The term Blog was coined from the two words “Web Log”. A blog is normally an independent website, or even a section of another website. The main feature that distinguishes blogs from other websites is their interactive nature. In a blog, entries are made of events, graphics, video, commentary etcetera (Williams, 2004).
Types of blogs
There are three main types of blogs:
- Student blogs. These are blogs that are created by students, and on which fellow students can post their contributions. They operate like debates and discussions.
- Teacher blogs. These are blogs created specifically for use by teachers and students. Teachers can post assignments, advice on how homework should be completed, and even information for parents (eHow, 2010).
- Freelancer blogs. These are blogs created by bloggers who are neither teachers nor students. These blogs give students an opportunity to make use of the networks established by the blogs.
Uses of blogs as a learning technology
Blogs have been used in a number of ways as learning tools. One such use of blogs is the use of blogs as reference materials. This happens with topics that are hard to trace in the library, and on the internet. A student may be required to discuss the appropriateness of the decisions that the government has taken on the Libya crisis. In this case, it will be difficult to find scholarly sources on the internet, and it will even be more difficult to find materials in the library. In this case, blogs will come in handy as bloggers respond in a timely manner to contemporary issues.
Another main use of blogs in learning is in cases where students post contributions to a blog created in institutions. This way, the students are enabled to share their ideas on an issue without necessarily spending time to convene. This has been a very common phenomenon in institutions of higher learning. The students also get substantial motivation, because their ideas can be read by more people, as contrasted to the classroom environment in which contributions by a student may only be read by the tutor.
Blogs have also been very useful for busy students who during exam time, may not gave time to catch up with news. This can be seen as a learning function since, for effective learning, a student needs to have knowledge of real successes and failures occurring worldwide in their fields of study.
Other uses of blogs that can be viewed as educative include:
- Most students use the blogs on the internet to argue out their views on contemporary topics. This makes the students to develop a writing culture that makes them better students. It can thus be argued that blogs shape the writing skills of students to some extent (“On my mind”, 2011).
- In blogging, it is possible to establish networks. Through these networks, students can share learning materials, or even assist each other in academic matters.
There are a number of popular blogs. These blogs cover virtually all realms of life. For instance, there are media blogs, educational blogs, technology blogs, etcetera.
The following is a list of some of the most popular blogs:
- Weblogg-ed – This is an example of an educational blog. Follow the link below to see how it is.
- Engagets – this is an example of a technology blog.
- Another example of a technology blog is TechCrunch.
- The Huffington Post is an example of a media blog.
- Another example of a blog is Perezhilton.
Creating a Blog
Although creating a blog may sound to be a reserve of the technologically savvy, creating a blog is pretty easy. It can, in fact, it is possible to create a blog in less than an hour. The first step in creating a blog is to look for a free and good software with which to set up the blog with.
Examples of available blog software include:
- Blogger etcetera
Next, in the creation of a blog, is the registration of a blog account using the software. After successfully creating a blog account using the blog software, customize your blog by selecting the settings that you want to use in your blog. These settings are settings for the theme of the blog, the domain name of the blog, and other similar settings.
After customizing your blog, you are ready to go! You can now start blogging.
Gunelius, S. (2011). How To Create a Blog for Free in 4 Easy Steps.
Thomas, M. (2009). Using Blogs to Enhance Learning. Web.
Williams, J. (2004). Exploring the Use of Blogs as Learning Spaces in the Higher Education Sector. Journal of Educational Technology.
eHow. (2010). Blogs as Learning Tools.
On my mind. (2011). Valuing Change.