Setting Up and Connecting Your Blog

A key idea here at ED677 is that we use and maintain our own space online so that we can practice doing this and reflect on the implications for our teaching. Establishing a blog is a simple way to get started.

Another key idea is that we connect, as a community of educators, in order to explore our practices together and develop our collective knowledge. Therefore we have this shared blog also and I ask that all ED677 course participants submit the URL of their blog in order to be part of an automatic feed here (this will update as blog are added).

If you already have a blog and would like to use that one, you can tag your relevant posts with #ED677 and send only the things you want to the shared blog.

More on all of this below:

  • Getting started blogging
  • Create a new blog
  • Connect a current blog (and/or use your blog for a variety of things)

Getting started blogging

Getting started with blogs and blogging is much more dependent on personal preferences. There are many blogging tools to choose from and different options and affordances available with each one.

The best way to familiarize yourself with blogging — both the options and the genre — is to read and follow bloggers. Here are some crowd-sourced blogs which related to equity & connected learning that might be of interest to browse. Feel free to add your own suggestions too.

Since reading and writing go hand in hand, here is a blog post by blogger/educator Alan Levine (known online as @cogdog) about how to blog like a champion and an oldie but goodie by Bud Hunt (known online as @budtheteacher) Teaching Blogging not Blogs. And a post by a math teacher about why she thinks teachers should blog called Enrich and Enhance Your Professionalism through Blogging.

Create a new blog

If you don’t have one you can simply create one. You can pick almost any blogging platform. Popular ones include Edublogs (or WordPress itself which it runs on), Tumblr, Typepad, Squarespace, Wix and Blogger. Any other blog that you are comfortable should also be fine.

Once you have a blog set-up, personalize it! Use your “real-name” or not … give it a title that reflects why you have it and what others might find there (I mean you can call it ED677 but that’s kind of boring and meaningless to others outside the course, right?!) … add some pictures. Note that you can use images that you find online but you must make sure the author gave permission to share).

Note: here’s a quick screencast I made about how to find images online with licenses that permit reuse.

Your blog should be reflective of you as an individual so be creative and have fun while getting it set up. Want to think first about your identity online? This New York Times Learning Network post was written for students but contains tips useful for all of us, I believe: Who are you Online? Considering Issues of Web Identity.

Once you get it set up, post something to say hello and introduce yourself to the world. And then submit your blog here.

Use a blog you already have
(and/or use your new blog for a variety of things)

To use a blog that you already have or to blog about a variety of things on one blog, you can use tags and/or categories within that blog to create a feed. This feed can then be submitted to our shared blog and then only only related posts that you tag with #ED677 will show up.

Each blog creates feeds differently, but here are some tips for common blogs that might help:

If you use WordPress:

  • Create a category on your blog called ED677 or create a new WordPress blog at WordPress.com and add the category ED677.
  • Find the RSS feed of the category by using this logic: http://blogname.wordpress.com/category/ED677/feed

If you use Blogger:

  • Create a label on your blog called ED677 or create a new Blogger blog at Blogger.com and add the label ED677
  • Find the RSS feed of the label by using this logic: http://blogname.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default/-/ED677

If you use Tumblr:

  • Create a #ED677 tag within a post that you publish. Click on that tag once published to get the URL for all of the posts with that tag.
  • Add /rss to the end of that URL. This is the logic of the feed: http://blogname.tumblr.com/tagged/ED677/rss

If you use something else … please refer to the Help menu of your blogging software.

Once you get it set up, post something to say hello and introduce yourself!

And then submit your blog here.