Blogs

Blogs (short for 'weblogs') are often used by individuals as a kind of public diary or for commentary on current events. Many are politically-oriented for this reason. Often written with short articles of a single paragraph or half a page, blogs are usually updated frequently, sometimes even several times per day. Viewers of blogs can surf in the usual fashion to that webpage, but many receive the blog update in a 'subscription' format.

Known as RSS (short for 'real simple syndication'), the subscription service is free and automated from all blog-hosting websites. Users simply click the RSS button and request that future blog entries be delivered to them via RSS. Most users do not ask RSS to be delivered as an email to them; instead, they frequently check a webpage that lists all at once multiple RSS 'feeds' from different sites, and thus provides an at-a-glance view of many recent posts.

RSS reader sample

Instructors may wish to use blogs to provide an additional way to communicate with students who are used to visiting an RSS Reader. Strategies for using a blog for instructional purpose include:

  • providing Internet links to current events of relevance to course content
  • posing timely questions about the reading material in the course
  • offering provocative or controversial questions for discussion (students can comment with a single click on each blog post, and engage each other in dialogue in this fashion)

Blogs can be created for free at multiple sites, including http://www.blogger.com (also known as BlogSpot), WordPress, and http://www.typepad.com.

 

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Cynthia Gundy
College of Business Administration Cynthia  Gundy A college education is about preparing students for the rest of their professional lives. Indeed students must be taught the discipline's jargon, its decision making tools and how best to apply them as well as the underlying foundation on which those theories are based. But so many other critical lessons are k...

Bruce M. Wilson
College of Sciences Bruce M. Wilson I see teaching as a multi-faceted endeavor where the role of the teacher is to provide students with excellent training in Political Science, to equip them with the skills to succeed in their careers, and to become lifelong learners. In my classes, I emphasize critical-thinking and writing skills and expose studen...

Harry Coverston
College of Arts and Humanities Harry Coverston At the heart of my teaching philosophy is the principle of engagement. There is much research documenting that students who are not engaged in their own learning do not learn as much. In pursuit of that goal I create a wide range of exercises which I collect and grade designed to help students analyze and apply id...