Week 07: Blogs RSS Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • David William Price 10:41 am on October 27, 2011
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    Last week I had two conferences and a major assignment…. apologies for the late post. DAY 1: COMPUTERS CAN SCAFFOLD STUDENTS TO IMPROVE BLOG VALUE I’m not a teacher so I don’t have a classroom. I am a teaching assistant for an online second-year university course. One article I read found that students tend to […]

    Continue reading Blog Week Post Posted in: Week 07: Blogs
    • Deb Kim 5:28 pm on October 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thank you for posting. Although it is late, your post is appreciated as it will help our group. We are planning to organize and publish the final thoughts and ideas by the end of this week.
      Thank you.


  • Alice 10:02 pm on October 23, 2011
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    One of the things that was brought up this week – I think by Kyle – is how posts in this particular format get quickly buried. Indeed, thanks to a busy week topped off by food poisoning, my own post was buried before I had an opportunity to reply to people’s thoughtful comments – and […]

    Continue reading This one’s for the sewists (pushing up comments from my earlier post) Posted in: Blog Café, Week 07: Blogs
    • Deb Giesbrecht 7:39 am on October 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      I really appreciate your openness and honesty in regards to these activities. I totally agree that blogging is not a useful activity for all students and I am uniquely aware of your concerns with the issue. I too find this way of delivering course material challenging – it is easy to get lost in all the information and even when sorted – I stil find it challenging. I find it interesting your dichotomy between your thoughts about blogging, anonymity and yet your actions/choices to participate. I have participated in clinical trials previously and anonynmity (particularly about health issues) is beyond vital. There are so many concerns when interacting with the Internet ( I am not trying to be one of those ‘old’ people that students have identified in their previous posts), but have seen first hand the damage that can be done when security, privacy and personal identification collide in public spaces.

    • Tamara Wong 6:30 pm on October 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for the new post up here! I’m glad you did it because as you said it might have gotten lost down below. First I’d like to say thanks for posting your sewing blog! I’ve never actually been to it but I am positive I’ve seen one of your projects posted elsewhere – u-create perhaps? You are very talented!!
      Second, thanks for providing a unique perspective on a subject you are clearly well versed in! I like what you said about using a pseudonym because you are not alway 100% you can stand behind something. I feel the same way but hadn’t though of using a different name to explore my thoughts – I just didn’t write them. I think your way is a little more creative and probably yields more results in the problem solving department.
      I also understand your point about having a searchable name. I am not sure if I’d be so free to use my name if I hadn’t changed my name when I got married. I went from being the only one in the world with my name (a combo of different names from different languages) to being one in many many Tamara Wongs. I feel the relative anonymity of my more common name gives me a little more freedom when it comes to signing my name on something on the internet.


    • themusicwoman 8:51 pm on October 25, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Dear Allie,

      Wow. Your post really resonated with me on a couple of levels. I’m about a week behind on this course (apology to last week’s amazing group!) and about three weeks behind in life but am madly trying to catch up!
      Firstly, I agree with your sense of blogging as a here and now thing. As much as I used to believe that it could be a tool for those students who were not as extroverted as others, I find that it’s still the same more outgoing ones that post and others who may have more insight in their comments get “buried” in the onslaught if they are not quick on the draw at a certain time. You’ve made me think.
      Secondly, writing under another name is a great tool and I’ve used it in my English classes. The anonimity allows a sense of creativity without the stigma of “who” it is. However, that being said, I am using this in a grade 9 English class where hormones are the driving force 🙂 My students and I talk about the identity of the writer and if that makes a difference. I usually also talk about our presence on the internet which is something you also mentioned.
      So, thirdly, the whole privacy thing. And being searchable. I think Tamara mentioned something about going from being very distinguishable to one of many many Tamara Wongs. I went the other way with my name now being the second hit when searched in Google. (Now there’s a scary thought!) Your comments (and others) have just made me think more.

  • mcquaid 4:39 pm on October 23, 2011
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    Things have been pretty busy, here in the cloud for the last few days, so I didn’t get to do my fifth post on the right day. Here it goes now: As for my own blogs, there is nothing really to show for moment that is either impressive or content-appropriate. I have my school site, […]

    Continue reading Day 7 is the new Day 5… + Market Thoughts Posted in: Week 07: Blogs
    • jarvise 5:34 am on October 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      You’re right about the lack of comments being discouraging. Someone else commented earlier in the week on the effect of negative comments too. It would be interesting to examine the psychological implications of blogging. Whenever I post a comment on CBC, I’m always obsessed with how many ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ I get. Then I try to analyze why people wouldn’t like what I said. Its crazy how we get caught up in it. Maybe a venture focusing on the future of blogging might be a self-help site on how to handle feedback (or lack thereof). Perhaps it could link back to some old Jack Handy quotes.


  • jarvise 9:21 am on October 23, 2011
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    Blogging offers lots of benefits, but the ‘getting started’ learning curve can be intimidating (even if its not). When I talk to other teachers about blogging, they say that its something they are interested in, but haven’t had time to investigate and learn about it enough to get started. I think a great product geared […]

    Continue reading education blogging market… Posted in: Week 07: Blogs
    • Allie 8:12 pm on October 23, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Emily,
      I think your template idea is a great one – it sounds much like how the MS Office suite has different templates for different kinds of documents.
      I also agree with you that there can be a really steep learning curve for blogs. Not only technologically (e.g. how do i get this thing looking good), but also in learning how to effectively write for the web (short sentences, short paragraphs, content-rich).

      • jarvise 5:29 am on October 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        True about effective use – I often think that its a matter of people not knowing where to start. Sometimes there can be too much information out there to quickly wade through. Consideration of your purposes can help a lot; something beyond ‘i want to get kids to write more…’


  • Angela Novoa 8:58 am on October 23, 2011
    0 votes

    My experience through MET has shown me that blogs can be effective learning environments that support or integrate other learning spaces. I have experienced blogs as tools that support other settings of instruction (e.g. face-to-face and LMS). I would not consider blogs as an entire LMS, because from my expperience, LMS platforms such as Moodle […]

    Continue reading Coclusion Posted in: Week 07: Blogs
    • Deb Kim 6:07 pm on October 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thank you for the conclusion.
      You made a good point that blogs cannot be considered as LMS as they deliver contents which are different from WebCT/Vista. Throughout many of the Week 7 posts, I realize that many people preferred Vista over a blog for ETEC courses. I like the opportunity of being able to use a blog as one of my ETEC courses. This way, I can compare and experience differences rather than read what people have written about the comparison of the use of blogging to WebCT/Vista.
      Once again, thank you for participating in the discussion.


  • ifeoma 8:16 pm on October 22, 2011
    0 votes

    Like every venture, blogging is no different when it comes to audience demographics. Remember your audience (customer) is the venture. You must know your audience and create content and use language that they can relate to. Identify your customer (audience) Your customer goals + blog business goals= success Provide a summary of expectations Keep it […]

    Continue reading On days 3 and 4- tips/ Room to grow Posted in: Week 07: Blogs
    • bcourey 3:40 am on October 23, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Great point that your audience is your venture. So when we are creating educational blogs, who are we targeting – educators, the students, or maybe their parents – I expect that there are not many educators who would consider a blog for parents – One of the vidoe links on the Day 2 Content page shows a teacher who created a community blog from her classroom – thinking outside the classroom for a classroom blog is not a common activity. I also like your suggestion of a menu structure that would make quicker access to the content. Thanks for the link!

  • David Berljawsky 9:55 am on October 22, 2011
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    Well, I feel that I’m being repetitive in my opinion, but privacy is a huge concern of mine, but I will save that for another time. My concern with blogs is honesty. I have used blogs in classes before with overall positive results. However, I have come across some issues that need to be addressed, […]

    Continue reading Blogging Concerns in Education Posted in: Uncategorized, Week 07: Blogs
    • jenaca 11:08 am on October 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi David,
      Thank you for your post and I agree that privacy, honesty and civility are major concerns when it comes to blogging. I think students do need supervision as we all know face-to-face is not the same as hiding behind a computer, so I agree that cyber-bullying and other kinds of “free thought” are things we as educators, parents and adults should be aware of.
      You pose a good question, how are we supposed to know that others opinions are genuine? As it is always hard to tell through text and text alone. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

    • Jason Lam 12:29 pm on October 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Dear David,

      I think the problem is that when your students are posting replies to your posts or creating their own is that everyone knows who they are. It would be a form of social inhibition. A factor you should consider is the size of your classes. How big are they? Big enough to fill a lecture theatre or just enough for a small classroom in Buchanan?

      A solution (albeit unwieldy) is to let students create their own pseudonyms and email/private message you them and their real counterparts. They won’t feel as pressured by their peers to conform to any ideas the majority may agree on. However, they may feel that there is a certain answer that you want to hear from them.

      If you’re looking for answers as truthful as possible, you may want to consider anonymity. Although the disadvantage (not knowing who’s contributing what) is obvious, there is a lower probability of retracting one’s statements and being truthful.

      Take me, for instance. I’m a student, though not one of yours, which is why I’m being as frank as I possibly can with you. If you were one of my current instructors, I would most certainly think of what I’m saying before posting it on the Net, because as everyone knows, once it’s on the Net, it’s out there for good. Unless you delete right after you post it (and even then), you’ll have no choice but to watch as your post gets bombarded by replies that will embarrass you and make you retract into a figurative shell.

      Cyberbullying… well, that’s the downside of the anonymity solution I posted above, the GIFT. While not exactly inversely proportional, there is a somewhat negative correlation between truthfulness and civility. Best to consider the options you have and what you’d prefer.

    • bcourey 2:21 pm on October 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks David for bringing this subject up – there is indeed a risk that students will not express their opinions honestly because they may worry about what others might think…but this does not just pertain to online blogging. Think of the number of times in regular classrooms (I am thinking of K-12 here) that student work is posted for all to see – students are expected to express their opinions and present arguments with evidence to back up their stance all the time. So I am not sure that a blog would be a scarier place for expressing opinions – we teach our students to always express their opinions (even when they are expressing a strong disagreement-or giving peer feedback) in a respectful but honest manner – it takes a long time for students to get used to this, but it does work. I know that we often use anonymous surveys as a means to get feedback from a group, but we should teach our students to stand up for themselves, be advocates – and also be gracious when on the receiving end of criticism or an opposing view.

    • Deb Giesbrecht 7:21 am on October 23, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I have the same concerns. Honesty though, in a blog takes on a different meaning- I think we can be dishonest in all our endeavors and not just blogging. However, it is far more challenging to be honest if you are writing your classmates and everyone in the world, or just your educator. Bullying and civility are major issues – and can always be a bit stressful in dealing with the consequences of having public spheres.

    • Allie 8:25 pm on October 23, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      In pointing out that students need supervision, you point to something important about using blogs in education – it takes a *lot* of time to monitor online activity. I’m lucky that with my university students (I’ve used wikis, not blogs – but similar deal), I merely need to let them know that I expect them to be kind, cool and respectful. I imagine that with younger students, there’s a lot more behaviour modification – esp online behaviour- that one would have to engage in.

  • kstooshnov 9:12 am on October 22, 2011
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    Tags: , , WebCT   

    As many classmates may agree, switching from the WebCT format used in a majority of MET program courses to the current UBC blog has been a subtle shift from the usual way of posting and responding to others.  Which of the two offer a preferred educational experience, similar to what we as teachers can provide […]

    Continue reading WebCT vs. UBC Blogs Posted in: Week 07: Blogs
    • Allie 8:34 pm on October 23, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      You raise a lot of important points – and I especially appreciate your point about the older posts disappearing. The LMS discussion boards seem to allow a wider number of conversations to be going on at the same time.
      Something I do appreciate about writing for the ocean is that I take a little more care in thinking through my posts than I might do on WebCT.
      *as for the ‘my grade’ feature – when one is a prof designing a webCT site, one gets to pick and choose which features one wants to include; sometimes you might click on a bunch of features that you might use, but don’t end up using. I expect that one of the reasons the gradebook isn’t often used is because most of us keep a private gradebook on excel or whatever, and it’s just another task to input grades onto WebCT.

  • Everton Walker 7:46 am on October 22, 2011
    0 votes

    There could be a feature where we can access individual posts easier instead of sifting through all the posts for that particular week. Also, there are many interesting plugins available for wordpress that are not being used. I guess because we are adults, we should be able to cope with what is being presented. Then […]

    Continue reading Conclusion Posted in: Week 07: Blogs
    • Deb Kim 7:53 am on October 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Wow, 99 ways to improve blogging? This site is great. Thank you for the tips:) This will help improve my blogging for sure. I use WordPress for my teaching, but there are many features in Dashboard that I haven’t used or don’t know how to use. It’ll definitely give me some ideas of the ways to improve my class blogs. Thanks!


    • Everton Walker 8:06 am on October 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      No worries man. I have recently applied some of those tips and they really make blogging much easier. Every now and again I test new features and plugins but time is really not on my side to explore deeper.


    • Angela Novoa 7:09 pm on October 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Everton, thanks for sharing! I found interesting installing a “Top Commentators Plugin” (#23). Certainly this would promote students’ participation and motivation.



    • hall 4:40 am on October 23, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Everton,

      I found that link on “99 ways to improve your blog” to be very useful, thank you. Check out this link http://www.goodwebpractices.com/other/wordpress-vs-joomla-vs-drupal.html

    • khenry 4:02 pm on October 23, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Everton,
      I agree that finding a better way to track/navigate posts would improve the experience. One way I would suggest is to create a new page for each week of activities on which posts could be collated for each topic according to that week/topic, even though I suspect that categorising posts is to achieve such tracking an organisation. It is really the user interface that I am most interested in. Depending on one’s needs one has to choose the features that suits them most and as such choose by characteristics of the tool being used. In addition to Conroy’s link I found this one useful in assisting with such choices http://edublogs.org/why-edublogs/#comparisons.


  • khenry 10:36 pm on October 21, 2011
    0 votes

    My reflections on days 1-5, which I prefer to present all together as a blog preference for centrality and easy of tracking responses. Day1 I currently use blogging as a way for students to answer posted questions on course content per module, making an original blog post and commenting on posts of others. They also use […]

    Continue reading My reflections on days 1-5, which I pref… Posted in: Week 07: Blogs
    • Deb Kim 12:00 am on October 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      Thank you for your insightful comments to each day’s question. Your question in Day 5 also makes me wonder if “reducing and/or eliminating the public sphere and increased community participation to blogging” reduces some of the issues, in particular privacy and security issues, that blogging possesses. For example, a blog that’s marked private can be exposed by one of the members from the list. I marked my blogs private so that only my students can participate. But as some students do share their ID and password with their friends who are not in my class, the class blog that I created for them can unintentionally be exposed. We, as educators, should give our students proper training and educate them about blogging etiquette and unspoken rules before blogging.


    • khenry 7:08 am on October 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Deb,
      Thanks for your comments. The extension and sharing of passwords and IDs is a significant point in security considerations indeed. The media we communicate with/manipulate carry their own etiquette indeed and with more and more use of technology in education courses have to subsume additional training that reflect the type of media and/or communicatuiion systems. Etiquette, security, social and personal responsibility are all tpoics taught within my information technology course but needs to be subsumed in all courses as technology use becomes more prevalent. Teachers’ roles and responsibilities as well as knowledge of such will become integral to the teaching and learning process.

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