What is a blog?
“A blog (a blend of the term web log) is a type of website or part of a website supposed to be updated with new content from time to time. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video.” (Wikipedia.org, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog)
Why are blogs useful for educators?
As a blog reader, an educator can learn of individual classroom experiences and experiments around the world. We can borrow, modify, and build on lessons from around the world.
As a blog writer, an educator can share philosophical insights, classroom successes and failures. By publishing to the world, we invite constructive criticism and spark conversations with other professionals.
How can I fit blog reading into my busy schedule?
Most educators don’t have time to visit 10 different websites a day to see if anything new has happened. Instead, people rely on aggregators – an application or service that automatically checks as many blogs as we want every day and then delivers the new content to a single place for quick scanning/viewing. You already have a subscription to a powerful aggregator with your Westside Google Apps account. The tool is called “Google Reader” and here is a 3 minute introduction to how it works:
How do I get started with blog reading?
- Watch the 3 minute introduction to Google Reader above.
- Visit your personal Google Reader service at reader.google.com/a/westsideschool.org
- Subscribe to a few blogs (watch the video to learn how) and then sit back and let new ideas and stories come to you!
If you’d like some blog suggestions to get started, please consider:
- Our own Westside Middle School Science blog: http://westsidescience.blogspot.com/
- Our own Westside Middle School Tech blog: http://www.westsideschool.org/tech/
- The West Seattle Blog: http://westseattleblog.com/
And if you’d like to scan a list of 54 top-quality classroom blogs from around the world, take a look at the EduBlogAwards 2011 nominees for “Best Class Blog.”