Blogs

What is it?

A blog (short for "weblog") is a website or webpage that is updated regularly by one or more users.  Blog posts appear in reverse chronological order.  Therefore, the most recent post will appear at the top of the page.  Blogs can be used to share information and opinions as well as media such as photos, video or presentations.  Blogs are easily set up.  Some good free options include www.wordpress.com or www.blogger.com  You can also maintain a blog within Blackboad by adding the Tool Link > Blog to a course page. 

In the interactive lesson below, you can learn more about blogging and earn a digital badge.  

Blogs

Source: https://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2014/09/27/19/53/blogging-464042_640.jpg

Uses & Benefits of Blogging

The are many reasons to blog, both personally and professional.  Blogging as an educator can be particularly useful for learners.  A learner might follow a blog for informative purposes such as course information.  Educators might also choose to share intersting supplemental material on the blog to enrich the learning process.  These might be their own original posts about a topic, or shared information.  Blogs are also useful for sharing multimedia.  

Uses:

  • Sharing practical information 
  • Creating orginial and thought-provoking blog posts about your subject area or interests
  • Sharing multimedia such as photos, videos, presentations etc.
  • Sharing interesting links or articles you find noteworthy

Benefits:

  • The ability to create and curate an online persona for your own or your organisation's work
  • The opportunity to share meaningful insights into your areas of interest with others
  • A platform with which to connect with learners in a more meaningful and efficient way

Sample Blogs

Showcase of blogging in action

This interview with Dr. Eilís Ní Dhúill discusses the Thesis talk blog at NUI Galway. Thesis Talk is a dedicated NUI Galway blog aimed at all research students and written by PhD candidates from the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies (CASSCS). Chronicling the varying experiences of the College’s research students, it aims to build a community among various disciplines on campus, and with other relevant parties online. Thesis Talk provides a platform for research students to describe their PhD experience to date, share examples about/from their own projects, provide feedback from conferences they’ve attended, share resources, and ask the community questions or give tips and advice.

 Below are some noteworthy blogs of higher education professionals:

URL   TitleAuthorDescription
https://worriedteacher.wordpress.com/ Confessions of a Worried Teacher Simon Warren - NUIG Inquiries into contemplative teaching
https://catherinecronin.wordpress.com/ Catherine Cronin Catherine Cronin - NUIG Educator and PhD researcher at NUI Galway. My work focuses on open education, digital identity practices, and exploring the boundary between formal and informal learning
http://itlawnuig.blogspot.ie/ IT Law NUI Galway Law Dept. - NUIG IT law blog with a wide variety of contribuors on topical issues in IT law
https://brendanflynn.wordpress.com Brendan Flynn Brendan Flynn - NUIG Excellent example of teaching materials being shared on a blog along with topical blog posts and a firm disclaimer and about me section
https://historyatgalway.wordpress.com History at Galway History Dept. - NUIG Supplementary material from the NUIG History Dept.
http://www.steve-wheeler.blogspot.ie/ Learning with the 'e's Steve Wheeler - Plymouth University My thoughts about learning technology and all things digital. I'm interested in how technology can be made to work for us, particularly in education and training.
http://www.ericstoller.com Eric Stoller Eric Stoller - Writer and Keynote Speaker Thoughts on higher education, information about my consulting business, and resources from my presentations
https://blogs.princeton.edu/librarian/ Academic Librarian Wayne Bivens-Tatum - Princeton On Libraries, Rhetoric, Poetry, History, & Moral Philosophy
http://elearnqueen.blogspot.ie/ e-Learning Queen Susan Smith Nash - eLearning E-Learning Queen focuses on distance training and education, from instructional design to e-learning and mobile solutions, and pays attention to psychological, social, and cultural factors. The edublog emphasizes real-world e-learning issues and appropriate uses of emerging technologies
http://www.smurfitschoolblog.com/ UCD Smurfit MBA Blog UCD Smurfit School Student and staff contributors share events from the Smurfit School
http://ciarameehan.com/ Ciara Meehan Ciara Meehan - Univ. of Hertfordshire Historian, Author, Researcher
http://www.leighgraveswolf.com Leigh Graves Wolf Leigh Graves Wolf - Michigan State Univ. Program Co-coordinator and Assistant Professor - Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET) - "Educational Technology, Pedagogy, Photography & Food"
http://dougbelshaw.com/blog/ Doug Belshaw Doug Belshaw - Dynamic Skillset Open Educational Thinkerer. Consultant focusing on #digilit & #openbadges. Previously: @mozilla / @jisc / school senior leader / #historyteacher.
http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/SallyJordan/ e-assessment (f)or learning Sally Jordan - Open University Sally Jordan's blog about assessment, e-assessment and learning
http://kindalearning.blogspot.ie/ Kinda Learning Stuff Sarah Horrigan-Fullard - Univ. of Derby ... a blog recording interesting technology or learning-related snippets... or anything else that takes my fancy. If it makes me stop and think, it'll probably end up here!
http://philosophicaldisquisitions.blogspot.ie/ Philosophical Disquisitions    John Danaher - NUIG Academic with interests in the philosophy of technology, religion, ethics and law. Blogs at http://philosophicaldisquisitions.blogspot.com
http://www.dontwasteyourtime.co.uk/ Technology Enhanced Learning Blog David Hopkins - Warwick Business School  David Hopkins / eLearning, Learning Technology, MOOCs, Blogging, Social Media, and the stuff in between. Author of 'The Really Useful #EdTechBook'

 

Get Started

Once you have decided the objective of your blog you will need to decide where to host it.A Blackboard blog will only be seen by students in your course, but a public blog will be seen by all. 

Setting up a Blackboard Blog

To set up your blog in Blackboard click on Add Menu Item > Tool Link > Select "Blog".  You will have to name the blog and choose to make it available to users.

Step 1:

Bb Blog 1

 

Step 2:

Bb Blog 2

 

Step 3:

Bb Blog 3

You might also want to view this tutorial from Blackboard:

Creating a Blog

Set Up Guides for Other Hosting Sites:

Wordpress

Blogger

Note: If you choose to keep a public blog you might wish to consider including a disclaimer stating that the posts contain your views and not that of your place of employment. This blog contains an excellent discliamer.

Resources

Further information & useful links:

LSE Blogs (London School of Economics) –  well-regarded academic blogging : http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/

Impact of the Social Sciences (an LSE blog): http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/

Medium.com – a popular, simple blogging platform:  https://medium.com/

WordPress platform : https://wordpress.com/

Can, G. and Ozdemir D. (2006) “Blogging in Higher Education: Theoretical and Practical Approach”, Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics, 4 (6), pp. 5-13. Available at: http://www.iiisci.org/Journal/SCI/FullText.asp?var=&id=P965033 [Accessed 31 July 2015].

Educause. (2005) 7 Things You Should Know About Blogs. Availabe at: https://library.educause.edu/resources/2005/9/7-things-you-should-know-about-blogs [Accessed 16 February 2017].

Jordan, L. (2009) "Engaging students in the curriculum through the use of blogs; how and why?" [The Fourth International Blended Learning Conference]. University of Hertfordshire. 18 June. Availabe at: http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/7356/ [Accessed 27 July 2015].

Wheeler, S. (2010) “Open Content, Open Learning 2.0: Using Wikis and Blogs in Higher Education”. In: Ehlers, U. and Schneckenberg, D. eds. Changing Cultures in Higher Education: Moving Ahead to Future Learning. Available at: http://www.springer.com/cda/content/document/cda_downloaddocument/9783642035814-c1.pdf?SGWID=0-0-45-856030-p173922104 [Accessed 23 July 2015].

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