Tuesday, January 25, 2005

To those born in the 40's, 50's and 60's...

...please read Michael's post at :

Thank you Michael!

Thanks to Cleve, Graham and Gerry for their liveblogging of James Farmer's presentation on 'Communication Dynamics and Communities ' The session was held in Alado in the Webheads group with live audio, slides and webpages.

I could not attend James Farmer's session in Alado. Each time I try to get in, I can't get through. Cleve writes that it was a 'fascinating content' and a 'fascinating delivery medium'.

Some important remarks:

James: Blogs are like organic cities that don't develop in neatly organised areas... A weblog environment is a very communicative environment. A weblog is a very individual, owned space.

Cleve: JF points out that blogs are chaotic and organic, instead of rigid, planned and structured (someone types in: like life?).

James: The design of online environments is very much like those of physical learning environments - design a place where people can relax and be who they want and you'll get a different kind of discussion than if the environment is ordered and strict, etc...the environment influences the communication dynamics.

( Me: Good point! )

Friday, January 21, 2005

Meeting Anne Davis in TappedIn

Anne Davis was talking about her experience with blogs. I enjoyed her presentation. One of her favorite blogs was called Idioms Are Fun! The students loved it. Here's what Anne thinks about the whole thing:

Learn from the students.
Start with simple things.
Have a class blog first and let the students participate through comments.
Think of the ways to amaze and hook your students into the power of blogging!
Give a voice to your students.
Have a door open and listen to all the voices
Take care about the audience.
It is hard work but the rewards are many.

Bee adds:

learn as you go...and improve on it!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Comment from CybeRecruiter...

"...my suggestion...instead of students blogging about themselves, have them come up with an idea, product, something meaningful to them...to blog, this would essentially get them interested, research and various means of promotion would give them an audience and the feeling that they are doing something good about something that could mean a lot for them..."

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Cought some good ideas on Wei Zhai blog:

"When students are under the pressure of implementing a technological application without receiving scaffolding that leads to their understanding and experiencing its usefulness, the technology is in for loss of its purpose...

...Richardson suspected that “by its very nature, assigned blogging in schools cannot be blogging. It’s contrived”.
He pointed out that students are blogging for the sole audience, the teacher, and when the course is over, they “drop blogging like wet cement” (as cited in Downes, 2004). In this case, students are not necessarily interested in using blog for learning probably because in the first place they haven’t been helped to develop this interest (Zhai, 2004).

Here is where teacher missed an important perspective: a new technological tool should converge with student interests. Technology is expected to be a facilitator rather than a burden for students learning.

...It is OK to introduce new educational technology to students but they need questions asked that will help them understand why they are doing what they are doing, they need guidance on how to use the technology, and they need to be convinced why they will gain benefit from using this technology. Teachers can not just thrust upon their students technologies, one piece after another, because soon, they will get fed up with so many weird stuff that doesn’t make sense at all."

Monday, January 10, 2005

A Comment on Comments

Mike, a guy from New Jersey ,writes:

"I just realized something about Blogger comments: unless you want a Blogger account, you can't leave personal information. It calls you anonymous, so unless you manually put in info about yourself, you end up as a nameless voice. Blogger comments is the only comment system that doesn't give you the option of filling in Name, Email, and Website that I've come across."

I agree,... and someone should do something about that.

how to build a blog

In case you haven't seen it, Larry Magid has a good article on how to build a blog.
Read the whole thing at : http://www.pcanswer.com/articles/buildablog.htm

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Compulsory Blogging?

From Graham :

"Do you think it's necessary to set assignments to encourage students to blog? There's always the danger that if students think that the weblog is compulsory, then it might generate a negative attitude towards it.

I've experimented with both compulsory / optional blogging with students and have to say that, in my experience, although you can get some negative reactions at first, in the long run, making blog posts part of the course (ie. compulsory)worked out better."

Joel wrote:

"We have always made responding compulsory and part of their grade. This came from our earlier research on listservs that some students really got into in and some didn't. We also have specific goals for using blogs that are an integral part of the writing process the the students have to do them in the same way they would have to do anything else. We require a certain length and be posted reguarly, which are the only requirements for getting credit. Blogs are usually about 20% of their class grade, so all the students have to do to get a full mark is post."

My remarks:

It's a very interesting question.... I've also experimented with compulsory and optional blogging. I don't like the word 'compulsory'. Do you?. At the same time, I understand that some things have to be done .
I would not make blogs part of my students' grades. A blog is a personal journal of your students' thoughts, comments and ideas. I agree that compulsory blogging might generate a negative attitude towards it.

Friday, January 07, 2005


Geoloc is a new service of geographical localization of the visitors . It is an original service which creates an interactivity with the visitors of your web site or blog.

Geoloc is very simple to use. No programming, or downloading, just cut and past!

Wanna try, check out the following link:

Blogging is an exploration...

Right! I learned how to start , change templates, post images and even add my students' links.
I learned how to add any HTML code to my template. By the way, the complete template code is located on the Template tab in Blogger. The exact location in the code will depend on where you want something to appear. Usually, people put these kinds of things in their sidebars or at the bottom of the page.

So, if your template does not already have a link section, it should be easy to create one. Look in your template code and find the sidebar section. To keep the formatting the same, copy one of the existing headers, such as
"Archives", and change the label to "Links" (or whatever you prefer).
Underneath the new header, you can add the links as described in our Blogger Help article here: http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=110

Hello there

Hello there:

I teach EFL for university students majoring International Law.

It was a great year for our Association in Belarus (Belarusian Association of Teachers ofEnglish). We could launch the first online session. It was part of the 6th BelNATE-IATEFL Conference“Teaching English as a World Language in the Information Age”, which took place in November, 2004.Special Interest Groups extended the work of theBelNATE conference into seven specialist areas. We had 48 presentations, two workshops, a round table discussion plus five online sessions! Can you imagine that?http://www.ir.bsu.by/kel//Teachers/presentations.htm

This event brought together EFL/ELT professionals and instructors from different parts of the world. I say' Hi' to everyone who could join us in November:

Blogging is fun! I started a couple of blogs with my students:
eConnections ( a joined project with Barbara Dieu andher students)
Upstream EFL_Writing

I am thinking of starting two photoblogs at buzznet.com Mugshots is one of them. By the way, it's Jonathan's ( Jonathan Finkelstein ) idea . I find it very interesting !
( http://mugshots.buzznet.com,/ )
Hopefully, my students enjoy this new experience next semester.

I'm interested in various blogging tools and blog projects. My main concern is how to maintain interest in a weblog student community.

So, let's start things rolling!