What is a blog?

The term blog is short for "web log." Blogs are typically used to maintain an online journal, magazine, or similar collection of writings published on a somewhat regular schedule. Blogs make it easy to post dated articles or informal thoughts on the web and organize posts with keywords known as tags. Blog authors can allow readers to post comments on the articles they read, and authors can choose to approve or reject comments as they see fit. 

How can blogs be used for education?   

Instructors can use blogs to:

  • share resources and insights with colleagues
  • keep students updated and remind them of upcoming deadlines
  • post assignments and reflection questions, asking students to respond in the comments

Students can use blogs to:

  • publish an online news site, magazine, journal, or collection of poetry and essays
  • document a trip abroad
  • share thoughts on controversial topics or timely issues

Examples of Course Blogs 

Recommended Blogging Tool: Blogger

Blogger is one of the most popular blogging tools on the web. Although there are other useful blogging tools, here are a few reasons why Blogger is ideal for educators:

  • To create a blog, all students need is a free gmail account.
  • Blogger is owned by Google, which means it has sufficient funding to provide reliable service for the foreseeable future.
  • Blogger tutorials and help documentation are plentiful and easy to find. 

Issues to Consider 

  • Privacy: Make sure students know how to control who can view their blogs.
  • Assessment: How will you evaluate student work? Make sure to address the following issues when you give the assignment:
    • How often do students have to post? 
    • Is there a minimum length for each post? What is the penalty if this length is not met?
    • What are the key characteristics of a poor, fair, and excellent post?
    • Will you be grading grammar and spelling? How many points will be deducted per mistake? 
  • Netiquette: Give students guidelines on how to be polite and respectful of their peers when writing online. 

Blogger Help