Had I completed the first assigned readings from Will Richardson’s text, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms( 2nd Edition) before I plunged into exploring existing blogs online while I was only through the introduction, epilogue and first chapter instead of through the assigned chapters 1-3, I likely would have started my very first blog from www.Blogger.com, a Google owned web publishing tool. After all, I already have a Google sign in and password from a previous job where we used Google Analytics and because now that I am finished the assigned class readings, I find that Blogger is highly recommended as a great place to start blogging by Richardson and he even goes so far as to use it as a primary example for his “blogging step-by-step” section (p. 48), so it seems easiest to begin with Blogger instead of any other publisher. Richardson shares that although there is not yet a “perfect edublogging program” (yes, his lingo – edublogging, take it to mean blog publishing tool specifically intended for educators/education/educating…) it is nonetheless easy to start a blog and I do agree that Blogger is quite accessible with many appropriate add-ons (tie-ins???, widgets or whatever the correct Web 2.0 lingo is – I am just beginning to form my working two point OH vocabulary). However, I found in looking at existing Blogger weblogs that although the sites have the capacity for great content, and appear to have many useful and easy to get add-ons, the beginner blogs just are not as aesthetically pleasing, at first glance; the templates just do not seem as visually pleasing as beginner www.Wordpress.com blogs, which is my chosen beginner blog publishing tool.
My initial leap towards WordPress over Blogger was firmed up when I logged into our eClass (WebCT) and compared a couple of eager classmates early posted blogs, one stood out as decisively better looking and it was created using WordPress. Of course, it is not necessarily based on sound judgement to select a blog by its early and beginning cover and I may change my mind once I progress and play with both blogging publishers throughout the course and learn how to move away from just utilizing the provided templates. I have signed up and begun a Blogger blog too but will keep it private and just play in the background when/if I have time along the course and I hope to compare and contrast some of the add-ons/widgets as I consider the upcoming Web 2.0 applications. Perhaps when I am savvier and can customize my blog to a greater extent than I currently am able, I will change my mind. Or perhaps, the ability to choose add-ons will enhance my content enough to accept the less visually appealing (in my opinion) templates.
As I progress through this journey of considering Web 2.0 for teaching and learning I plan to see what others in my field are doing to utilize these ever evolving tools. I have learned how to add links to my side tool bar and will update with links and blogs that are relevant for my role as an adult educator, co-op coordinator and career services facilitator, in hopes that I can improve upon my practice to support our student’s growth and development.
Setting up this blog and getting through the readings has kept me busy but I have found the time to begin seeking out best practices and plan to use the most promising finds in my future blogs on considering Web 2.0 for teaching and learning. Here is my upcoming blogging considerations schedule – check back to see how my considerations progress (the listed dates are the deadline dates for our posts but I anticipate always remaining ahead of schedule because my classmates and I have an 8:00 am deadline on the due date for our related blog posts and well, I like to sleep before making my way to the office by 8:00, lol)
Introductory blog: July 7 (just to get started–here we must post an introduction to ourself and our blog – and that is what I have now accomplished)
Blog topic #1 (Photosharing): July 9
Blog topic #2 (Videosharing): July 13
Blog topic #3 (Social bookmarking): July 16
Blog topic #4 (Podcasting): July 20
Blog topic #5 (Virtual Libraries): July 23
Blog topic #6 (Wikis): July 27
Blog topic #7 (Multimedia Sharing Sites): July 30
Blog topic #8 Social Networking): August 3
Blog topic #9 (Twitter): August 6
Blog topic #10 (Blogs, Blogging for PD, RSS)
Hope to see you again soon and thanks for taking the time to visit me – feel free to comment below. ~:)