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Session Outline









By the end of the workshop, workshop participants will have:

  • created a blog
  • posted and edited entries
  • commented on other blogs
  • tried team blogging (inviting members)
  • explored options for comment management
  • investigated possibilities for template personalization
  • compared different blog hosts
  • grasped the concepts of syndication (RSS) and tagging 
  • compared aggregators and other syndication tools
  • discussed the potential of blogging as a teaching tool in the English lesson and as a tool for professional development


Discussions will take place via a Yahoogroup, and at chat sessions (on Skype, Yahoo Messenger and Alado). Summaries of all these will be made available through the session wiki, collaboratively constructed during the workshop. This wiki is linked to the group blog and will be kept online for future reference.


Weekly readings and blogs by different ELL teachers and researchers will be recommended for modelling and reflection, and participants will be encouraged to discuss these at the group blog. Additionally, suggestions for readings for extension will be announced.


Synchronous communication: Office hours and live presentations will be held to discuss content and pre-defined topics, provide technical support, build rapport and create a sense of community. Chat logs and recordings of the live sessions will be made available through the session wiki.


Weekly content


Week 1: Getting Started


During the first week of the course, participants will:


  • exchange introductions and become familiar with the group environments
  • try tools for synchronous communication to be used during the workshop
  • add themselves to the group map
  • answer a survey to determine their previous experience with blogging
  • visit the group blog and add a comment on their goals for the session
  • discuss the concept of blogging (and distinguish it from "website"  and wiki )   
  • explore recommended blogs and reflect upon these models


  Extension: Blogging for ELT - Different kinds of blogs


Week 2: Understanding and Starting a Blog


During this week, participants will:


  • get to understand blog jargon
  • open an account at Blogger or Wordpress
  • choose a theme for their blog
  • edit their blog profile
  • consider moderation options for the comment area
  • consider adding word verification in the comment area to avoid spam
  • post their first entry to their own blog
  • add a comment in the group blog defining the purpose of their edublogs and the target audience
  • understand the basics of tagging and tag their first post
  • edit and format their entries
  • add images and links to their blog entries
  • enter their blogs in a database of participants' blogs


Extension: The World of Microblogging in Twitter




Week 3: Blogging: off we go!


During this week, participants will:


  • familiarize themselves with the basics of syndication
  • choose an Aggregator and open an account to keep track of each other's blogs(suggestions: Google reader, Bloglines, Pageflakes, Netvibes, Protopage)
  • explore recommended blogs and reflect upon these models
  • comment on other participants' blogs
  • understand the concept of tagging
  • learn about the writingmatrix, a collaborative international project
  • explore the possibilities of establishing connectivity through tagging and syndication


Extension: Tagging - Going Beyond with Vance Stevens



Week 4: Making your Blog Unique



During this week, participants will:


- focus on Content: 


  • Explore approaches to help students develop their blog content.
  • Understand the importance of Networking and reading other Blogs in Education
  • Focus on their blogging tone and uniqueness


- focus on Design:


  • Add files (audio or other types) to their entries
  • Identify the main areas in blog templates and their functions
  • Learn the basics of HTML code in order to provide a personal touch to their blog templates, embed multimedia widgets and  in their blogs, and/or any other useful applications which will fulfill the participants' blogging purposes


Extension: Useful tips to template customization

                  Learn about Edubloggers' Communities ( eg. http://edubloggerworld.ning.com/  and others)



Week 5: Involving Students in Blogging


During this week, participants will:


  • identify the steps involved in getting students to blog
  • study several cases of class blogging and reflect upon what determines the success of such experiences
  • debate whether teachers should correct students' postings
  • compare alternative ways to respond to students' postings
  • consider ways in which blogs can be used to facilitate communication outside the classroom
  • identify ways to find collaborative partners and audiences for their blogging classes


Extension: Successful Class Blogging - Blog pedagogy




Week 6: Rounding Off


During this week participants will:


  • Discuss the challenges of blog integration into their teaching contexts
  • Plan and share blogging projects for the year 2008
  • Assess their own learning and evaluate the workshop
  • Ponder over the future of blogging (Optional)



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