The term Blog was coined from the two words “Web Log”. A blog is normally an independent website or even a section of another website. The main feature that distinguishes blogs from other websites is their interactive nature. In a blog, entries are made of events, graphics, video, commentary etcetera (Williams, 2004).
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Types of blogs
There are three main types of blogs:
These are blogs that are created by students, and on which fellow students can post their contributions. They operate like debates and discussions.
These are blogs created specifically for use by teachers and students. Teachers can post assignments, advice on how homework should be completed, and even information for parents (eHow, 2010).
These are blogs created by bloggers who are neither teachers nor students. These blogs allow students to make use of the networks established by the blogs.
Uses of blogs as a learning technology
Despite the controversy surrounding the use of blogs as learning technology, blogs are increasingly being used for purposes of learning. There are myriad ways in which blogs are being used as learning tools. Some of these ways include:
The use of blogs as reference materials by students
Some blogs have very good discussions about topics students cover in class. Some of the points discussed in these blogs may be used by the students as reference materials, especially if the blogs have credible content (Thomas, 2009).
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Blogs have also been used by professors and students for purposes of online discussions
In some universities and colleges, blogs are created to act as forums for discussions. An issue is raised by a professor, or a tutor, or even a group of students, and students respond to this issue by posting their contributions on the blog.
Use of blogs as an informative source for busy students
During the times when students are busy revising for exams, they can substitute newspapers and television with blogs.
This is because blogs are normally updated with events.
Uses of blogs as a learning technology ctd…
Other uses of blogs that can be viewed as educative include:
- Most students use blogs on the internet to argue out their views on contemporary topics. This makes the students develop a writing culture that makes them better students. It can thus be argued that blogs shape the writing skills of students to some extent (“On my mind”, 2011).
- In blogging, it is possible to establish networks. Through these networks, students can share learning materials, or even assist each other in academic matters.
There are several popular blogs. These blogs cover virtually all realms of life. For instance, there are media blogs, educational blogs, technology blogs, etcetera.
The following is a list of some of the most popular blogs:
- Weblogg-ed – This is an example of an educational blog. Follow the link below to see how it is. http://weblogg-ed.com/
- Engagets – this is an example of a technology blog.
Popular Blogs ctd…
The url for engagets is http://www.engadget.com/
- Another example of a technology blog is TechCrunch. The url for this blog is http://techcrunch.com/
- The Huffington Post is an example of a media blog. Its url is http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
- Another example of a blog is Perezhilton. Its url is http://perezhilton.com/
Creating a Blog
The following are the steps that can be used to create a blog in less than an hour:
- Identify free and good software for blogging Examples include:
- Blogger e.t.c
- Register an account, and start a blog
- Customize your blog by setting the theme, domain name, and other settings
- Start blogging (Gunelius, 2011)
Gunelius, S. (2011). How To Create a Blog for Free in 4 Easy Steps. Web.
Thomas, M. (2009). Using Blogs to Enhance Learning. Web.
Williams, J. (2004). Exploring the Use of Blogs as Learning Spaces in the Higher Education Sector. Journal of Educational Technology.
Reference List ctd…
eHow. (2010). Blogs as Learning Tools. Web.
On my mind. (2011). Valuing Change. Web.