The School Administrators Guide to Blogging: A New Way to Connect with the Community

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But he also sees benefits to his own career. But I have a network of people that I know because they read and comment on my blog posts. Heard estimates that he averages three to four hours a week working on his blog, but acknowledges that some posts take longer than others. Still, he finds a way to fit blogging into his schedule. For Heard and others, the investment is worth it.

Saunders et al.

Open Sci. The most-read blog in the sample, Dynamic Ecology, has a median viewership of more than 40, views a month, whereas Scientists Sees Squirrel brings in around 10, views. Some of the most important impacts are also impossible to quantify. The paper notes that total strangers have walked up to Heard to thank him for a post that offers advice for introverts trying to cope with a conference.

Any study into the reach and impact of blogging will leave some unanswered questions, says Paige Brown Jarreau, a science-communication specialist at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge who blogs at From the Lab Bench. Still, blogs clearly have some reach.

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In a study that Jarreau co-wrote for Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly , 40 out of 43 randomly selected science bloggers reported getting more than 1, views within a few days for a typical post P. Jarreau and L. Porter Journal. Mass Commun. For the most part, those clicks were coming from colleagues or colleagues-in-the-making. For Marc Robinson-Rechavi, a researcher in bioinformatics at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, one motive for writing his blog was a desire to create a community of bloggers — and readers — in French most science writing online, including blogs, is in English.

His institution — a teaching-focused school that maintains a relatively low profile among researchers — recently wanted to hire an ecologist. His standing in the blogosphere has helped him in his own negotiations with the university, giving him the edge he needed to demand more support from his department.

Seeing the positive impact of blogging in his own career, McGlynn has decided to open up the opportunity to others. This spring, he plans to launch Rapid Ecology, a site that will feature blog posts from any scientist or science student anywhere in the world who wants to contribute. Contributors to Rapid Ecology will be limited to one post a month, meaning that anyone could give blogging a try without a huge commitment. Changes in the online landscape — particularly the social-media boom — have diluted the impact of blogging, argues Jeremy Caplan, director of education for the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism.

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Responding to the constant need for new content, say bloggers, can take tremendous discipline. Launching a blog can be daunting, says Stephen Heard, an evolutionary ecologist at the University of New Brunswick in Canada who runs his own blog, Scientist Sees Squirrel. Here are some tips:. Heard uses WordPress. For some pros and cons of different platforms, see go. Simply by commenting on other posts, would-be bloggers can make themselves known to the blogging community. Guest-posting on an established blog can be another way to get exposure, Heard says. Experiment with different headlines; use strong keywords that are practical and entertaining; and tweet your blog posts or put them on Facebook.

But they do build. Blogging does have potential pitfalls. Advanced feature The easiest way to keep track of a lot of learner blogs is to use the 'Site Feed' feature. You will need to use another piece of software called a newsreader or aggregator to read site feeds. Using a newsreader means your e-mail in-box won't become cluttered with posted messages from students publishing their weblogs.

Further reading Blog-efl. Graham Stanley, British Council, Barcelona. Need a little more help with your professional development? Find a training course for your needs. Help Log in Sign up Newsletter. Types of blogs used in language teaching Why blog? Where to start Tips for managing learner blog settings Keeping students interested Some ideas for activities Pitfalls to watch out for Advanced feature What is a blog?


  • The School Administrator's Guide to Blogging: A New Way to Connect with the Community.
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Types of blogs used in language teaching Aaron Campbell has outlined three types of blogs for use with language classes: The Tutor Blog is run by the teacher of a class. The content of this type of blog can be limited to syllabus, course information, homework, assignments, etc. Or the teacher may choose to write about his or her life, sharing reflections about the local culture, target culture and language to stimulate online and in-class discussion. In this type of blog, students are normally restricted to being able to write comments to the teacher's posts.

It is best used as a collaborative discussion space, an extra-curricular extension of the classroom. Students can be encouraged to reflect in more depth, in writing, on themes touched upon in class. Students are given a greater sense of freedom and involvement than with the tutor blog. It involves giving each student an individual blog. The benefit of this is that this becomes the student's own personal online space. Students can be encouraged to write frequently about what interests them, and can post comments on other students' blogs.

For examples, see the links to learner blogs from the class blog and tutor blog examples above. Here are some other reasons for using blogs: T o provide extra reading practice for students. This reading can be produced by the teacher, other students in the same class, or, in the case of comments posted to a blog, by people from all over the world. As online student learner journals that can be read by their peers. The value of using learner journals has been well documented.

Usually they are private channels between teacher and student.

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Using a blog as a learner journal can increase the audience. To guide students to online resources appropriate for their level. The Internet has a bewildering array of resources that are potentially useful for your students. The problem is finding and directing your learners to them.


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For this reason, you can use your tutor blog as a portal for your learners. To increase the sense of community in a class. A class blog can help foster a feeling of community between the members of a class, especially if learners are sharing information about themselves and their interests, and are responding to what other students are writing. To encourage shy students to participate. There is evidence to suggest that students who are quiet in class can find their voice when given the opportunity to express themselves in a blog. To stimulate out-of-class discussion.

A blog can be an ideal space for pre-class or post-class discussion. And what students write about in the blog can also be used to promote discussion in class.

The School Administrator's Dilemma: to blog or not to blog

To encourage a process-writing approach. Because students are writing for publication, they are usually more concerned about getting things right, and usually understand the value of rewriting more than if the only audience for their written work is the teacher.

As an online portfolio of student written work. There is much to be gained from students keeping a portfolio of their work. One example is the ease at which learners can return to previous written work and evaluate the progress they have made during a course. To help build a closer relationship between students in large classes. Sometimes students in large classes can spend all year studying with the same people without getting to know them well.

A blog is another tool that can help bring students together. Tips for managing learner blog settings Use the 'Settings' in Blogger to add yourself under Members as Administrator of the learner blog. This is invaluable if students later forget usernames or passwords, and can also help if inappropriate posts are published Make sure you change the setting and turn the 'Comments' feature on.

This will allow the others to respond to things the students write on their learner blogs. Also in 'Settings' , you will find an option to receive an email whenever a student publishes their blog. This will save you time regularly checking learner blogs to see if any of your students have posted. Another way of being informed of this is to use the 'Site Feed' function discussed further below.



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