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Blogging for Educators











How can teachers spice up their classes, raise students' interest in various topics and get them to express their thoughts freely? How can they engage students in interactions with each other as a group? This six-week online workshop aims to introduce participants to different ways in which blogging can be integrated into teaching. It will provide hands-on opportunities for educators who are new to blogging to set up and develop their own blogs, as well as to explore the worlds of possibilities provided by different kinds of blogs. By the end of the workshop, participants will have experimented with creating and enhancing blogs, posting and editing entries, inviting members to their blogs, and commenting on one anothers' blogs - using either Blogger or Wordpress platforms. Participants will also have explored blog comment management, template personalization, tagging (labeling) and really simple syndication (RSS).


Target Audience


Teachers with no extensive experience in blogging.

Participants are assumed to have skills necessary for basic communication via a discussion group, and Internet browsing skills.


Tutorials will be made available for those with difficulties in areas that may prevent participation.




By the end of the workshop, workshop participants will have:


  • created a blog
  • posted and edited entries
  • commented on other blogs
  • tried team blogging (inviting members)
  • explored options for comment management
  • investigated possibilities for template personalization
  • compared different blog hosts
  • grasped the concepts of syndication (RSS) and tagging
  • compared aggregators and other syndication tools
  • discussed the potential of blogging as a teaching tool in the English lesson and as a tool for professional development


Discussions will take place via a Yahoogroup, and at chat sessions (on Skype, yahoo messenger and Alado). Summaries of all these will be made available through the session wiki, collaboratively constructed during the workshop. This wiki is linked to the group blog and will be kept online for future reference.


Weekly readings and blogs by different ELL teachers and researchers will be recommended for modelling and reflection, and participants will be encouraged to discuss these at the group blog. Additionally, suggestions for readings for extension will be announced.


Synchronous communication: Office hours and live presentations will be held to discuss content and pre-defined topics, provide technical support, build rapport and create a sense of community. Chat logs and recordings of the live sessions will be made available through the session wiki.


Weekly Content


Week 1: Getting Started


During the first week of the course, participants will:


  • exchange introductions and become familiar with the group environments
  • try tools for synchronous communication to be used during the workshop
  • add themselves to the group map
  • answer a survey to determine their previous experience with blogging
  • visit the group blog and add a comment on their goals for the session
  • discuss the concept of blogging (and distinguish it from "website" and wiki )
  • explore recommended blogs and reflect upon these models




Blogging for ELT - Different kinds of blog

Microblogging - for participants who want to join us in Twitter



Week 2: Understanding and Starting a Blog


During this week, participants will:


  • get to understand blog jargon
  • open an account at Blogger or Wordpress
  • choose a theme for their blog
  • edit their blog profile
  • post their first entry to their own (or the group) blog
  • add a comment in the group blog defining the purpose of their edublogs and the target audience
  • understand the basics of tagging and will tag their first post
  • edit and format their entries
  • add images and links to their blog entries
  • enter their blogs in a database of participants' blogs



Blogging for ELT - comparing and contrasting Blogger and Wordpress - building up a comparative chart



Week 3: Blogging Off We Go!


During this week, participants will:


  • explore options for comment moderation and establish their blog settings according to their preferences
  • familiarize themselves with the basics of syndication
  • choose an Aggregator and open an account to keep track of each other's blogs(suggestions: google reader, bloglines, pageflakes, netvibes, protopage)
  • try Feedblitz as a way of letting readers keep track of their blogs.
  • explore recommended blogs and reflect upon these models



Exploring Tagging with Vance Stevens



Week 4: Making Your Blog Unique


During this week, participants will:


- focus on Design:


  • Add files (audio or other types) to their entries
  • Identify the main areas in blog templates and their functions
  • Learn the basics of HTML so as to get ready to ... personalize their blog templates / ... embed multimedia widgets in their blogs /... embed an aggregator in their blog template


- focus on Content:


  • Learn about Edubloggers' Communities of Practice (http://edubloggerworld.ning.com/ , etc...)
  • Understand the importance of Networking and reading other edublogs
  • Focus on their blogging tone and uniqueness



Useful tips to template customization

Using Flickr



Week 5: Involving Students in Blogging


During this week, participants will:


  • identify the steps involved in getting students to blog
  • study several cases of class blogging and reflect upon what determines the success of such experiences
  • debate whether teachers should correct students' postings
  • compare alternative ways to respond to students' postings
  • consider ways in which blogs can be used to facilitate communication outside the classroom
  • identify ways to find collaborative partners and audiences for their blogging classes



Successful Class Blogging - Blog pedagogy



Week 6: Rounding Off


During this week participants will:


  • Discuss the challenges of blog integration into their teaching contexts
  • Share blogging projects for the year 2008
  • Ponder over their future as bloggers
  • Assess their own learning
  • Evaluate the workshop



The Future of Media




Moderators and Special Collaborators


Carla Arena


A Brazilian EFL teacher, explorer of the potential of technology integration into language learning, Carla started to explore the possibilities of tech-applications some years ago and has been trying them out new ever since. Carla is a teacher trainer and site content manager at A Binational Center in Brasilia, but she's on a leave right now. She's temporarily living in Key West. She's a blogging fan (or addict!) and enthusiastic Webhead.



The Journey on Teaching and Learning








Gladys Baya


GladysAn Argentinian EFL teacher and teacher trainer, Gladys has passionately been researching about the contributions ICT can make to the ELL classroom for nearly 15 years. Her life radically changed after attending an EVO workshop (“Becoming a Webhead") in 2005. Inspired by WebheadsinAction, in 2006 she founded Learning with Computers - an online community for language teachers to share their first steps in technology integration.












Erika Cruvinel


A Brazilian EFL teacher interested in all applications of technology in language learning. Together with Carla Arena, Erika is a computer lab monitor and site manager at a Binational Center in Brasília. Erika is especially interested in the uses of blogs to develop collaborative projects among different countries.







Mary Hillis


An EFL teacher in Japan, Mary is enthusiastic about language teaching and learning. In 2006, Mary joined two online communities of practice: Becoming a Webhead and Learning with Computers. Since then, she has been exploring how technology can be used for both personal and professional projects.






Nina Lyulkun


Teacher of English language for university students majoring in economics in Ukraine. She has been involved into exploring online teaching and learning since 1997, though learned much more with the Webheads since 2002 as lurker first but more active experience gained while LwC and B4B workshops last and this year.

Dawning B4B Light

Connecting Hawaii TESOL and TESOL Ukraine/

Greetings from the Webheads

Bloxi Exploring Attempts






Carla Raguseo


An EFL teacher and Computer Lab coordinator at A.R.I.C.A.N.A., a Binational Center in Rosario, Argentina, Carla has used blogs for different purposes with her classes and for professional development. She has been a member of Learning with Computers since 2006. At present, she's also involved in the development of online and blended language courses.








Cristina Costa


EFL teacher and learning technologist. Used to involve students in ICT activities.

Currently she is working at the University of Salford, helping academic staff in efficient use of edu-technology. She believes blogging is one of the most engaging strategies to involve students in collaborative learning opportunities.

Her Blog




Ana Maria Menezes



An EFL teacher and coordinator at a language institute in Brazil, Ana Maria has recently got involved with using internet tools to enhance learning. She is a blog fan and has created several class blogs to offer more learning opportunities to her students. She has also been introducing other teachers into the blogging world in hands-on sessions and has created a blog for this purpose.


http://lifefeast.blogspot.com - a personal blog

http://bloggingteachers.blogspot.com - blog for teachers who are beginning to blog.

http://b2-2007.blogspot.com - a class blog for EFL beginners (second semester 2007)




María Claudia Bellusci

An Argentinian EFL teacher and eager explorer of technology. Claudia has been training teachers in the use of computers in the classroom since 2002 and is currently working on her Masters Degree in Technology Applied to Education. After participating in EVO 2006, she joined Learning with Computers and turned into a fervent advocate of online communities of practice.





Vance Stevens


Vance Stevens is a Lecturer in Computing at Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi. From 1997-2003 he was CALL (computer-assisted language learning) coordinator at the Military Language Institute in Abu Dhabi. He has been an ESL teacher since 1975, and has implemented CALL since 1979. He has conducted research, produced numerous publications and CALL software, and was for 2 years Director of ESL Software Design at a software publishing company in California.







Dennis Oliver

Special Collaborator


For the past six years, Dennis has taught ESL and developmental English at a community college. In the 20 years or so before that, he did a lot of things: taught pre-university students and did administrative work at a university IEP, taught secondary-school students in a now-defunct private boarding school, served as an editor and writer while he worked for and with a well-known ESL/EFL materials developer, and taught, did teacher training and curriculum development work, and served as a textbook editor for a chain of proprietary ESL/EFL schools.








Tools to be used




Join this session


To join this group:


From January 1 to 14:
  1. Go to:http://groups.yahoo.com/group/blogging4educators
  2. Click on the blue button: This is just an image. The real button is on the Yahoo Group. If you don´t have a Yahoo ID, you will be prompted to create one (it is free).
  3. Follow the instructions


Note: When you register for the group, you will have to be approved by the moderator. In order to reduce the possibility of "unwanted" members (such as spammers), please be sure to explain who you are and why you want to enroll in the session. This message will only be seen by the session moderator


TESOL Electronic Village Online (EVO)

A Project of TESOL's CALL Interest Section


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