Posts tagged blogger

Blogging with EFL Students – Part 3 – Get Your Blog Moving!

In this final part of my short series on how to blog with EFL students. If you missed the first two you can find them here:

Blogging with EFL Students – Part 1 – Setting Up a Blog

and here:

Blogging with EFL Students – Part 2 – Blogs Grow With Comments

 

In this final set of slides I’ll discuss a couple of the essential things every blogger should be able to do to whether they be a teacher or a student. This is certainly not an exhaustive list of everything a blogger should do, but it should help you get the final basics in place.

Uploading a photo to your blog post makes it far easier on the eye and therefore more likely to be read. Adding a link to other related posts or interesting information helps give your reader a bit of background and adds context to your post and finally sorting out your profile lets your reader find out a bit more about you which, hopefully, will make them more likely to want to connect with you.

So, on to the slides: Once again, please do ask if there is anything you’re unclear about or if you want a bit of help with something. If you think I’ve missed out another vital skill for bloggers, do tell me. I’d love to know and will happily update the slides in the future. Down there at the bottom in the comments section, let it rip! 😉

 

Take care and all the best,

Seth.

Blogging with EFL Students – Part 2 – Blogs Grow With Comments

As I mentioned in the first post in this series blogging offers a lot of scope for authentic communication from EFL students. From “guest speakers” to reflective jornals, to simple discussions, to stronger “opinion pieces” there are all sorts of ways EFL teachers can use blogs with their learners.

For example this year at the high-school I work at, we’ve been discussing social issues that we feel strongly about in our personal blogs. We’ve also used a class blog to share hints and advice for classmates about how they can improve their own blogs.

Although the slides in this series are all quite specific to my own students (and trainee teachers,) I hope they can be helpful to other teachers and teacher-trainers, too. I’ve learnt a lot from what other people have generously shared over the internet and I hope now to be able to “put a bit back” for others.

In this second set of slides we discuss how important comments are to a blog (and a blogger) and how to enable them. The slides use screenshots from Blogger itself. On occasion things have changed in Blogger slightly from when I originally wrote this guide, but the basics have remained more or less the same.

If you want any more information about edublogging, or if you’d like to share a lesson idea that you’ve tried out with your students, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

 

All the very best!

Seth.

Blogging with EFL Students – Part 1 – Setting Up a Blog

Blogging is a great way to allow your EFL students a little space to be creative, talk to a “real” audience and connect with other learners.

This year at the high-school I work at, Martino Martini, in Mezzolombardo, Italy, we’ve been experimenting with using student blogs as a kind of reflective journal to discuss things we’ve learnt in class. We’ve also started a class blog as a digital noticeboard for pasting slides I’ve used in class, homework reminders and examples of great work from within the class.

Although they are quite specific to the needs of my students (and trainee teachers,) I’ve decided to share the slides I use to teach blogging.I hope they can be helpful to other teachers and teacher-trainers, too.

So, this will be the first in a series of three presentations to help EFL students and teachers learn how to blog and how to use Blogger. In these slides I go through the basics of what blogging is all about and show how to set up a Blogger account, using screenshots from Blogger itself.

I hope these slides will help you and your students get started with this great communicative tool! If you have any questions, or have any advice of your own about setting up a blog to use with students, be sure to leave a comment to tell us about it 🙂

 

p.s. I know, I know what you’re thinking. This presentation breaks many, if not all the “rules” I shared in my Death By PowerPoint – and How to Avoid It post I wrote recently. My only defence is that I wrote this guide about 18 months ago, before I’d spent time studying how to improve presentations. Tell you what, I’ll make a promise. If I get round to updating these slides, I promise to upload the improved version here, okay?! 🙂

All the best,

Seth.

Social Media in Plain English

Social Media – Blogs, Podcasts, Photo sharing,  Video Blogs (Vlogs) etc – as we know these can be really versatile tools to use with our students.

This video by Lee LeFever from the fantastic Common Craft explains why the “Social” part of social media is bringing new life to publishing while allowing small, content publishers (our students?) to have meaningful interaction with other students and their readers/listeners/viewers via the comments system. If you’re looking for a simple explanation of all this, you can’t go wrong with this golden oldie (from 2008!)

If you have lower-level students you can also find a subtitled version of the video on the Dot Sub website.

WordPress Blog & Website

Wordpress Well, I decided to take the plunge and shift my blog over from the fantastic Blogger to WordPress.

Blogger has been a great home for the last two years for the various mini-blogs and out-of-class projects I’ve been doing with my students. I now feel like I have outgrown Blogger for a number of reasons, even though it is a great service. These are a few of the reasons I decided to leave Blogger in the end:

  • Now that DigitaLang is getting more teacher-training work, I wanted a more professional looking website that integrated my blog seamlessly with the other content I wanted to have online (a contact form, a summary of the work we do etc.)
  • WordPress is is just as good at being a content management system as it is a blog. WordPress now manages my whole website. I can add or delete pages and change the content from any internet connected computer. Before I had to use ftp and other complicated tools.
  • I wanted to have more flexibility with my blog so that I could be as creative as I wanted and not have to work within the limits of Blogger. For example, I am planning to create a space where I’ll upload technology-based language lesson plans in the new blog. I probably could have done this with Blogger, but it would have been complicated and I doubt if it would have worked smoothly.
  • Blogger has lots of clever little add-ons (widgets) that do clever things and make your blog look more interesting. WordPress has more and they’re open source too!

All in all, I’m really pleased with how the new blog is shaping up. There is still a lot of work to do yet, there have been several technical hiccups, but I’ll leave that for another post 🙂

All the best,

Seth.

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