One other way to think about how to use blogs in academics
is to look at the blogs of some academics who blog. The collection
I offer here is by no means complete, but it should give you
some sense of how real blogs are being used by real academics:
Who Blog: A short list of academics who blog and a good
starting place for finding, as the title would suggest, professors
who blog. The list, though short, is in good working
order and links to academics in a variety of disciplines,
from economics to political science to history. All linked
blogs appear to be quite active.
Blogs: While "professors who blog" tends to list
those who blog about personal and professional events in their
lives, this listing contains academics who blog as part
of their research practice. These blogs include research
notes as well as reflections on the research process and
covers a wide range of academic fields.
Medievalist: "Useful tools, sites, references, and
opinionated commentary about technology, with particular
attention to Instructional Technology and the humanities,
from the perspective of a Digital Medievalist." This is
a well-written and well-designed blog by Lisa Spangenberg
which combines her interests in medieval literature and
instructional technology. Blog entries tend to focus on
technology, but also include blogs about her interests
in medieval and celtic studies. She also maintains a separate
blog that focuses more directly on medieval and celtic studies.
A blog that's "thinking about technology and education."
It includes links on the right hand side to other blogs
as well as to weblogs in education. Entries are frequent
and often focus on the use of blogs in education.
Teaching Journal Blog: The teaching journal of Chris Berry—apparently
no longer updated or maintained. Still, it provides some
interesting self-reflection on teaching and classroom
B's Blog: "A blog of classroom activities and discussions.
A place where rhetoric rocks!!" The blog of Samantha Blackmon
at Purdue. Includes links to a writing blog, a workshop
blog, and the blogs of past classes.
The blog for Cullen Wells' class in technology and 21st
century literacy. Apparently no longer updated.
and Composition: Deborah Gussman's blog for a class
in rhetoric and composition at Richard Stockton College
in New Jersey. Although no longer updated, it does include
a link to her personal blog, which is. She also has a
weblog for her Spring 2003 class: We Take
Blog: A collection of Computer and Compositions "wikis."
Wikis resemble blogs in that they allow someone to add content
to a page through a web interface; however, they are
a much more robust and much more general tool, in that
the software is allows the creation, linking, and editing
of multiple pages. In this sense, a wiki is a tool for
making websites that can be adapted to blogging. For
one such adaptation, see Wiki
Blog: Kevin Brooks' blog. Though "intended to support
[his] English 110 course, Fall 2002," it appears to be
a current blog with recent entires.
Blog: "A team blog about teaching, blogging, and teaching
about blogging with blogging." Demonstrates the collaborative
possibilites enabled by having a blog with multiple authors.
Randy Brown's blog features a good mix of tech news and
More Resources for Teachers
Blogs have spawned a number of articles, forums, and conference.
Here's a sampling:
only is this site a rich blog, but it also has extensive
links to other education bloggers, weblog resources, and
Forum: A forum-based discussion area and resource for
educational bloggers. It also has a forum for the EdBlogger
2003 conference to be held during NCTE's conference in
Blogtalk: Homepage for
a weblog conference being held in Vienna. Its stated mission
is to " survey the status quo of Weblogs or Blogs as
tools for professional and private use."
and Technology: "A weblog for participants in the Conference
on Teaching and Technology, held under the auspices of
the Wabash Center." Apparently no longer updated, however
the blog entries include a number of links connected
to teaching and technology.
An article from LEARN NC, the North Carolina Teacher's
Network that suggests the multiple ways in which blogs
can be used in education. The piece is a good basic introduction
to some of the uses of blogs in education.
Space Blog: A general blog for "elearning resources
and news." Blog entries cover a wide variety of topics,
from Linux to heuristics for evaluating online communities,
creating a particularly broad resource for anyone interested
in instructional technology.
with a Weblog: Please note that this is a Microsoft
Word document. Timothy Johnston's paper submitted to the
Academy of Educational Leadership
Journal. The paper provides an overview to the benefits
of using a blog in teaching .
A Disruptive Technology Coming of Age?": An article
from Syllabus by Phillip Long that introduces the
concept of blogs and basic information on classroom uses
and blog creation.
- School Blogs:
A free blog service created expressly with educators in
mind. The blogs are hosted by School Blogs.
Books on Blogging
Sometimes, a printed text is the best way to learn a new technology,
since it allows you to refer to the page while looking at
the screen. A number of books about blogging have been published
The Weblog Handbook: Practical Advice on Creating and
Maintaing Your Blog, by Rebecca Blood
We Blog: Publishing Online with Weblogs, by Paul
Blog On: Building Online Communities with Web Logs,
by Todd Stauffer
About this Site
The design for this site emerged from the idea of 2003 being
the "Year of the Blog," an idea that first occured to me during
the discussion period after my panel at the 2003 Conference
on College Composition and Communication. The opening graphic
picks up on the idea of the web having a zodiac along the
line of the Chinese system. The eleven Chinese characters
represent the various signs of the Chinese zodiac, while the
"chop" displays two such signs—the Dragon and the Goat or
Sheep—as well as the logo from Blogger.
Working from this initial graphic concept, I wanted to develop
graphics that both incorporated Blogger's logo and various
modes of writing, hence the blueprint, the pad of paper, the
books, and the computer screen. My goal was to suggest a
kind of continuity between these technologies of writing and
All of the graphics were custom-crafted in Photoshop. Click
on the following thumbnails for full-size versions of these
If anyone is interested in learning about the techniques I
used to create these graphics, I would be happy to share what
I have learned with them. I can be contacted at email@example.com.
In terms of the layout, I first saw the semi-transparent text
table over a large graphic while surfing through random blogs.
I found the effect striking at the time, and wanted to recreate
it here. Though that blog achieved the effect through the
use of layers (which is problematic on many browsers), I was
able to achieve the same effect through Photoshop and a creative
use of tables. If you're interested in learning how I achieved
this effect, please contact me.
Finally, this site was design in Dreamweaver 4, optimized for
Internet Explorer 6 at 1024x768 screen resolution. It's been
tested at 800x600 and with Netscape Navigator 4.X, Mozilla
1.X, and Netscape Navigator 7 on Windows 2000, as well as
Internet Explorer 5.1 and Netscape 7 on Macintosh OS 9.2.