Blogs for teaching and learning

There are many reasons why blogs could be very useful for teaching and learning. These range from the very practical (they are free, and easily accessible) to theoretical (collaborative learning and literacy development). You should aim to find different opinions about blogs to be able to make a decision about their suitability in teaching and learning. Some starting points might be:

http://www.sddu.leeds.ac.uk/online_resources/blogging/

http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ltg/teachingwithtechnology/TG-blogs-2.pdf

http://en.bab.la/news/top-25-language-learning-blogs-2013

http://universitywebinars.org/the-best-25-higher-ed-blogs-for-college-professionals/

http://creativeblogs.net/showcase/

You will probably find that using pages instead of posts for learning materials is an easier way to organise the sections and ideas. You create a page in the same way as creating a post – just look in the dashboard for the link to “new page”. It’s a good idea to think first about how you want your students to use the pages, and how they will navigate from one page to the next. When creating a new page you have the option of putting pages under a “parent” page – for example, on this blog there is a “parent” page called “working with blogs” and all the pages for this section can be found when you move the mouse over the “parent”; you get a drop-down list of all the associated pages. You can also order these:

  • create the “parent” page first – this could be similar to the introduction to a chapter. To create a page, go to the dashboard > pages > add new
  • save the parent page; it will now appear on the menu of the blog (often under the title, but could be in a different place, depending on the theme/appearance settings you have chosen)
  • start to create a new page, with title and content
  • on the right hand menu of the window you should see “page attributes”. For the box with “parent” choose the page you have created as the parent page. For the “order” select the number on the list for this new page – do you want this to appear as the first, second, third etc in the drop-down box (note that if you don’t select the order, the default is to put the pages in alphabetical order according to the first letter of the page title)
  • save

Now you should have on your blog front page a menu for your new set of pages. Obviously, you can add another new page and continue to build up your structure.

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