Download the handout from my CAJE 32 presentation:


Educational blogs: http://supportblogging.com/Links+to+School+Bloggers
Blog Like You Mean It (a blog about, well, blogging using Blogger - created by Lori Harris)
Read further: Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms by Will Richardson
Will's blog

Places to sign up for a free blog:
www.blogger.com
www.wordpress.com

What’s a blog?

Wikipedia defines a blog as, "A weblog (usually shortened to blog, but occasionally spelled web log or weblog) is a web-based publication consisting primarily of periodic articles, most often in reverse chronological order."

What would you use a blog for?
  • To communicate information (like homework or what’s going on in the classroom). You probably already do that somehow, right?
  • To encourage students to post information or to respond to triggers
  • Book circles or other opportunities for students to share with one another

To create a blog on WordPress:

Sign up:
1. Go to http://www.wordpress.com
2. Click on Sign Up Now!
3. Choose a username and password – the normal stuff
4. Agree to the TOS
5. Click on Gimme a blog!
6. Click on Next

The next screen confirms what you’re going to name the blog, etc. Go ahead and confirm those things (the default is probably acceptable) and click on Signup.

The next screen confirms that the account is active and you can click on the homepage to see the basic blog (very, very boring, but it will work in a pinch).

To modify your blog:

Everything happens through the Dashboard in the upper left-hand corner of your screen. If you click on My Dashboard you get a menu with things on it like Write, Manage, etc. (see below).

First we’ll play with the way your blog looks. Click on Presentation to see the various themes that are available. If you click on any theme, it will automatically modify your blog. Click on “view site” to see the changes.

Now that you have a theme, go ahead and view the front page. You can always change the theme later, but be aware that what shows up on the sidebar(s) sometimes depends on the theme you use.

Let’s post something now. Back to the upper left-hand corner of your screen. If you’re properly logged in, you can click on “New Post.” That brings up a screen with a place to put a title and some text. It’s a visual editor, so you also have formatting tools such as text size, etc.

Categories. See where it says categories on the right? That’s where you can set categories (e.g. homework, CAJE, reading, technology, etc.) for your posts. Then your subscribers can see what posts apply to specific categories.

Links. To put hyperlinks in you click on the little chain icon in the formatting toolbar. Type the text that you want to be a link and select it. The chain will become “live.” Click on it and put in the URL you want linked.

IMPORTANT! IMPORTANT! You’re not done until you click Publish. Don’t make the mistake of “saving” without publishing – your changes are only posted when you click Publish.


Once you click Publish, go ahead and look at the site by clicking View site in the upper left-hand corner of your screen.

See an error or want to modify your post somehow? Click on Dashboard, go to Manage > Posts and click on Edit next to the appropriate entry.

To create links: click on Dashboard > Blogroll and create your links there. You can categorize your links (Hebrew, history, homework help…) and some themes will separate your links by category.

Things you need to think about when you create a blog.
  1. Privacy – who can see the blog, and whether or not it’s listed in search engines (Options > Privacy)
  2. Comments – do you want to moderate comments (meaning do you want to approve comments before they can appear)? Do you want to be notified when a new comment is posted? (Options > Discussion)

One last thing!
If you create a class blog, please email me the link. I will list it. Somewhere. I promise.