Mariska’s Classroom

Computer Literacy Course

Category: Courses

Week 1: Creating a Blog

What is a blog?

A blog is originally created from the word Web Log. It is a Web page that contains people’s thoughts, ideas, experiences, and many more. Blogs was first introduced in 1998 with only a few dozens in appearance on the Web, but there are over 152 millions of blogs are in existence nowadays. There are many reasons why blogs have become so popular nowadays and one of the reasons is the simplicity of publishing them, in that there is no need for the author to know HTML (HyperText Markup Language), and there are free blog automated publishing tools such as Blogger and WordPress, that make it easy for anyone to create a blog.

What do people use blogs for?

Formerly, blogs are regarded as personal online journals where individuals can compile links and add comments to that links to provide information that interest them. Blogs consist of discrete entries (posts) typically displayed in reverse chronological order in that the most recent post appears at the top of the blog. Recently, however, blogging culture has grown to include political campaigns, institutions such as libraries, museums, and virtually any entity that wants to create a community of interest around particular topics. Blogs are also a good way to uncover news that the regular media cannot or will not cover; and have encouraged the trend of “citizen journalism.” Blogs, then, can be authored by one person or a team of people.  Public can usually insert comments, which makes blogs effective interactive tools.

Evaluating blog content

Since blogs are easy to publish and anyone can easily publish a blog, it is important for you to evaluate the background and qualifications of the authors before relying on the contents of their blogs. Find out whether the author has the expertise on the contents of the blog that she/he has published before relying on the information provided on the blog.

Popular free blog services:

Learn more about blog

Your first assignments:

In order to be able to completely join this course, you must create a personal blog. This blog will be used to record your thoughts, discoveries, and complete the assignments throughout the semester. For this course, everyone will use Blogger, a popular free online blog hosting service that is extremely easy to use. When you create an account on Blogger, you are essentially creating a Google account, which will allow you to use Gmail and all its features as well. Before you begin, it may be helpful to access the following resources:

I can build a blog

How to create a blog with Blogger:

The steps of creating a blog with Blogger:

  1. If you do not have Gmail account yet, create one.
  2. Go to Blogger at https://blogger.com/start and sign in with your Gmail account.
  3. Select a template. You can always change it later.
  4. Throughout the semester, I would like the blog that you created to be private and is shared only to me. So, Very important! Make your blog private and invite me as your lecturer to view it (mariska@yanrf.com). To learn how to do this, read the following: How do I control who can view my blog? Please remember that you must invite me or else I will not be able to monitor your progress through the course and to assess you.
  5. Once you have successfully created your blog, here are two important things to remember:
    1. to add posts: The maintenance interface that you will use to add posts to your blog is accessible online at http://www.blogger.com Be sure to write down your login and password so you will not forget.
    2. to view your blog: Your blog address is http://(xxxx).blogspot.com. Be sure to also write down your blog address. This is the link you will send to me as the administrator of the course. Send the link to my email @mariska@yanrf.com, stating your name, student number, and pasting the link to your blog.
  6. Concerning the adding post task (the first thing), write one post reflecting on your experience in following the explanation and instruction on my web for week 1. It can include your process in doing your first assignment, your opinion about Blogger.com and how to create the blog, and the challenges you faced if any. You can also brainstorm ideas on how to use blog for your learning and teaching purpose. Then, share the blog post with me.
  7. Congratulation! You are now ready to join the course.

Class Management Tools

The first set of Web 2.0 tools that you will learn is Class Management tools. This part covers 4-week meetings. You will learn how to create a blog, Edmodo, and Google Classroom.