Monday, 8 October 2012

Module 2: Blogging - It's all about having a voice

In the context of the classroom, its worth asking the question "What is a Blog? How is it different to a Wiki, an announcements page, a web page or just comments on a web page?"

A webpage. Read only. The author is the only creator. Visitors to the page consume the content.

A wiki.  When a web page has multiple authors, multiple creators, it becomes a wiki. Normally Wiki's have other features such as the ability to see previous versions. It is read/write.

A blog. Read/write. Only the owner can post new topics. Visitors can leave comments but the owner (generally) can moderate these and choose what is published. A blog is fundamentally one person's voice with the facility to make public any comments others make about that voice.

The Google Apps Suite
This suite gives you the tools to explore Blogging, Wikis and Web pages.

A Google Site. You can use this Google App to create a Wiki (many authors) or a Web page (read only) or an "announcements page". An announcements page allows editors to start new comment threads or respond to existing comments. Because a visitor can create a new thread, it isn't really a Blog.
Blogger ( allows staff and students to Blog using their google account for access. When you first go to Blogger on your school domain, teachers/students are hit with this page below. They need to choose "Blogger Profile" and not "Google+ Profile". 

Google + will not be turned on for school domains. It has an age restriction 13+. Click here for a detailed guide for setting up student blogs.

There are two good reasons teachers may want to use Blogger.
  1. It allows the site owner to control all posts and visitors can only comment. The site owner controls the agenda. This is not the case with Google sites. With a Google sites page, to comment, a user has to have edit rights and when they have edit rights, they can change content created by the owner.
  2. Google provides amazing analytics on blogs. Here is a sample.

A Google Doc. This is an on-line document. It can be permissioned as read only (A Web page) OR you can have multiple authors (a Wiki). When you need multiple, concurrent authors in real time,  nothing beats a Google Doc.

Making a blog

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