3 Ways to Edublog – LinkUps

Academic blogs can be used by professors in many different ways depending on their subject matter, lessons, and pedagogical goals. To guide you in the decision of what approach will be best for you to achieve your pedagogical goals we have created the series 3 ways to Edublog. In this series we will feature 3 distinct pedagogical and technical ways to use your blogs as educational tools in your classroom. 

LinkUps

LinkUp blogging is when students can submit specific blog posts to a professor’s post with the use of a LinkUp tool. This particular way of blogging works best for situations where a professor wants students to write a response about a prompt/scenario.

The first step is for the professor to create a free account with a linkup widget such as http://www.simply-linked.com/ or http://www.inlinkz.com/. Once the account is created, the professor will set up a list or collection depending on the widget he/she decides to use. All widgets provide an html script code that should be pasted on the body of the blog post, but in the html editing mode:

Note: It is possible that after pasting the code in html mode you won’t see it upon returning to visual mode. To make sure your linkup works properly finish your blog post, paste the code in html mode, and publish it right away (from html mode).

How the students connect?

Whenever a student creates a wordpress post in their personal blog, a permalink is assigned to that post:

After publishing the blog post, the student goes to the professor’s post/prompt and submits the permalink address to his/her response:

Once the post is submitted, responses will look like this:

Pros and Cons
There are particular benefits for using this approach.  If some of your students already have wordpress blogs as public platforms or as professional portfolios and if you would like for them to be able to continue owning, managing, and customizing their own blogging environments this is a great approach. Also, this approach may encourage them to blog and reflect about other issues that are not directly related to your class that could be helpful in their development as a student and creative thinker. This approach gives teachers direct access to students’ blog posts about the prompt and other students have direct access to their peers’ blog posts.

Blogs offer students and faculty great opportunities for interaction with each other. Commenting on each other’s blog posts is a great tool for reflection and understanding of peoples views on particular issues and classroom content. WordPress blogs allow for customization of blogs with the use of widgets and some of the widgets show recent comments. This capability is very helpful to aggregate and show blog comments from an edublog classroom has many students. With LinkUps, this is not possible. Comments only show on the original posts, in the original hosted blog.

If you want to know more about blogs click HERE.

3 Ways to Edublog – Web Syndication

Academic blogs can be used by professors in many different ways depending on their subject matter, lessons, and pedagogical goals. To guide you in the decision of what approach will be best for you to achieve your pedagogical goals we have created the series 3 ways to Edublog. In this series we will feature 3 distinct pedagogical and technical ways to use your blogs as educational tools in your classroom. 

Web Syndication

Web syndication is when a professor gathers the website/blog material from the students into a classroom blog. The way this syndication is done is with the activation of a plugin called FeedWordPress. According to the plugin description:

“FeedWordPress is an Atom/RSS aggregator for WordPress. It syndicates content from feeds that you choose into your WordPress weblog; the content it syndicates appears as a series of special posts in your WordPress posts database. If you syndicate several feeds then you can use WordPress’s posts database and templating engine as the back-end of an aggregation (“planet”) website.”

Whenever a student creates a wordpress blog, a RSS feed address is assigned to that site. By activating the FeedWordPress plugin and configuring it to fetch the posts from the students’ site with their RSS feed address you can bring all of their posts, or select posts with a particular tag or category to a class website.

Pros and Cons
There are particular benefits for using this approach.  If some of your students already have wordpress blogs as public platforms or as professional portfolios and if you would like for them to be able to continue owning, managing, and customizing their own blogging environments this is the best approach. Also, this approach may encourage them to blog and reflect about other issues that are not directly related to your class that could be helpful in their development as a student and creative thinker.

Blogs offer students and faculty great opportunities for interaction with each other. Commenting on each other’s blog posts is a great tool for reflection and understanding of peoples views on particular issues and classroom content. WordPress blogs allow for customization of blogs with the use of widgets and some of the widgets show recent comments. This capability is very helpful to aggregate and show blog comments from an edublog classroom has many students. With FeedWordPress, so far, this is not possible. Comments only show on the original posts, in the original hosted blog.

For instructions on how to setup FeedWordPress click HERE. If a student blog feed doesn’t syndicate you should read THIS. If you want to know more about blogs click HERE.

Google Analytics

Have you ever wondered how many people have visited your blog lately? Would you like to know which spots were explored the most? Would you like to improve how your visitors experience your blog? You can do that by using a tool called Google Analytics. Here you can find step-by-step instructions to set-up the Google Analytics tool in your edublog.

STEP 1: If you already have a Google account (for instance, your gmail log in information is your Google account) you can go directly into the Google Analytics site and create your account (STEP 2). If you don’t have that account, your first step will be to create one. Click here to do so.

Creating your google account

STEP 2: Create a Google Analytics account by going to the Google Analytics site and signing in with your Google username and password.

Creating your google analytics account

STEP 3: After creating your account, Google Analytics will provide you with a code. Select that code and copy (Ctrl+C) it (highlighted area).

STEP 4: Log into your blog account and under the tab settings in your dashboard click on Google Analytics.

Finding the Google Analytics tab

STEP 5:  Paste (Ctrl+V) the code in the highlighted area and save your changes.

Paste code in the highlighted area

STEP 6: Go back to your Google Analytics account page and click on Dashboards to see the status of the visits in your blog.

Your Google Analytics dashboard