Thursday, January 22, 2009

Uses for Blogs Within a Course

A BLOG (WEB LOG) is a type of website where you can instantly post your writing. Using web based blogging software, anyone can easily publish their ideas on the Web from any computer with an Internet connection.

The best known use of blogs is for personal online journals. However, the educational community is now finding many uses for blogs. Blogs can be used in at least two different ways: as a group journal where all members can post; or each individual in a group can have their own blog with each linked from a single web page.

* Instructor uses the blog as an online course management tool where s/he posts assignments, announcements, information and summaries of lessons.
* A weekly topic is posted and each student posts their thoughts on the topic.
* Post articles relevant to the course.
* Students post their thoughts regarding articles.
* Class discussions on course readings and lectures.
* Students post their writing assignments and homework exercises.
* Students exchange information related to the course's subject.
* Students post comments, questions and advice about the course to Instructor and fellow students.
* Students post their thoughts on what they are learning.
* Students use the blog as a writing portfolio.
* Students read each other's rough drafts of writing assignments and give feedback.
* Students and Instructor discuss news related to the course's subject.
* Students discuss class activities.
* Online students can get to know each other by reading and commenting on each others blog entries.

Advantages to using UThink vs. Blogger

Why should I use the blog service at the University Libraries? Why not Blogger or LiveJournal?
Good question. You are free to use whatever blogging system you want, however you may want to check out what our system offers:
Advantages to using UThink vs. Blogger:
* No advertisements.
* Integration with the U of M Central Authentication Hub (x.500) for access to the system using Internet IDs and Passwords. This means no messy username/password maintenance for us, and easy access to the system for students/faculty/staff.
* Allows students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to create multiple blogs, really as many blogs as anyone wants.
* Allows blog owners to easily attach other authors to their blogs to create team blogs, class blogs, club blogs, etc. Blog authors can attach anyone that has an Internet ID and Password (including guest Internet IDs) to his or her blog.
* Allows blog authors to upload graphics and other multimedia (doc, ppt, pdf, etc.) to their blogs.
* Creates the necessary blog directories (the main directory and the archives directory) on the fly without any administrator intervention.
* Uses of one of the most popular blog software packages in the world: Movable Type.


  1. Thanks for posting this helpful information about blogs. This is something we have discussed in my Educational Technology class. By the time I'm a teacher (in 2 or 3 years), I know the use of technology like this will be a big part of the classroom, so it's important to learn the many ways it can be used now!

  2. This was a great posting! Great ideas that I hope we can use in developing training for online learners of the future. I wasn't aware of Uthink! I am with Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, and we may have something similar on campuses, but if so, I am not aware of this.