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Uses of Blogging for English Teachers
by Batya Medad


Blogging? What's a blog? A blog is a free internet site on which you can post (publish) articles, jokes, pictures, audio recordings and even videos. What's the difference between a blog and other internet sites that you might use for communicating with students and others? I think they're very similar.

I've been blogging for the past couple of years, and it has opened up an entirely new media of communications. Visit my blogs-- You'll see that each one is slightly different. However, if I were to do it again, I'd just have one.

http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/
http://samizdatblogfree.blogspot.com/
http://me-ander.blogspot.com/
http://shilohpics.blogspot.com/

Blogging has made me an "internet journalist." Via my blogging I've become acquainted with people all over the world, including other educators. I met them, for example, by participating in the Carnival of Education, an anthology or magazine of blog posts (articles) on education published by a California teachers group .

Here's a recent one--
http://calivewire.blogspot.com/2006/08/carnival-of-education-week-79-special.html

Or, if you're more interested in religion and politics, here's a link to the Jewish-Israeli Carnival, called Havel Havelim, a free blog sponsored by B Blogger
http://me-ander.blogspot.com/2006/07/kookie-kookie-lend-me-your-comb.html

Now, I hope that has made you want to open your own blog. I suggest that you use the blog server I use, since it's very simple. Here's the link:
http://www.blogger.com/start

User name and password:
Follow directions, and don't panic if they say that the name you wanted is already taken. All free blog sites ask you to sign in by choosing a "user name" and "password." You don't have to use your "user name" as the name of your blog.
Don't be too creative, or you'll forget them. In fact, it is a good idea to store this information in a Word document, or note in your e-mail program, or elsewhere.

Then you choose your template The template is your basic format, how your blog will look. You can choose from a variety, and they can be changed. That's how I got those great "banners" on the top of my blogs. Don't get so excited--I don't know how to do it: Some people I've met via blogging have helped me, or rather, done it for me.

Explore the various templates, and see which one might fit your needs.

So, for this first lesson, start a blog. Let me know when you've done it, and then next time, we'll go over ideas on how to use the blogs in the classroom.

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