Educational Blogging

Blogging for Educational Purposes

This partial period we will start to look at social software, also called Web 2.0, and how it can be used in the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

Web 2.0 applications are different from the original Web applications because they allow users to create and share content easily. In the new Web, everybody can participate and share.

We will start by looking at Blogs and look at the possibilities for using them in EFL teaching.

A Blog is a web page with regular journal entries. Using Blogs in learning can be very motivating for EFL students and convenient for teachers.  They are free and easy to set up. They can be open to the public, or can be available only to a select group. This  choice brings up important considerations about Privacy and the use of Personal Information. We will talk more about this later.

Different ways of using Blogs in the EFL class

Blogs can be used be created and used by the teacher and/or the learners. They can be used to connect learners to other communities of learners, for example to a class in another country. The ideas and content can be created by learners, either individually or collaboratively.

A Blog can be set up by a student to keep a diary where they post content (text, audio, video) about any topic. It is especially useful for getting students to reflect on their own learning process. Blogs can also be used for a student project on a certain topic. Blogs allow usually allow comments from other students / teacher. So feedback and starting an online discussion are easy.

A Blog can be set up for a whole class, and can be used as a space for a class project

A Blog can be set up by a teacher to provide students with news and comments, extra reading and listening practice, online links, a summary of the class for students who did not attend, study tips etc.

Advantages of using Blogs in EFL teaching 

Blogs are a real world tool for learners to practice their written English as well as way of creating a community of learners. One consideration is correction. Published work should be as accurate as possible, but this correction should not interfere with the creative process too much. Students should not feel inhibited. The teacher must make decisions about how and when to correct.

Blogs can also be a good way to assess students learning. They can be used as a place to keep e-portfolios. Students collect evidence of their English language production (Writing, presentations, videos, audio, images) and this can be used to evaluate their learning. It is important that the teacher gives clear evaluation criteria in areas like accuracy, fluency, coherency, relevance as well as presentation, length and netiquette.

Teacher Blog

Student Blog

Class Blog

Set homework

Personal and family information, including photos. Beware of Privacy Issues!

Reactions to films, articles, class topic, current affairs

Provide a class summary

Extra writing practice on class topics

Things learners like and don’t like doing in class

Provide links to extra reading / listening material

Regular comments on current affairs

A class project.

Research and present information on a topic

Tips and study guides

A photo blog on a country, vacation, town etc.

Creating your own Blog

This partial period you will need to create and maintain a WordPress Blog. Let’s start by finding out the basics.This is  a short video to get you started.

This video is much more detailed. It is a little long, but if you want to become a WordPress expert it is worth watching.

To sign up for WordPress and to get an introduction, go to this page.

A good place  for WordPress tutorials in Spanish is this site.Finally,here is a pdf tutorial in Spanish.

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