Edublogs Teacher Challenges

Free professional learning for educators by educators.

Why Blog

The Teacher Challenge involves free professional learning challenges where educators are stepped through a series of tasks.

While many of the Teacher Challenges don’t relate to blogging, some of our activities encourage participants to publish posts on their experience on their own personal blog.

We’ve found that educators who develop blogging skills expanded them quickly to encompass a wide range of online technologies.

The purpose of this page is to provide background information on what is a blog and why blog for those new to blogging.

What is a Blog?

The term blog originated from the blend of the term “web log”.

Nowadays blogs compete with mainstream media in delivering news and information.  Important events, war coverage and celebrity deaths are often reported quicker and more accurately on blogs and Twitter than traditional news service.

Why?  Because any one can easily set up their own blog and share their thoughts (known as their voice) online.

Blogs are written on just about any subject and for a wide range of purposes, including personal, business, work and sharing news stories.

One of the biggest challenges educators new to blogging face is understanding the basics of how a blog works.

So we made this quick intro video to explain.

We’ve recommend you start by watching this video.

We’ve included explanations of key blogging vocabulary which will help as you work through this series including Footers, Headers, Menus, Pages, Posts, Comments, Sidebars, Theme and Widgets.

You can check it out on MediaCore here if you don’t have access to YouTube.

Why educators use blogs

The main reasons why educators use blogs include:

  • Share information and class news with parents, family and caregivers.
  • Provide students with a way to access assignments, homework, resources and information about their class online.
  • For global collaboration and authentic audience.
  • To inspire and motivate students.

The benefits of class blogging include:

  • Blogging opens up the possibilities of audience in new ways. When students are writing or publishing for an audience other the teacher, it impacts how they view what they doing and the intrinsic motivation they have.
  • Students love seeing their work on the Internet and adore getting comments from people. It motivates them to write as it gives them an audience that is real.  The blog opens up a whole new world of people who can offer encouragement and feedback.
  • The blogging experience forces the students to do more reflection on their learning and allows them to showcase products they have produced with online tools.
  •  Blogging provides an authentic educational experience, where what they write is not only seen and commented on by their teacher, but by their peers and the “public.” For most students, it’s a bit of extra motivation knowing their peers will see their work.
  • There is an authentic audience – a global audience – one that is willing to connect, share, challenge, discuss and communicate with classes. This audience can provide further information, opinions, suggest resources, seek answers to questions and so on which pushes blogging further.
  • Blogging develops a learning network. Exercise books etc need not be pushed and crumpled in school lockers only to be placed in the rubbish bins at the end of the school year, but student work is out there for their school lives.

Benefits from class blogging summarized from The State of Educational blogging in 2013.

Examples of educational blogs:

Here’s some examples of educational blogs to check out:

  1. Teachers Personal blogs:
  2. Class blogs:
  3. Other useful sites

15 comments for “Why Blog

  1. gfraher
    August 30, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Hi, I was having problems with embedding a Voki in my sidebar and realized that it was because I am not PRO-my school is working on getting us to that point. So, my question is how was I able to include a clustr map widget? Is that the only one that is allowed on the free version?
    http://gfraher.edublogs.org

  2. January 13, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this post. Thank you so much for sharing this information and publishing it.

  3. January 6, 2011 at 7:01 am

    I am very excited about being a participant in the Teacher Challenge. I just started blogging (for real this time) on August 31st. I tried several times before with students, but obviously I need some mentoring.

    My current blog focus is to assist teachers in their quest to integrate technology more effectively or attempt to integrate despite their stated barriers. I hope I can do a much better job at my blogging so teachers will begin to use it as a resource. But I also want to generate a student resource or as I heard the term a “online hub”

    Well it seems I’m in the right place and would like to thank the mentors ahead of time for being here to help us.

  4. Louise Leyden
    January 4, 2011 at 7:48 am

    This may be a dumb question, but should I set up a blog prior to doing the challenge? I am still waiting for my school to okay the funding of a blog (Using Pro option), but I could do a trial at this stage with the free blogging option.

    • January 4, 2011 at 3:34 pm

      Hi Louise,
      Will be good to start with the free as a personal blog then use the pro version for a class blog back at school.

  5. Heather Temske
    January 3, 2011 at 7:59 am

    I’m very excited about the challenge. I set up a blog at the beginning of the school year and I haven’t done anything with it. This is just what I need.

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