22 November 2012

Blogging - notes and handout

Blogging is getting old-fashioned a bit - everyone is talking about Twitter and that kind of real-time media now (it's not social media anymore!). In a sense, it's true: no doubts young people I see are switching from Facebook to Twitter very actively.

Still, blogging has it's value, certainly in FE, which has not been explored fully yet, I believe. Narrative-based blogging is a potent literacy development tool, for example. This year, however, I can see an increasing interest for blogging from Art tutors: they are looking for a simple for them and learners solution to gather, create and share.

Today I delivered a session precisely on that: blogging for learning. The group was great and we almost covered the planned material. The RSS bit (i.e. reading blogs effectively) and copyright were left out until next week.

Here are my notes and the handout for learners. All - free to use/re-use.

Blogging for art students

Bring in: Copyright for creators leaflet; Handout on blogging; Reading Blogs leaflet.

Aim: to facilitate understanding of blogging (purpose and process) in the context of learning.

Do you blog?

• Give time to tell about their blogs. Ask why and for, who reads them?

• I am blogging as a reflection of what I do, to make sure that my colleagues remember about my existence, to differentiate from the library: I am a librarian, not NWHC library. The library’s blog purpose is different: repository.

What's a blog? Why do people blog?

• It is an online journal. Most people blog because they want to express themselves. – It’s a particular way of talking.

How different is it to a portfolio?

• Portfolio - to show it once, to solicit a reaction, reflection of what's already been done

• Blog - to reflect, keep attention, engage for the future, build/participate in a community; arrange in time, theme.

How keeping a journal may benefit you and your learning? (note: publically accessible blog)

What are the barriers for blogging?

• Lack of time

• Being too private

• Lack of confidence

Useful tips - how to encourage yourself to blog and others to read your blog? What does make a good blog?

Let’s look at the blogs we like? – Please give me examples. What do you like about them? Possible answers:

• Consistency

• Predictability

• Easy navigation

• Encouraging feedback/action/engagement

• Joining a community

• Sharing, giving away (if nobody can legally copy your photos, they will steal them) – use Creative Commons unless you publish a book and many people are involved into the production.

How do you read other people's blogs? - RSS.

Link your blog to other real time media – Facebook, Twitter. (Give an example of the library blog transmitted on Twitter, FB, OneCollege).

More about wordpress.com – on the Lynda.com.

  HANDOUT   What's a blog? Why do people blog?

• It is an online journal. Most people blog because they want to express themselves. – It’s a particular way of talking.

How to start blogging?

• Reposting weblinks, adding the title, author, source – if relevant

• Adding short explanation what’s behind the weblink

• Sharing you opinion, what you think and feel about that – an image, webpage, video and event

• Sharing your views and feelings, asking questions, suggesting ideas

Barriers for blogging

• Lack of time (solution: prioritising your own creativity over others’ expectations)

• Being too private (too late: in the world of real time media there is no way of hiding)

• Lack of confidence (start with small steps, see How to start blogging?; perhaps keep the blog private initially)

A good blog is:

• Consistent, predictable (i.e. following/developing a certain theme)

• Easy to navigate (limited number of relevant subjects and tags used)

• Allows and encourages feedback, action and engagement

• Available to read via other media (Facebook, Twitter etc.)

How do you read other people's blogs? - RSS.

More about wordpress.com – on the Lynda.com, http://www.lynda.com/WordPress-tutorials/WordPresscom-Essential-Training/97618-2.html (lynda.com is available only on-campus; YouTube has plenty video tutorials on WordPress).

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