Welcome to BlogWise

Welcome to the blog in support of the blogging workshops that I run from time to time.  Primarily the workshop is designed to provide a hands-on session where you will create and begin to customise your own blog and this blog BlogWise is intended to provide you with an easy means of accessing the information both during and after the workshop.  You are very welcome to use the resources here – please just be aware that the contents are covered by this Creative Commons licence.  Both during and after the workshop I am happy to talk about how and why I use blogs with my students and to answer questions or enter discussion on any related topic!

Each entry in a blog is referred to as a post – and this post is a sticky one! That means it will stay as the first post even when others are added.  I can remove its stickiness at any time or replace it with a different sticky post.  A sticky post is a good way to provide a welcome or instructions for those coming to your blog for the first time.

I intend to keep adding to this blog as I have time, so if you have particular questions or suggestions just let me know.


What is a blog?

David Sturrock of NMIT recently provided an excellent definition of what a blog is:

 “The word ‘blog’ is a contraction of ‘web log’. Blogs are a form of online journal used by millions of people around the world for self-expression and communicating with family and friends or for professional purposes. Many educators are also using them as a way for learners to start developing an electronic portfolio of their work. Blogs are usually organized as a chronological series of postings created by the author of the blog. Blogs usually are written by one person, although some blogs can be authored by groups of people.”

Wikipedia also comments:

 “A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important contribution to the popularity of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (art blogs), photographs (photoblogs), videos (video blogs or “vlogs”), music (MP3 blogs), and audio (podcasts).”

In teaching, I often use a blog to drive a face-to-face class such as Research Methods (single author) or a blended class such as Multi-User Virtual Environments (two authors) and I have also set up a multi-authored blog for our teaching team to reflect and record ideas and improvements for the future. I find it a convenient way to ensure that all my students have the resources they need for each class and I will often link to other online resources, such as websites, google docs, slideshows/prezis or videos from within my blog post.  I usually blog once a week about the activities for the week but I also use it for urgent messages and serendipitious discoveries that I think might be of interest.

Almost all my students are studying IT although in previous years I found the business students had no problem with the class blog.  International students find it particularly useful as it provides a rich record of what we have covered in class.

In several of my courses I require students to keep an online journal in the form of a blog. Some examples which I might talk about are here:

Feel free to explore other student blogs by going to the class blog and clicking on the links in the sidebars.