-read for typos and glaring Proof read grammatical errors. • Respect your readers by polishing up your stuff.
  22. 22. Keep it short and simple • Most people are scanners. You may have a lot to say and think it interesting, and it may be. But people are reading online and out of time. • Get to the point quickly. quickly • Publishing short posts more frequently is a better format than publishing lengthy articles every few weeks.
  23. 23. Get to the point quickly y • Keep it lively, make it snappy and snazzy. • Keep in mind the journalist's rule of 5 journalist s W's in the first paragraph: who, what, why, why when and wherewhere.
  24. 24. Link often • This builds credibility and positions you as an expert in your field. • People don't have time to know what don t others are doing, you should tell them. • Linking to other blogs and websites also helps you build a network of associates who will in turn link to your blog.
  25. 25. Use keywords y • This will help you stay on purpose, and the search engines will love your blog. • The more often your keywords show up, up the better your search engine results.
  26. 26. Write Clearly y • Short sentences, only one concept per sentence. • No double speak or jargon; no more than one idea in one sentence- don't make your readers have to think about your meaning. • Spoon feed them them. • Use commas and dashes liberally.
  27. 27. Write like you talk y • It's okay to use common expressions It s from speech. • Examples: Go figure Don't even go figure. Don t there. Now, I ask you. Gotta love it. (And, (And remember the age group of your readers.)
  28. 28. Use a clear headline • Don't be afraid to make bold Don t statements (but don't mislead people either). • Make it snazzy and use key words. • Example: Ex-Techno-Weenie Masters Ex Techno Weenie HTML Code
  29. 29. Checklist • Is the topic clear to someone who only reads the headline? • Does the l d paragraph tell who and what the story i about and D h lead h ll h d h h is b d why the reader should care about it? • Is the angle you've used likely to seem newsworthy? • Would someone who knows absolutely nothing about this topic understand this post? • Is the post free of jargon? • Is it written in journalistic style and does it make an effort to be objective? • Have you peppered the headline and the post with keywords and p phrases that will be attractive to search engines? g • Did you remember to ask your readers a question at the end, or something to stimulate readers to comment? • Did you remember to write with the reader in mind, always keeping in mind WIIFT? (What's in It for Them?)
  30. 30. Spice up your blog y g • Check out other blogs • Add links to other blogs • Customize your blog with – Polls – Ph Photos – Movies
  31. 31. Corporate Policies and Blogging • Make it clear that the views expressed in the blog are yours alone and d not necessarily represent th views of your l d do t il t the i f employer. • Respect the company's confidentiality and proprietary information. i f ti • Ask your manager if you have any questions about what is appropriate to include in your blog. • Be respectful to the company, employees, customers, partners, and competitors. • Understand when the company asks that topics not be discussed for confidentiality or legal compliance reasons. • Ensure that your blogging activity does not interfere with your work commitments.
  32. 32. RSS • Users of RSS content use programs p g called feed "readers" or "aggregators“ • The user subscribes to a feed by supplying to his or her reader a link to the feed • The reader can then check the user's subscribed feeds to see if any of those feeds have new content since the last time it checked, and if so, retrieve that content and present it to the user user.
  33. 33. Using an RSS g • From your Web site or Blog push: – A calendar of events – Latest news items or newsletter articles – Current job openings – Staff recommendations – New courses
  34. 34. Feedburner • Provides custom RSS feeds and management tools to bloggers, podcasters, and other web-based web based content publishers • Services provided to publishers include traffic analysis and an optional advertising system
  35. 35. Blog Tools g • • • • • • textpattern com • • squarespace com •
  36. 36. Blogging in LearningTips gg g g • • gging-in-learning • ogging-and-learning-in-the-web-20 ogging and learning in the web 20 • gging-for-learning/ i f l i /
  37. 37. E-Learning Blogs g g • elearning-blogs/ • • htt //bl th // • http://elearnquee • http://janeknight typepad com/ • • p g g p • •
  38. 38. Blogs I like g • • • http://www crmcdonalds com/publish/c sr/home/_blog.html • // /
  39. 39. Check out my blog y g • – Contains links to blogs mentioned in this p presentation • Debbie Richards • 713/523 0888 713/523-0888 •