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  • David Vogt 9:57 pm on September 1, 2011
    15 votes

    Tags: Blogs,   

    According to Technorati, the blog count reached 70 million last year. Even though a quarter of them are most likely bot-created spam blogs, the quantity of content ‘in the cloud’ is still staggering. Blogs give everyone a voice to communicate, teach, spout opinions, learn and network. And with RSS technology, blog posts are quickly pushed […]

    Continue reading Blogs Posted in: Emerging Markets Poll
    • jenaca 12:11 am on September 7, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Blogs are a fabulous way to interact and communicate to others. This program is a great model to emphasis just how powerful blogs really are; communicating, learning and teaching others all through a site designed to do so.

    • bcourey 6:03 pm on September 7, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      In our blended learning projects in elementary and secondary schools we have found that the use of blogs with frequent interaction between students and between teacher and students has resulted in an improvement in writing skills of our students. Their feedback to each other, and the knowledge that the writing was going to be viewed by many resulted in a greater effort to improve the quality of work…this took time, but I am now convinced of the value of blogs (and wikis too) for this purpose.

    • David William Price 7:04 am on September 8, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I’m not a fan of blogs. Maybe it comes out of my background but I guess I’m a snob about writing and I prefer writing to meet standards of audience, purpose, utility, organization and entertainment, something editorial gatekeepers used to enforce.

    • Juliana 9:57 am on September 8, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I think blogs are a good way for students to express themselves, as long as it is carried out well in the classroom. I think that they are a good student reflection tool and they can help to highlight student learning.

    • Angela Novoa 1:14 pm on September 8, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Blogs can bring huge opportunities for promoting critical thinking skills and develop content through e-portfolios (eP). Schools and Universities in Chile are starting to integrate blogs in instruction as a tool that support the face-to-face setting of learning. So, it is a technology that educators are needing to use.

    • Deb Kim 7:32 pm on September 11, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I used a WordPress blog during summer school to upload course notes and important information (e.g. test/quiz info, etc.). I think there were some pros and cons, but overall was very successful. This year, I’m teaching Math in Tech Immersion Program and have created a course blog for my students. As regular school year is different from summer school and a new school year has just begun, I don’t know if it will be successful again. However, it’ll be a good experience for both my students and me.

    • Keisha Edwards-Hamilton 10:41 pm on September 11, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      A blog is an excellent tool in classrooms because I believe it provides increased access and exposure to quality information. It also promotes critical and analytical thinking which improves learning.

    • Everton Walker 9:03 pm on September 12, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      There no doubt that blogs are creating a serious wave across the internet and in the classroom. From current experience, students are showing a great liking for such an environment and the fact that their efforts are going global where others can view their end product.

  • mcquaid 4:39 pm on October 23, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: Blogs   

    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.


  • kstooshnov 9:12 am on October 22, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: Blogs, , 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.

  • Karen Jones 6:15 pm on October 20, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: Blogs,   

    Since we are using a blog for ETEC 522, what features do you think could be added to make our learning experience even better (keeping in mind we are adults, and our focus here is K-12 students)? Do you think there is room for another venture? What would move blogging from good to great? This […]

    Continue reading Anyone for a Vlog? Posted in: Week 07: Blogs
    • Deb Giesbrecht 6:50 pm on October 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I agree Karen – recordings do not necessarily give you the advantage of skimming without missing something. I have used voicethread in other classes and have found it quite user friendly. I think it has something to do with listening to the sound of your own voice that throws people off. I have noticed though you do have an option to use the video comment function on this blog! Maybe we could all try it at least once!

    • Juliana 9:14 pm on October 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks Karen for your post! I agree with you about written word verus spoken word. You can’t really skim through a speech 😉

      Although I do wonder if we defer to text because it is easily searchable for terms. Wouldn’t it be interesting if technology evolves and we can post videos or voice threads, but the computer can do a search for the spoken word? If technology does evolve in such a way, there is the possibility that we won’t be relying on text as much.


      • Karen Jones 8:13 am on October 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Great idea, Juliana! The technology to screen the spoken word has to be around, doesn’t it, no doubt developed as a way to monitor key words in spying applications!

        • khenry 10:09 am on October 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          Hello Karen I do believe the technology exists as well and if not as you presented at least elemnts of, for example speech recognition. What though of accents?

    • jenaca 12:08 am on October 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hey Karen, I also like to skim through the text versus having to listen to a voice repeatedly until I understand what is being said. However, that being said, I do think that using voice is a great way to change up the over used readings…I sometimes enjoy listening to the radio and hearing what is being said, versus reading the newspaper…Maybe for this class it would be useful to use both? The readings could summarize what the voice recording discussed?
      Just a thought

    • jarvise 8:11 am on October 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I’m with you on the skimming. I think it can be accomplished with audio, though. When I skim through a Blueray disk, the name of the ‘chapter’ will appear along the bottom. It would be a cool function (that could make someone some money) to create a skimming tool that highlights (in text) key words at different points along the audio or video track. I often will pass over a podcast if I can’t immediately (within the first few seconds) see that it will have something I’m looking for.

      There is definitely a place for audio and video in the context of different learning styles. Now to make it more user-friendly. Perhaps a word cloud generated through the audio clip, so we can see what the main points are going to be?



    • Doug Smith 12:23 pm on October 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I must admit that I’m not a big fan of vlog / voicethreads. I think there is a narcissistic trait inherent to them that turns me off. When someone creates a written blog post or comment, there are different ways that I can consume it, in terms of my setting, my timing, my environment. When it comes to a vlog, I get the feeling that it is all about the author/presenter. My consumption is now very much on their terms.

      While this likely does not represent the author’s purpose in creating a vlog, it is how I see it after it has passed through my own “Doug” filter.

      • khenry 10:38 am on October 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Doug,
        You raise some interesting points. Text indeed offers more neutrality but being a one way conversation implies even greater care (also with voice thread I suppose)) to avoid misinterpretation

    • Angela Novoa 1:42 pm on October 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Karen,

      i too agree. I was thinking that by providing different opportunities to fostering different skills we are intending to cover more students’ abilities for achieving the same learning outcomes. For example, those students who have difficulties on writing will have opportunities for enhancing their performance by integrating voice thread to writing (and vice versa).


    • mcquaid 3:10 pm on October 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Like Doug, I don’t think I would like a voice-only blog. It would seem like too much work, or that I was being forced to sit and listen instead of choosing to read what I wanted to.
      VoiceThread’s cool – I’ve used it before, too… but I wouldn’t blog with it. Plus, how would people with hearing loss do when they visited your site?
      I do think voice comments on a blog would be cool, though… to actually get a voice reply from an author when you make a comment? That’d be neat.

    • verenanz 8:32 am on October 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Karen,

      I helped my daughter’s kindergarten teacher create her class blog. She used voicethreads often to help the parents and students at home with pronunciation. Like you alluded to…not many people “answered” in an oral form.

      This her is blog, check out the “stories”- they are all voicethreads I think..


      So…I would suggest that this is a great option for a primary school teacher, but it is still teacher focused rather than student focused at this point in time.


  • mcquaid 2:26 pm on October 20, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: Blogs   

    God made the sun, moon, stars… I just made this post. Time In some ways, blogging definitely takes time. For my own site, I need the time to gather some information, create my own thoughts, take a picture, put a name/stamp on it, and then post it all. I wish it was faster… I feel […]

    Continue reading On the 4th Day… Posted in: Week 07: Blogs
    • bcourey 2:34 pm on October 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Amazing how many teaching opportunities you have linked to the use of blogs! Your students will benefit greatly. Interesting too how you find blogging for yourself to be very time consuming, but a time-saver for your teaching! Doesn’t that tell us that educators find very little time to do their own reflections online.

    • Keisha Edwards-Hamilton 6:55 pm on October 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Time is a huge factor when it comes on to blogging. Blogging takes time. It takes time to compile a post. I can hardly remember writing a post and publish immediately ….. I would normally write, edit, re-write, and proofread before I make hitting the submit button. There’s nothing worse than a post with bad grammar and spelling errors.


    • jenaca 12:12 am on October 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      It is true that blogging takes time, and time is very precious these days with everything we have going on in our lives. I always try to perfect my blog, so like Keisha stated, I write, edit, write again, proofread and finally post. However, do you think that over time blogging will become easier? That we will no longer have to edit and re-edit several times?

      • mcquaid 3:05 pm on October 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        In some ways, I think that’s already here… it just depends on what you think a blog post is. If it can be really short, Twitter fits the bill. If it can be a combo of info from other places, it can be a semi-automatic post like Gleanr (which Dave showed us this week). I think… to make quality blog posts as we currently know them… will always take a little more time, but will also always be of a bit better quality than the bite-sized or automatic stuff.
        The only “cheat” I used to use (and still would, only it doesn’t work in Chrome) is Zemanta – it’s good for generating links for you in the text, and for adding relevant pics if you want them.

    • Deb Kim 11:36 pm on October 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thank you for the insightful post!
      I agree with you that filtering has helped avoid spam but I was surprised when I saw the number of spam on the course blog. Although they are not published, there’s quite a lot of spam.


  • Doug Smith 6:41 pm on October 19, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: , , Blogs, , joomla,   

    I first started blogging in 2006. In some ways it was an educational experience, where I was blogging about my trials and tribulations on building a sea kayak. From this, I turned my blog into a general purpose weblog, which is a bit of a no-no. However, I use my blog to communicate with friends […]

    Continue reading Day 1 on Day 3: My blog experience Posted in: Week 07: Blogs
    • bcourey 2:28 pm on October 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      wow..you definitely have a lot of experience with blogging and the various products available to do that with! I like the idea of linking the blog (and some link a wiki) to the class website – adds another dimension to the site. I have not explored Drupal or Joomla yet , but from some of the blogs I researched, they are popular for content management. I too am a Twitter-for-professional learning fan – I have found more interesting blogs and articles from my network – maybe I should call Twitter my door to the world of my interests based on who I follow. Thanks for your post!

    • Everton Walker 2:28 pm on October 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      Very informative. I need to check out a few of of those sites you mentioned. I also use my wordpress site as a CMS too. Using it for this purpose have given me more leverage to transform my space into more classroom-like setting. As a result, I am able to do more with my courses and even add things that are not a part of the courses.


    • Karen Jones 5:49 pm on October 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Your considerable exposure to a wide variety of blog platforms gives you a valuable perspective, Doug. It reinforced my initial impressions of several plateforms, and will definitely influence my future blog forays. What is “microblogging” – the equivalent of a blog “tweet”?


    • jenaca 12:22 am on October 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Doug, thanks for your informative post! It definitely sounds like you have a lot of blogging experience, something I can learn from! Blogging is very new to me, so I will definitely be checking out your blogging sites, and hope to gain more experience on blogging!

    • hall 4:14 am on October 23, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Doug,

      Thank you for sharing your experience in using blogs. Joomla and Drupal are new to me and I intend to research on them. Your post has given me some useful ways of using blogs in my classroom

  • David Vogt 4:00 pm on October 19, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: Blogs, resonance,   

    With poetic timing, I was reminded today of one of the reasons we are learning in a blog. One of our great support staff noticed on Google analytics that ZDNet has become a top referring site to our ETEC 522 blog.  The reason is that Allie’s analysis of ZDNet’s predictions caught the original author’s attention […]

    Continue reading Reverberations in the Blogosphere Posted in: Week 07: Blogs
    • bcourey 6:02 pm on October 19, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hooray Allie!! This is exciting to have our discussions bounced across the cyberworld! As for the risks – I believe that this is part of the hesitation that many educators and school systems have when it comes to opening up blogs to the wider audience. In our board, we have a closed system for blogging to prevent access from outside and in some ways I think that really restricts the benefits of true blogging. Our job is to teach students how to post and respond appropriately and safely.

    • Deb Giesbrecht 6:18 pm on October 19, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Way to go Allie!
      That really is an acknowledgment and kudos; it really was a well written piece on both their parts. It appears that this site is educating more than just the students at UBC. I applaud anything that makes us stand up and take a second look….however, it is also a reminder that professionalism and decorum are necessary here.

    • ifeoma 7:51 pm on October 19, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Good timing David,
      Allie really did a good piece there and of course the fall outs of public blogging, in this instance, to me it will mean an immersion in real life understanding of the pros and cons of topic at hand. It should all make for good learning.

    • verenanz 9:40 pm on October 19, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Good work Allie! It is a great post. It is great to know that blogging can be such a great advertising feature- when done well.

      It also a great reminder that this blog is a very public forum…:)

    • Juliana 9:01 pm on October 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Excellent work Allie! It looks like you have a good discussion going on your post!

      I think this can be some of the benefits of blogging. You can draw other people into the conversation. Of course when you are dealing with students, this can also raise some security issues. This issue has already been touched on by many people in this week’s discussion and may need to be a consideration with blogging platforms of the future.


    • Allie 9:02 pm on October 23, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks all, and sorry for my really belated response – I had a really hectic week! It was really exciting to find that my post piqued the interest of the ZDnet blogger I had critiqued, and I was really grateful for his response and subsequent post. The experience certainly gave me confidence that even though I am very new to this field (this is my 2nd MET course), I nevertheless have genuinely good contributions to make. It has also led me to reconsider whether I should be more forthcoming with my online identity.

  • Tamara Wong 1:04 pm on October 19, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: Blogs,   

    I’ve discovered blogs are pretty cool in the classroom. I’ve used them in a few different ways but I have yet to use a blog in a way that I actually want to – as portfolios for students, but I digress. I’ve used blogs as places to store my own course material. I did not […]

    Continue reading Day 1 and Day 2 blogging Posted in: Week 07: Blogs
    • bcourey 2:23 pm on October 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I have used Weebly too – but felt that it was just a web page builder and didn’t feel like a blog – that is where some of the ventures blend into each other – like Facebook and blogging – an interesting merger!

    • Everton Walker 2:48 pm on October 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I too tried out weebly but wasn’t interested as it was more like a shell and never offered what I wanted. A blog should be simple and cater to the user. Technicalities breed confusion and that should not be a part of the modern classroom.


    • Juliana 8:55 pm on October 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Tamara,

      Interesting how you used a blog for a webquest. How did that work in your classroom? Was it a successful endeavour?


    • hall 4:05 am on October 23, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I think Weebly is not a good blogger. Indeed, WordPress is more comprehensive as a blogger and a site to post content.

  • David Vogt 11:04 am on October 19, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: Blogs, Gleanr   

    I’m taking a break from marking A1 (it’s going well; should be done by the weekend) to blog about blogging. I’ve tried traditional blogging in some serious way at least a half-dozen times, with it never sticking for more than a year.   The activity always seemed far too time-consuming and undirected.  I also always […]

    Continue reading A Humble Metablog Posted in: Week 07: Blogs
    • bcourey 5:48 pm on October 19, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      this is amazing work David! Thank you for directing us to Gleanr – I too do my blogging just for me, for my internet presence – not sure if anyone reads my stuff, and I’m not sure I care…but my posts are helping me consolidate my learning at the time, and my musings for future reference..but for myself.
      I am also going to spend quite a bit of time reading and rereading the Future of Learning in Canada – this is going to help us with our visioning exercises at my office!

      • Deb Kim 8:16 am on October 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply


        Is your blog about sewing as well? What are you “blogging” on your blog?


        • bcourey 2:19 pm on October 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          I am blogging about 21st century teaching and learning – compiling my thoughts from ProD that I attend, conferences I attend, and articles that I read – not sure what I want to do with it just yet..

    • Keisha Edwards-Hamilton 6:36 pm on October 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Great personal assistant! Great innovation! Thanks for sharing. I spend a lot of time updating social networking sites so I will definately be exploring Gleanr.


    • hall 3:50 am on October 23, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thank for introducing us to Gleanr. I plan to explore it and its effectiveness in the classroom.

  • kstooshnov 2:59 pm on October 18, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: Blogs, Ning,   

    Once I returned from Japan, where my wife and another friend started blogging and showing me the ropes, I began my Bachelor of Education at UBC.  Not only did each teacher candidate have to figure out WordPress for our e-portfolio by the end of the program, but I was hired by the Teacher Education Office as […]

    Continue reading e-Coaching and The Pedagog Blog Posted in: Week 07: Blogs
    • Juliana 5:32 pm on October 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for your insights! Sending out the invitations individually? Wow! That must have taken a while. You probably would have lots to say on this, but is there anything that the blogging platforms could have done to improve their usability? Also, do you think that the blogging endeavour was successful? Did many people start intereacting on the blogs?


      • kstooshnov 9:59 pm on October 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Juliana,

        When I think about the repetitive task of inviting classmates to blog, I think of the stories about a young Bill Gates at Harvard with all those IBM punchcards – the longer you perform any task (10000 hours seems to be the magical number) the closer you become to being an expert at it. Similar to the design wiki for ETEC 510, the more practice you get typing out HTM instead of using copy & paste, the easier web design becomes.

        For the Pedagog Blog, still in use for the most recent EDUC 420, I’m sure cloud computing will make a difference. It would have been one way to improve upon weekly posts and discussion threads if it were easier to respond on any device. I am quite pleased that our ETEC 522 blog shows up nicely on my iPhone, even uses the red-circled numbers to let me know how many new responses a post received. As much as I miss being in a lecture hall hearing classmates discuss a topic, I noticed with the Pedagog Blog there were more students willing to contradict others (politely) on-line, which makes for a far more lively discussion.

        I look forward to reading more of your team’s ideas on blogging – are we supposed to go through AdVentures in Blogging day by day, meaning that Tuesday will be the only time to discuss Use of Blogs?


        • Juliana 5:18 pm on October 19, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          Hi Kyle,

          You can participate in one discussion topic + the “blog market” topic. We decided to give everyone a choice of the discussion topic (ie. day 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5) that they wanted to participate in, but we did want everyone to participate in the “Blog Market” discussion topic, which talks about what needs to be done to move blogs from good to great.

          We decided to split the topics up by days, but you do not need to be restricted by the schedule. If you would like to move on ahead, please feel free.


    • bcourey 7:46 pm on October 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      So do you prefer wikis to blogs? I hear mixed opinions on this!

      • Deb Kim 9:15 pm on October 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Wikis to blogs… I’d like to hear your opinion as well, Kyle. 🙂


      • kstooshnov 9:34 pm on October 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Brenda and Deb,

        If the whole class is on-board and willing to mix things up with the way they learn, wikis can be fun, but can also be like getting blood from a stone if the class isn’t into them. I prefer blogs for their personal, presentational aspect; ideal for student-centered projects.

        How ’bout youse?

        • Julie S 10:47 pm on October 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          I can definately relate to the blood from a stone comment on the wikis!

        • Deb Kim 9:12 am on October 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          I agree with you that blogs are ideal for student-centered projects, but it’s also ideal for class discussions just like Wiki.
          I wonder if Wiki can be ideal for both student-centered projects and class discussions.


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