- What is the difference between a blog and a paper journal?
- set up a blog
- write their first post
- If you could write a note to yourself two years in the future, what would it say?
Before this class, you should select a blogging platform to use in your class. If your school has consistent access to the web, you may choose a platform like Blogger or Wordpress. Other situations might require different setups.
Be forewarned (and warn your students), the process of signing up for things in groups can be really tedious so everyone just needs to hang on and help each other out. By the end of class, everyone should have a new blog.
What is the point?
Web + Log = Weblog; 'blog'
How is a blog like the log a captain keeps on his ship?
Break students up into pairs and send them to a machine. Make a list of blogs and give each pair a blog URL to explore. They should be able to answer these two questions:
- How often is this blog updated?
- Who would enjoy reading it?
Circulate and see who has interesting things to say. Ask if they are comfortable sharing their observations. When the time runs out, throw a couple of those blogs up on the screen and ask students to describe them.
Our blogs will definitely be used for documenting projects we are working on in school. How else might they be used?
Students make take this conversation toward the question of what is appropriate on their school blog. Ask them to consider people that have two or more blogs and websites. Why would they do that?
The Naming of Blogs
Demonstrate creating a new blog on the projector. Pairs will then create a blog for each student. Circulate and help people get unstuck.
One common error is that students confuse their username, URL, and blogtitle.
- Must your blog's title and URL match?
- How does your URL compare to your email alias?
This is going to take at least 15 minutes.
Your first post
At least half of the class has succeeded in creating their blogs (i.e. at least one person in each pairing), bring attention back to the projector and demo the creation of a first post. Ask students to guide you through the process based on their instincts and experience with email.
''Note:'' Depending on your blog software, you may have to mention tags or categories here. This is up to your discretion.
Nearly all blog software makes a distinction between "draft" posts and "published" posts. Another common error students will make is to write posts but never publish them. This can be especially frustrating.
Two simple tasks:
- Find time to make a first post
- The student will then copy-paste the address of the blog into an email to you.
''Notes:'' by now you should have an email address and a blog URL for each student.