Sunday, December 28, 2014

Blogging Basics for Educators

Blogging Basics Presentation for Educators

Last year, I gave a presentation about blogging. Integrating blogging into a lesson covers many standards at all grade levels. No matter what the topic is of a blog post, it will cover quite a few standards related to writing. The more the teacher is involved in the blog, the more standards that will be covered. If a teacher provides frequent feedback on the blog, permitting students to rewrite posts, most of the writing process steps are covered (brainstorming, outlining, rough draft, revision and editing. Since blogging is a published product, the last step of the writing process is included in a way like no other, as the post, if it is made public, has the potential to be viewed by thousands of people.

This presentation presents a rational for National University faculty and students in education and other fields to incorporate blogging as a communicative learning strategy applied to teaching in a wide variety of courses. Data illustrating the positive effects for faculty and students that blogging has upon applying course content to real life, building professional social networks, and improving writing fluency is directly applied to the culture and values of National University (STARS--Scholarship, Teamwork, Active Reflection, Responsible Citizenship and Standards of Exemplary Practice).

The set of objectives/learning outcomes include addressing a specific audience with a blog tailored for the needs associated with their interaction with the university.

Assess the blogging platform, topics and posts of a number of university blogs currently published online. Brainstorm and prioritize blog post topics, creating one topic for an audience of students, one for their faculty peers and one for the educational community in their field. Analyze and discuss how writing compelling, interactive blog content can encourage future, current and former students to learn and share more about their discipline of study and to keep in touch with the community at large.

Blogging uses a combination of technical and writing skills, skills that are necessary for many students entering the workforce. Blogs, or Web logs, have been around for almost a decade. The methods for determining their effectiveness took place over an eight-year period during which time a number of informational blogs were initiated. The research culminated with the collection of data from a sample blog directly related to the field of education during a year-long period in 2012-2013. The process consisted of: Creating a URL for blog. Choose a blogging platform (Blogger, Wordpress). Choose objectives for content (Common Core Standards). Select blog design (template, layout or HTML). Brainstorm Topics. Write posts (SEO). Publicize blog (pings, social networking websites, links, bookmarking sites, syndication). Track page views/hits. Blog posts need to be submitted consistently—daily, weekly, monthly.

Statistics are recorded for a blog once it’s established from a variety of sources, the largest of which is The received up to 200 page views a day just a week after it was published online. Statistics can include the number of page views, traffic sources (referring websites), locations bounce rates, time spent on blog, rank (alexa/Google page rank) and sites linking in.

Two approaches for blogging exist: those directly associated with the university platforms/servers and those created using widely-used blog services (Blogger, WordPress).

Walden University Career Services Blog

Walden University Writing Center Blog 

Blogging is not a stand-alone technology platform. It’s easily integrated into websites ranging from linkedin to instagram. In a matter of seconds, a blog link and/or image can be published on a number of platforms and vice versa (Twitter feeds published on blogs).

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Don't Like Common Core? Think Twice about an Alternative--Gulen Charter Schools

This is very strange. Three news stories bridge to the Gulen Movement, a large enterprise whose top staff was arrested in Turkey.…/journalists-and-tv-producers-detaine…/

Evidently this movement is alive and well in the U.S. Among its many assets are charter schools.

Check this out:…/120-american-charter-s…/375923/

Finally, you might want to know that a charter school near you (…/lab…/*California) is a Gulen school--a strict, academic math/science curriculum. Is there a twist?

More about Gulen Schools and Common Core