What is a blog?
A Blog or Web Log is, “a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer (www.merriam-webster.com). A blog is “a web page consisting of a series of entries, or posts, listed in reverse-chronological order” (Ekdale, Fung, & Perlmutter, 2010, p.218).
According to Ekdale et al (2010), people blog to:
- document one’s life and experiences
- provide opinion or commentary
- express emotions in writing
- articulate ideas in writing
- form and maintain community forums for discussion
Types of Blogs
Blogs have been used for a number of different purposes:
- Personal – Some people record their thoughts and ideas in a blog.
- Travel – Instead of writing a paper journal, some travelers record their journey using a blog to keep track of where they have been, to reflect upon what they have seen, or where they would like to visit next.
- Political – journalists, writers, and students have used blogs to argue, debate, present different points of views, and exchange political ideas and different points of view.
- Education – teachers and students are now using blogs as a teaching aid or learning tool.
- Other – there are blogs about cooking, how to be a mother, how to buy a car, hobbies, famous people, sports, etc.
Popular Free Blog Websites
There are a number of free blog sites that anyone can sign up for free: http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/best-free-blogging-sites/#!zftCg
All you have to do is have access to a computer and the Internet to create an account and start making posts to your blog. If you have questions, there are help support features, such as video tutorials, text instructions, and contact e-mails that you can access to show you how to establish and maintain a blog.
Education and Blogs
As discussed in Meinecke et al (2013), “blogs and similar forms of online discussion groups are becoming increasingly popular as an educational technology for teaching and learning” (Meinecke, Smith, and Lehmann-Willenbrock, 2013, p.429). Within the educational context, blogs can be used to:
- Reflect upon concepts and theories discussed in class
- Promote discussion between groups of students, and students and teacher
- Organize and archive information related to a specific topic or project
- Teach learning content
Ekdale, B., Namkoong, K., Fung T. and Perlmutter, D. (2010). Why blog? (then and now): exploring the motivations for blogging by popular American political bloggers. New Media Society, 12(1), 217-234. doi: 10.1177/1461444809341440
Meinecke, A., Smith, K., and Lehmann-Willenbrock, N. (2013). Developing Students As Global Learners: ”Groups in Our World” Blog. Small Group Research. 44(2), 428-245. doi: 10.1177/1046496413487020
– James Cantafio