Web Logs in Education

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Transcript Web Logs in Education

The Next New Thing:
Create, Communicate and
Collaborate With Blogs
Will Richardson
March 11, 2004
Internet @ Schools East
Washington, DC
User Warning:
Use of Weblogs and RSS
technologies may lead to
sleeplessness, irritability, and the
horrible reality that you’ll never
being able to know it all.
Use at your own risk.
Weblogs First
What is a Weblog?
A Weblog is an
easily created,
easily updateable
Website that allows an author (or authors) to
publish instantly
to the Internet from any Internet connection.
Weblogs Don’t Require…
• Knowledge of HTML
• Knowledge of FTP
• Webpage creation software
If you can send an e-mail, you can
update a Weblog page.
How Easy Is It?
Just Watch…
What Weblogs Can Do
• Create Digital Paper—as much of it as you want
• Allow for collaboration from far-flung participants
• Add voices to the conversation
• Archive thoughts and research
• Provide instant audience
• Filter and organize information
So, a Weblog Can Be…
• Online Filing Cabinet
• Photo Album
• Portfolio
• Online Journal
• Collaborative Space
• Much more…
Blogs Get on the Map
How Many Blogs Are There?
• Over 5,000,000 with 10,000,000 expected by
year’s end.
• Over 50% are kept by 13-19 year olds.
• Fewer than 50,000 are updated daily. 66.0% of
surveyed blogs had not been updated in two
• The typical blog is written by a teenage girl who
uses it twice a month to update her friends and
classmates on happenings in her life.
Nothing Will Stop…the BLOG!
Why Weblogs?
Weblogs have a number of characteristics that
make them interesting as classroom/library
Aside from ease
of use, archiving of info,
audience, access and collaboration,
1. Multimedia—Weblogs can make use of audio and
video, and some can store files of other types for
easy retrieval.
Why Weblogs? (Con’t)
2. Hypertext—Weblogs allow for easy linking to
research and sources of information.
3. Low cost—Most Weblog software is either free or
relatively inexpensive, depending on your needs.
4. Communication—Instant, comprehensive and
Weblogs in Schools
More and more teachers and educators are
finding that Weblogs provide interesting new
ways of communicating with students, parents
and colleagues.
Weblogs in the Classroom:
Online Filing Cabinet
• Students and teachers can use the Web log as a place
to store assignments, plans, handouts, etc.
Weblogs in the Classroom:
Collaborative Learning Space
• Students can extend conversations outside of the
classroom, and collaborate with invited guests from
around the world.
The Secret Life of Bees /Author
Weblogs in the Classroom:
Professional Development
• New (or veteran) teachers can use Weblogs as
portfolios or as an archived discussion of their
practice with mentors .
Entry Year Teacher
Weblogs in Schools
Weblog as Website
•Schools can use a distributed content creation
model when using Weblogs as Websites.
Little Miami Schools
Weblogs in Schools:
Library Portal
• School library sites can serve as easily updated
research portals and resource sites.
Weblogs in Schools
• Weblogs can provide a great way to manage
knowledge, from committee work to historical
Technology Committee
Weblogs in Schools
Classroom Portal
• Weblogs make for an easy classroom interface for
notes, links, homework and conversation.
Journalism 2
• Privacy and safety
• Cost
• Technical support
• Connectivity of classrooms and homes
• Time to develop
• Web log software
Web Log Options
• Free Web log software on the Internet
– Blogger
– moTime
– Many others
• Software for local installation
– Manila--$295 a year for up to 3,000 sites
– Moveable Type—Free to schools
• Pay Web logs with hosting
– Type [email protected]$30 a year with a limit on space
Helpful Hints
• Start a Web log—If you are going to teach with
blogs, you need to be a blogger.
• Read other Web logs—And find other educators
using them. Web logs foster community.
• Start small—Create a classroom portal, invite some
others into the conversation, build from there
• Web logs are a tool…fit them to your curriculum, not
vice versa.
What is RSS?
The behind-the-scenes tool
that adds
to blogging.
Real Simple Syndication (RSS)
RSS allows writers to automatically syndicate
the content they create and it allows
readers to “subscribe” to receive that
content when it is published.
– Most Weblogs have RSS “feeds” built in
– Content comes to you instead of you going to
look for it.
– Makes it easy to keep track of more sources of
Real Simple Syndication (RSS)
• Two parts to RSS
Part 1– An
XML “news
feed” from the
Part 2--A
“news reader”
to translate
and display
the feeds
Many Blogs in One Place
You can subscribe to as many news feeds as you can
keep track of….
Thousands more
Using RSS Feeds
• Step 1—Look for xml button
George W Bush
Using RSS Feeds
• Step 2—View XML feed and copy address
XML Feed
Using RSS Feeds
• Step 3—Find a news reader (aggregator)
Aggregators check the feeds that you tell it to, see if
there is any new content, and if so, save the content
for you to view when you are ready.
Using RSS Feeds – Part 2
• RSS Feeds can also be displayed as content on a
RSS in Schools
• Teachers can aggregate content from student
Parents can aggregate news from the school and
work from student Weblogs
Administrators can aggregate news from various
school Weblogs
Librarians (and others) can “push” content simply
by posting to a Weblog
Everyone can use e-mail less, scan more
information in less time.
And much, much, much more…
RSS in Schools
And one more cool application:
Research can come to you!
First Steps
Start a Weblog and start publishing to the Internet
Read some other Webloggers
Go to bloglines.com and sign up for an account
Subscribe to some feeds
Start thinking and playing
And if you have further questions,
or you’d like to join my conversation, please visit
me at