The University of Minnesota supports U-Think as a blogging platform. Via the introductory page you’ll be about to review existing blogs, scan an FAQ resources, and even start a blog right away, if you’d like a place to record what you’re thinking while exploring use of technology tools to teaching and learning.
Other high-use blog platforms within higher education are WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr:
- WordPress – consider focusing on the WP Teacher aspects as a way to move beyond basic information
- Blogger – linked to Google; exploration options include a quick tour, a video tutorial, and a users’ forum (Blogger Buzz).
- Tumblr – “Complete Guide to Tumblr”
In general, for teachers and learners, a blog has been considered a place for discussion, but each also adapts to become a platform for sharing of course materials as well as discussion forum. Something like Moodle – a Learning Management System – will also facilitate sharing of information, but generally will available to only a specific group of students for a specific amount of time; it is considered a “closed” access system – only accessible by password. Blog platforms can also be set up as fully “closed” systems or as fully “open” platforms – with other access options in between also available. For a general overview, see “7 Things You Should Know about Blogs.”
One general comparison of the 3 main blogging platforms: http://www.techpreneurspotlight.com/tech-tool-of-the-month-blogging-platforms-blogger-vs-tumblr-vs-wordpress/
WordPress vs Tumblr – http://freshid.com/2011/12/wordpress-vs-tumblr-a-simple-overview/
Tumblr as a CMS – http://needmoredesigns.com/blog/tumblr-as-a-content-management-system/
For this task, pick one blogging platform to learn a bit about if it’s new to you, to learn a bit more about if you’ve experienced using a blog as a student and now wonder about it as a teacher, or one you want to learn a bit more about because you’ve worked with one blog platform and want to compare it to other platforms – knowing, perhaps, that you might want or need to try something different with a new teaching post.
Post Your 3-5 Ideas
In all, spend about 15 minutes getting a general sense of the blogging platform you choose, 30 minutes digging deeper to learn its features for learners and teachers, and another 15 minutes sharing 3-5 ideas as a reply to this post.
Questions to guide you as you’re doing the digging in – and that could launch the 3-5 ideas you share:
- As you explore, think as a teacher and as a learner, as much as possible:
- What does this tool do, in general?
- What are a couple of its strengths?
- What are some of its weaknesses?
- What are some red flags about use (privacy, support, logins)?
- What other interesting ideas / questions cross your mind while exploring?