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 Week 3: Jan.28 -Feb. 3

Blogging: Off we go!




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





Task 1 - Understanding RSS


RSS is a big deal in the blogging classroom! But what is it all about?


a. Watch the video "RSS in Plain English" produced by The Common Craft Show.



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b. Read The Technology of Reading and Writing in the Digital Space: Why RSS is crucial for a Blogging Classroom by David Parry.


c. Write a blog entry on your blog reflecting on

  • what you understood and didn't grasp about RSS
  • why it is important in the classroom
  • how it could be helpful in your blogging experience


d. Check our Participants' blog posts on our Pageflakes and comment on the RSS topic in, at least, one blog.


e. Extra material:




Task 2 - Setting up your Aggregator



a. Choose Google reader and/or Pageflakes.


There are many other aggregators available on the Net.

We just chose these two possibilities to make it easier to work with the group and give you proper support in setting up your account and getting used to the aggregator.


b. Sign up for an account.



c. Go to our list of participants' blogs and add them to your aggregator (Google Reader or Pageflakes).


Watch the screencast on how to add the blogs' feeds on Pageflakes.


There are also screencasts on Google Reader - use Guest Login if challenged when accessing these materials

also, use 'Direct Link to this File' as an alternative. 

I'm also getting varying results in different browsers; IE may work best with wmv files.

Feed back to Vance on any access issues, thanks




d. Check some of the blogs and practice commenting on them.



Task 3 -  Understanding the Power of Tagging through the example of the Writingmatrix project


a. Read about


  • the concept behind the Writingmatrix project.

    (Although the authors ask that you not quote from this manuscript until it is officially published in the TESL-EJ in March, 2008, there are MANY links in the manuscript itself which you CAN use as you like.)



b. Watch the video WRITINGMATRIX: Motivating Students through Tagging


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c. Ask your questions related to tagging and the Writingmatrix project in our group blog.


Task 4 - Tag it!


a. Choose one of the topics below to write a post in your blog about:


  • Your country/city
  • Your teaching context
  • The view from your window
  • Reflections on learning
  • 5 things the other participants don't know about you (Access edtechpost for an example)


b. Tag your post with our unique tag for this session, blogging4educators, and for this activity, b4echallenge. Also, add other tags that make sense to you and are related to your entry.


c. Check Technorati for new posts that have been tagged blogging4educators and b4echallenge

These links will search blogs with 'any' authority:




Be sure your blog has been shared publicly. It may take a while for you to see your post there.

Also, you might consider pinging Technorati to alert them to your post by using David Warlick's Blog Tag Generator.


d. For comparison, do a search on these tags at http://blogsearch.google.com/


e. Based on the search results you got, comment on participants' blogs, connect, establish a dialog, experiencing the power of tagging and syndication.



Office Hours

 Monday, 28 JAN - Friday, 1 FEB

2100 - 2200 GMT or

Whenever available on Skype

  Cris Costa's Skype ID:



Live Session


Tags, RSS and the writingmatrix

Sunday, Feb 3rd,

at 16GMT.

Check your local time here.



Join us at WiziQ.


WiziQ tutorial.



Discussion of ways to connect blogs, thoughts and people in the blogosphere.

The Blogging Team will host the session.


Going Beyond with Tagging - Extra Task and Resources






Click here to check your work for week 3


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