Unit 1: All about blogs

The concept

One of the amazing ideas that underpins the web is that of self-publishing. From its earliest days, people and organisations have used the web as a way to communicate ideas, experiences, research, resources and news. All of us have benefited from this idea of people – not just big media organisations – publishing and sharing what they produce, learn, think, and make.

You can do it too. There are many ways to publish online, and we’ll look at several options in this course. Right now, we’ll focus on blogs.

Blogs have been around for more than a decade now, and there are many different kinds of blogs. This website, for example, is a blog, just like many other websites you use, even if they don’t look like it. There are blogs full of book reviews and technology updates and political news and gorgeous photography – think of a topic, and there’ll be dozens, perhaps thousands, of blogs about it.

But traditionally, a blog is an online journal or record and that’s the way we use blogs in the PLN course. You write a post, and people can reply or make a comment – don’t panic, it’ll mostly be us, other participants and people from the wider PLN community. It’s like a conversation that you lead.

In education, blogs can be used by classes, in libraries, for book groups or class projects, and to communicate with the wider school community.

In this (adorable) video, some young British students tell us what they get out of their class blogs.

The task

So now, as part of the PLN process, you’ll set up a blog.

Your blog is where you make entries about each unit, and it acts as your record of your learning. It’s also partly how we keep track of you, your progress and your challenges. You’ll post your reflections on your blog, and then send us the link (via Edmodo) so we can read what you’ve written.

This blog will also be shared with other PLN course participants, so they’ll be able to read your posts and comment, and hopefully you’ll read some of their posts and comment on their reflections. You can subscribe to those you find most interesting.

You may choose to keep using your blog after the PLN is over, you might start another blog for your school, or you might not. That’s up to you. But during the PLN you’ll become comfortable with blogging and also read and comment on other participants’ blogs.

Go to the next step: Create your own PLN blog.

Go back to Unit 1 Overview.