Blogging in the Classroom

NECC Talking Points:
Blogging in the Classroom

Over at eSchoolNews ETI, Tom Hoffman answers viewer mail regarding the use of weblogs in the classroom. Tom discusses Pat Delaney's idea of weblogs and wikis as digital paper. I tend to agree.

This year at Lewis Elementary four teachers have been using wikis installed on their laptops to provide digital paper to their students. If you would like to learn more about our use of Instiki, take a look here and here, and can listen to our O'Reilly talk here.

Next school year we plan to have weblogs set up for students running on our internal network. On Monday our X Serve was upgraded to 10.4.0 Tiger. The Tiger version of X Serve comes with a built in weblogging package called Blojsom. Blojsom is based on the Blosxom weblog tool that was developed by Rael Dornfest.

Today I spent a few minutes on the server, clicked a few check boxes, and in a matter of minutes I had set it up so that every user on our server has a weblog. Over the summer we plan to add accounts for all of our 4th and 5th grade students and provide them with this digital paper. We will also spend some time with the teachers sharing tools such as RSS readers and showing them how easily they can keep track of student work and make timely responses.

Am looking forward to attending NECC next week and having some time to talk to folks at Apple and learning more about this feature of OS X Server.

Technology & Learning: How To Start Your Own Blog

> How To: Start Your Own Blog > May 15, 2005" href="">Techlearning > > How To: Start Your Own Blog > May 15, 2005 Technology & Learning magazine has a good article on starting a blog. It is written by Tim Stahmer of Assorted Stuff. The article is a good introduction for teachers just learning about weblogs, and gives good step by step instructions for setting up a weblog on Blogger. Also the article reveals the name of Tim's "overly large school district on the Virginia side of Washington DC" where he is employed...

Week in Review > Postings From the Edge: A Catastrophe Strikes, and the Cyberworld Responds" href="">The New York Times > Week in Review > Postings From the Edge: A Catastrophe Strikes, and the Cyberworld Responds

AFTER an earthquake in the Indian Ocean sent tsunamis smashing into coastal Asia and East Africa, much of the initial information about what had happened came from the World Wide Web, especially from the personal journals called weblogs, or blogs. Here are excerpts from Web postings about the catastrophe.

New York Times piece by Peter Edidin. A listing of partial posts from weblogs about the tragedy...

The New Blogger...

Bryan Bell points to this post (Stopdesign | The New Blogger) by Douglas Bowman about the new Blogger role out and some of the design considerations that went into the redesign. I launched my Blogger account and took a look around and was very impressed. Comments are now an option, along with file uploading. With all the talk of the new licensing pricing of MoveableType, I'm thinking I may just go ahead and have my students in my Pacific University class set up a Blogger site for use in the class. They can get a free spot on Blogspot, or if I do some planning, I can create each of them a directory and ftp login on my server and have them post their class weblog there. More MoveableType: Lots of discussion going on about the new MoveableType 3.0 licenseing. As Liz Lawley noted, it looks like the SixApart folks are aware of the use of MT at educational institutions, and how their new pricing makes use of the 3.0 version prohibitive. Hopefully they get this right. But, as it has been noted, there are quite a few OpenSource solutions out there.

The 2.6x version of MT works very well for us at Lewis, and I plan to continue to use it. But I will spend some time this summer playing around with some other tools. Tom is very high on Plone, also Drupal looks like a very feature rich tool. Will suggests Manila. I have experience running a Manila server. For about a year and a half we hosted several teacher support sites using Frontier and Manila, but Manila is not an option for us at Lewis. For one thing we have our site hosted and don't run our own server. Another reason is cost. I really want to work with a tool that will not have ongoing licensing costs.

Professors Blogging at Stanford

The Stanford Daily Online Edition

Increasingly more Stanford professors are using "Weblogging", more popularly known as "blogging", in their classrooms. Traditionally used for online social networking — people write diary entries and others reply — blogging is now being used so that students can post messages and participate in discussions.

Ann Davis points to this article and I find it timely. Yesterday I started my Technology Across the Curriculum class at Pacific Univeristy. It is a 2 credit class for students working on their teaching certificate. As I did last term, I am using Moveable Type for a class weblog. The syllabus, assignments and such are posted there, along with other posts that might be of interest to the students. Next session students will begin to use a MT weblog to post assignments and respond to readings. Am going to attempt to teach them about Trackback.... We spent a good part of yesterday's session learning some of the finer points of weblog use. I'll post more on this later...

Portland PT3 Presentation

The link below is to some notes for a Weblog presentation to local college faculty.....

Background and Perspective

Weblogs: A History and Perspective... by Rebecca Blood

Understanding Weblogs, O'Reilly Net Article

Blogging Goes Corporate, Wired Article

Trent Lott Gets Bloggered, Online Journalism Review:

Weblog Software:

The Microcontent News Blogging Software Roundup


Other Interesting Software... Rendezvous

Rich Site Summary, Resource Description Framework ( RDF ) Site Summary, Real Simple Syndicaton....

What is RSS?

Making an RSS Feed


News Aggregators






Sample Weblog Sites

Maricopa Learning Exchange

Lewis Elementary

Dan Mitchell

Liz Lynn Lawley

Alan Levine




Scripting News

Douglas Rushkoff

Dan Gillmor

NY Times News Headlines

Ms. Leake's Classroom

Will Richardson

Joe Luft


Tom Hoffman on "Share Your OPML"

Tuttle SVCTom Hoffman has an interesting piece about Dave Winer's "Share Your OPML!" campaign.

In comparison, "Share Your OPML!" is simplistic, even by the standards of Dave's earlier work, requiring users to manually export an OPML list from their aggregator and submit it to a central server. Only the subset of geeks who are game to try every blog gadget that come down the pike (which includes me) will ever do this, and that subset is the best understood and most easily studied part of the blogosphere.

Upload a .zip file of photos to Typepad Photo Album

Everything TypePad!: New Features

Uploading a ZIP File to a Photo Album (Plus/Pro)

You can now upload a zipped folder of images to your TypePad photo album.

Somehow I missed this, but a very nice feature of Typepad. The ability to take a folder of images, apply .zip compression and then upload them directly to a Typepad photo album.

An example can be found here... Hope they put something like this into Moveable Type...

Moveable Type 3.0 Coming Early '04 NewsThe other day Ben Trott posted information about the upcoming release of Moveable Type 3.0. New features will include comment registration. This feature will be very helpful for teachers looking to utilize Moveable Type with students, but who have been worried about comment spam and also unwelcome comments. He notes that those interested in posting from mobile devices will find 3.0 a welcome release...


blosxom :: the zen of blogging ::I installed and played with Blosxom last winter. After reading about the latest version of this weblogging tool on Pat Delaney's site, I tried it again and I am very impressed. I have it running up on my web space and also on my Powerbook.

I have been looking for a tool that will allow me to keep notes on my laptop. I have been writing notes about my experiences as a first year principal at Lewis Elementary. I had considered using a tool such as Moveable Type, but did not want the notes on a public web site. I also wanted access to my work when not online. Blosxom is just what I was looking for. The CGI will take text files placed in a folder and create them as posts. You can add folders to organize your posts and magically Blosxom will reorganize your site based on the folder structure. For example someone could send me meeting notes from a staff meeting in Word format. I can open them in word, save them as a .txt file into a directory in my Blosxom directory and they are automatically posted.

In addition to posts saved as text files, Blosxom also allows for the creation and editing of posts via the browser.

A very nice tool from Rael Dornfest...