Friday, October 31, 2003

Thinking and Writing Wrinkles:: "This weblog project is a log of the learning journey combining a group of ESL students and their native-speaking classmates in an elementary school. Students will collaboratively develop their abilities as speakers, listeners, readers, writers and thinkers using weblogs to write about topics of interest to them."

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

TeachingBlog: could I find a more boring name? This blog is intended to support the courses I teach and the research I do.

I've posted this before, but it's worth looking at again - it's a good example of a Tutor blog and what can be done with it.

Look what I've just found:

The Blog 500: top five hundred blogs according to Google
... 136. The Story of Feedster. 137. BLOG-EFL. 138. Morgaine LeFaye Net : Blog ...

Hold on, not so fast - it's an automated list of "the top 500 websites with "blog" in the URL" according to Google...

Saturday, October 25, 2003

O'Reilly Network: What We're Doing When We Blog [Jun. 13, 2002]:

"Blog posts are short, informal, sometimes controversial, and sometimes deeply personal, no matter what topic they approach. They can be characterized by their conversational tone and unlike a more formal essay or speech, a blog post is often an opening to a discussion, rather than a full-fledged argument already arrived at. "

"When the Web began, the page was the de facto unit of measurement, and content was formatted accordingly. the Web has matured, we've developed our own native format for writing online, a format that moves beyond the page paradigm: The weblog, with its smaller, more concise, unit of measurement; and the post, which utilizes the medium to its best advantage by proffering frequent updates and richly hyperlinked text. "

"What distinguishes a collection of posts from a traditional home page or Web page? Primarily it's the reverse-chronological order in which posts appear. When a reader visits a weblog, she is always confronted with the newest information at the top of the page."

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Thanks to Bee for telling me about her new blogject (hey, that sounds good), which is "A collaborative planning environment" and looks like a great example of using a blog to collaborate on a joint schools international project.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Online Learning Update

"Self-publishing tools are gradually finding their place in the Web these resources enjoy more attention than ever. This is in part due to the growing community of "bloggers": people who regularly post commentary to personal Web pages, usually targeting a particular readership. Blogging is making headlines as a powerful means of exposing socio-political issues (Shachtman, 2002; Reynolds, 2003) and as a mode of self-expression; in Iran, for example, blogging technology was viewed as capable of threatening national security and led to the arrest and imprisonment of a journalist (Delio, 2003). Other uses of blogging in online publishing have been described by Downes in articles (2000, 2003a) prior to his current Technology Source piece (2003b). In recent months, Penn State University's DEOS mailing list has been humming with observations about blogging's educational impact, and a new variant of the blog—known as a "wiki" (Godwin-Jones, 2003)—has emerged and been embraced by many online students, including my own. Something is certainly afoot."

Friday, October 17, 2003

Proficiency students blogs:

Here are the links to my Proficiency students' blogs, although they haven't written much yet:




Finished! Here is my adapted workshop:
ELT Weblog Workshop

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Some students from the Liceo Garibaldi in Naples, Italy have started their own weblog, although they seem to be spending more time posting to Bee Online. It's become active again, and is a great example of how a weblog is being used to promote intercultural exchange.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Blog workshop

I'm doing a blogging input session this Friday at the British Council in Barcelona, so I'm too tied up with that to post, but once I have the material, I'll make it available here.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Applications: Blogging By The Numbers: "While it is difficult to calculate exactly how many individuals are using Web sites as journals, Blogcount estimates that there are roughly 2.4 million to 2.9 million active Weblogs as of June 2003. "

Thursday, October 09, 2003

My comments: I've not been blogging much here lately because all of my classes have been starting up and that's taking up most of my time, although I have been blogging with them (surprise surprise), so I'll start posting the URL's and my comments up here before long.

One thing I will say, is that I have now got the introductory Blog class down to a fine art after doing it four times. It (obviously) takes more time with lower level learners, but a 90-minute class is ideal to get everything done. Here are some tips:

a) I take the class to a computer room and show them a couple of example blogs
b) I tell them that they're going to set up their own, individual (student) blogs and go to Blogger
c) They set up their blog and post and publish an introduction
d) Then I show them how to change the settings and ask them to invite me and one or two of their classmates to their blog.
e) If we have time, they accept the invitation and post to their classmates' blogs
f) Their homework is to go back and write something to their blog and to their classmates' blogs. I also join them and write some comments.

I now have the following groups blogging:

1) Proficiency 1 (British Council group)
2) Sound & Image Upper Intermediate group (Polytechnic subsidiary ESP group): They'll be using it as a platform to post their pictures and comment upon them. In the end, I chickened out and am going to use a coursebook with them as well.
3) Audiovisual Production/Direction Pre-Intermediate group (Polytechnic subsidiary ESP group):
4) Erasmus Catalan Culture group Blog (this is a class blog and is going well)

I'm going to tie them all together with a tutor blog (or a class blog) for each group - I'll add links to these later

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Firdamatic: the Design Tool for the Uninspired Webloggers

My comments: Just punch in your options, title and out comes your blog! An easy way to a new design. How long before it'll offer automatic postings too?