Blog as defined by Wikipedia is a truncation of the expression Web Log

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'Blogging what I knew before, what I know now, how my teaching will be affected by it. Also identify any issues students may have with completing assignment such as this'.

A Blog as defined by Wikipedia is a truncation of the expression Web Log. It is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries "posts" typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first). The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barge on 17 December 1997. The short form, "blog", was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog in April or May 1999.

There are many types of blogs which are used for many different functions and they are as follows:

  1. Personal blogs: The personal blog is an ongoing diary or commentary written by an individual.

  2. Micro blogging: Micro blogging is the practice of posting small pieces of digital content which could be text, pictures, links, short videos, or other media on the Internet.

  3. Corporate And Organizational Blogs: are used to enhance the communication and culture in a corporation or externally for marketing, branding or public relations purposes.

  4. By Genre: Some blogs focus on a particular subject, such as political blogs, health blogs, travel blogs also known as travelogs, gardening blogs, house blogs, fashion blogs, project blogs, education blogs, niche blogs, classical music blogs, quizzing blogs and legal blogs often referred to as a blawgs or dreamlogs. Two common types of genre blogs are art blogs and music blogs. A blog featuring discussions especially about home and family is not uncommonly called a mom blog and one made popular is by Erica Diamond who created which is syndicated to over two million readers monthly. While not a legitimate type of blog, one used for the sole purpose of spamming is known as a Splog.

  5. By Media Type: A blog comprising videos is called a vlog, one comprising links is called a linklog, a site containing a portfolio of sketches is called a sketchblog or one comprising photos is called a photoblog. Blogs with shorter posts and mixed media types are called tumblelogs. Blogs that are written on typewriters and then scanned are called typecast or typecast blogs;. A rare type of blog hosted on the Gopher Protocol is known as a Phlog.

  6. By Device: Blogs can also be defined by which type of device is used to compose it. A blog written by a mobile device like a mobile phone or PDA could be called a moblog One early blog was Wearable Wireless Webcam, an online shared diary of a person's personal life combining text, video, and pictures transmitted live from a wearable computer and EyeTap device to a web site. This practice of semi-automated blogging with live video together with text was referred to as sousveillance. Such journals have been used as evidence in legal matters.

  7. Reverse Blog: A Reverse Blog is composed by its users rather than a single blogger. This system has the characteristics of a blog, and the writing of several authors. These can be written by several contributing authors on a topic, or opened up for anyone to write. There is typically some limit to the number of entries to keep it from operating like a Web Forum.

WOW!!!!!! Before embarking on this assignment, I knew the bare basics about blogging but after researching the topic I am astounded by the diversity of blogging. Blogging is in my opinion, a baby in the world of technology, that has grown by massive leaps and bounds. Blogging is now world wide and a tool that is used on almost any electronic media or device to spread or disseminate information.

The way that people have embraced blogging has also been an eye opener. Previously, I confined blogging to social networks and media such as facebook and twitter and I found it quite tedious and annoying because the constant tweeting and following people on instagram to share unwarranted information, thoughts and opinions I found to be quite exhausting, For example, one day, I decided to spend the entire day on facebook. I started at 8:30 am and by 5:00pm that afternoon, I was so agitated and emotionally drained, that I wondered how internet addicts could do it daily! Now don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed many pleasurable hours on facebook but the constant introduction of something new, reading people’s innermost thoughts, the compulsion to have to reply and share an opinion or like a status for hours on end was absolutely too much! So In my mind, I had generalized blogging as an “idle people’s pastime” strictly for entertainment.

My technological eyes have been opened and I now see that blogging can be a very useful and important tool. In this growing age of technological advancement, blogging can help you get out information at a much faster rate than printed media ever could and the only media forum in my opinion that can still compete with its characteristics would be the television which most people utilize.

I can definitely see blogging being used in teaching because teachers can set up discussions and have students log in and share their ideas in meaningful discourse. Students can also submit assignments via blogs and this makes it easier for everyone to be able to read access and comment on it. Therefore blogging can literally become a community and a very viable teaching tool. There can now be accountability for time and formats as records can be kept of every transaction and student’s participation can be monitored and measured.

The challenges that I can see with this method of teaching would be that, for the child who is not computer savvy, being able to manipulate the computer and find their way around it would be extremely difficult. If the student has no knowledge of url’s and hyperlinks and such it becomes very tedious and though the argument could be had that, every thing is available on the internet and one only has to look for it, imagine how painful it would be for a child to have to go to google to find out what a url is, then go to google to find out how to copy and paste a url. Then go to YouTube to find out where the hyperlinks in a computer are and how to maneuver them?

This type of teaching must be accompanied by the necessary pre-skills and teaching, so that in trying to attract the child, you do not inadvertently turn the child off of the idea completely. The idea is that using technology should be easier, effective and fun. I have some challenges with technology and it is very disconcerting at times to have to be looking at google and Wikipedia to get assistance with everything. It gets very frustrating, especially with dropping internet signals and slow computers. It is tantamount to telling a 3 year old to ride a 10 speed bike! For every subject pre-skills are necessary and as a teacher you have to cater for all the different leaning styles of your students and if a child is unable to properly operate a computer, blogging; a task which would be extremely easy for the child who is proficient on a computer, becomes challenge and a struggle for others.

I would definitely like to try this in my classroom but I would of course teach my children how to do it properly because one of the first things we learn as teachers is never to assume that children know or can automatically do, my job would be to meet them at the point that they are and take them further and as such I would definitely not leave it to chance that that would get help somewhere or be able to go to YouTube and watch a tutorial. That said, I am now a huge advocate of constructive blogging. I believe that if it is used appropriately, it is a powerful teaching tool and an excellent means of disseminating information and more teachers should get on board the blogging train.

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