Sloan-C Online Workshop on
Web 2.0 in Higher Education

Blogger "Assignment"

Your "assignment" for the Sloan-C online workshop is to create and publish your own blog.

[from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog]

“A blog (a contraction of the term “weblog”) is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.”

“Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (artlog), photographs (photoblog), sketches (sketchblog), videos (vlog), music (MP3 blog), and audio (podcasting).”

There is a new blog created online every second.  The “blogosphere” reaches a huge number of readers around the world and provides us with great opportunities for sharing in higher education.  In general, blogs are divided into three categories, with many variations and permutations of each type: If you are a complete newbie to blogging, you might want to go to http://www.blogger.com/tour_start.g and take the tour – to learn about blogs and blogging.


You First Need to Have an Account with Google

Blogger.com provides FREE software to create blog postings, and Blogspot.com provides FREE hosting for your blog.  Both of these companies are owned by Google, and you need to have a FREE account with Google to create your login at Blogger.com.

If you have an account with Google, skip the rest of this section and go on to the next section.

If you don't have an account with Google, go to http://www.google.com/ and click on the "Sign in" link in the upper right of the window:

Scroll down until you see the link "Create an account now" - and click on this link:

Enter all of the information that is requested. The e-mail address that you enter and the new password that you select will be used to login to your Google account.  Finally click on the button "I accept.  Create my account."

Now that you have created a Google account, you can go on to the next section.

Create Your Blog at Blogger.com

This section assumes that you have an account with Google.  Go to the Blogger.com website at http://www.blogger.com/ and enter your login information - then click on the "Sign In" button:

You will view the Blogger Dashboard.  If you have any existing blogs in Blogger.com, you will be able to access them from the Blogger Dashboard.  Assuming that you don't yet have a blog, click on the "Create a Blog" link:

Next, you will be asked to name your blog and select a URL (web address) where you want to publish your blog.  You should select a name that will describe the focus of your blog, as well as a name that is unique.  In this example, the name "burks-on-learning" was selected - and the blog will be published at:

http://burks-on-learning.blogspot.com/

Click on the "Check Availability" link to see if this URL is available.  Finally, click on the "Continue" arrow to go on to the next step.

You next will be asked to choose a template for your blog.  Don't worry, if you don't like the way that it looks when it is published, you can go back and select a different template.  After you have selected a template, click on the "Continue" arrow to go on to the next step.

At this point, you will see that your blog has been created - and you now are ready to go on and make your first blog posting.  Simply click on the "Start Posting" arrow to continue.

You will view the on-screen WYSIWYG editor in Blogger.  Enter a title for your blog posting, then type in the text of your posting (you also can add images, hyperlinks, etc.).  Finally, when you have completed your blog posting, click on the "Publish Post" button to publish your blog posting to your account at Blogspot.com:

You will receive a message that your blog post was published successfully.  You can can click on the "View Blog" link to view your blog posting (it will be published at Blogspot.com):

At this point, you are done!  Give yourself a pat on the back!

When you want to make a new blog posting, simply go back to Blogger.com and login.  You will view your Blogger Dashboard.  Click on the "New Post" link to bring up the editor (and follow the steps outlined above):

At some point, you can go back to your Blogger Dashboard and edit your profile.


At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Prof. Lanny Arvan is teaching an introductory economics course, in which all students are blogging on a weekly basis.  See the following on Prof. Arvan's blog:

http://design-eff-chnge.blogspot.com/search/label/4.%20Syllabus

Scroll down to the post Online Writing.  The read the two posts that follow it, Writing Style and Writing to Learn Reflections - those posts describe his approach to student blogging. His student blogs are accessible via the sidebar on the left, so those can perused at one's leisure.  The students are commenting on each other's blogs as well, as you will see.


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last updated 29 September 2009