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About WordPress and Blogging at Soul Food

 

 

Blogging — or Web logging — most often is thought of as an activity for people who like to keep diaries or who want to share photos of their holiday with family. These days students of all ages are blogging on a daily basis in a variety of exciting ways?

At its core, blogging — or Web logging — is an online diary or journal. Take a look at any blog and you’ll immediately see the connection between it and a traditional diary. Often arranged in calendar format with the most recent post first, blogs contain rantings, wishes, commentary, and…well, anything else a writer thinks about, often with graphics and perhaps even with audio and video elements.

Blogs (short for “Web logs) are web-based diaries or journals — online thinking spaces where individuals can write their thoughts. A blog can be a private space or a place where readers can respond in a bounce-and-catch style of communication.

In Writing With Web Logs authors Glen and Gina Bull herald blogs as having “the potential to reinvent how we work with journals in classrooms, challenging teachers and students to think about writing in authentic ways.”However, blogs have far more potential than this.

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1: A blog is a Web Publishing concept that enables anyone – first graders, political pundits, homeless people, high school principals, presidential candidates – to publish information on the internet.

2: Blogs ( a shortening of weB LOG), or blogging has become a journalistic tool, a way to publish news, ideas, rants, announcements and ponderings very quickly and without technical, editorial and time constraints. It essentially makes anyone a columnist. In fact, many established columnists now publish their own blogs.

3: Blogs, because of their ease of use, and because of the context of news and editorial column writing, have now become a highly effective way to help students become writers. Research has long shown that students write more, write in greater detail and take care with spelling, grammar, and punctuation, when they are going to an authentic audience over the Internet.

BLOGGING IN ACTION

Blogging: One Teacher’s Experience

To learn more about the blogging experience and its potential to engage students of all ages make sure to read Zen and the Art of Team Blogging by Heather Blakey. In this article Blakey provides testimonials from participants that highlight what a powerful medium blogging can be.

Educators know that students write better when they have a real audience — not just a teacher with a red pen. In the past, finding such an audience was a challenge. But with Internet access and some basic software, any student can write for the world to see. Although blogging in schools is still in its infancy, anecdotal evidence suggests that students’ interest in, and quantity of, writing increases when their work is published online and — perhaps even more importantly — when it is subject to reader comments.

The Bumper Book of Creativity is a fascinating project that Ravens at Soul Food worked on. It maximises the potentiality of blogging. Here you will find that WordPress enables pages to be presented in a ‘workbook’ format, while enabling people to engage and participate all at the same time. Members of the Creativity Blog can post their work, comment and store their work on blogs of their own, which, in turn, are linked back to the Creativity Blog. Extraordinary really.

GETTING STARTED

To blog in this environment all you need to do is go to WordPress and create an account. It is all made very easy.

Once you have your blog anyone wishing to participate really should spend some time learning to drive WordPress. In the first instance you need to take the time to understand the dashboard and teach yourself how to use this all important base. The dashboard is the nerve centre and it is simply a matter of trial and experimentation. Remember that you will not break anything.

    Once you have gained a rudimentary knowledge of blogging then it is time to apply to join blogs at Soul Food. Simply write to heatherblakey at fastmail dot fm and she will add you as a user. This will enable you to post and share your responses to the fun activities here.

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