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									                                                   Let’s Blog!
                                  State CATESOL Conference, April 11, 2007
                                          Kristi Reyes
                                Eli Clarke, MiraCosta College

What is a blog, anyway?

A blog is a weblog – an online journal for ideas and commentary. Blogs are considered Web 2.0 tools,
meaning that they are not static websites but rather a medium for online collaboration and sharing.

      Here’s an example of an Adult ESOL blog, used with permission from Beth Bogage, San Diego Community
       College District:
      Presenters’ blogs:,,,

Let’s get started!

For today’s workshop, we are going to use, which is affiliated with
Google, and is one of the most popular and easiest-to-use free blog sites.

                                        Sign in here if you have a
                                        g-mail account
Step 1:

      Go to

       Already have an email account with Google (Gmail)? If so,
       you can sign in here with your Gmail username and
                                             If you don’t use g-mail,
      Click “Create your blog now.”         click “Create your blog
      Enter your information. If you have a memory
       problem, try gingko, but you may also want to write
       down the information you entered and store it in a
       secure place.

       Note: You can enter an email address for an account you
       already have here.

       Email address I used: ________________________

       Password or password clue: __________________

       Display name: ______________________________

       Be sure to click in the box to agree to the terms of

      Then click Continue.
   Step 2:

      Now name your blog and give it a URL. Use
       something catchy but memorable. For
       example, I named my blog “VESL @
       MiraCosta College” and chose the URL of
       mccvesl, so the complete blog address is

      Click continue once the availability of the URL
       you choose is confirmed.

   Step 3:

      Now choose a template for your blog.

      Scroll down to see all the options. Click on
       the template you prefer. Click Continue.

       Voilá! Your blog is set up!!!

Click Start Posting to set up your personal profile,
add posts, and alter the look of your blog.

How to:

Add a post:

      Click the Posting tab.
      Click the Compose Tab.
      Give your post a title. For text, the tool
       bar is standard for changing font, point
       size, colors, and other formatting.
                                                         You can add a
                                                         picture or a video
                                                         file to your posts
                                                         by clicking here.
Embed video, slide shows, etc., from other internet sites:

      Copy the html code. Example from YouTube:

                                                                                             Select and copy
                                                                                             [Ctrl] + [C] the
                                                                                             html code in the
                                                                                             “Embed” area.

      Select the html code in the Embed area.
      Copy (Press and hold down the Control key and the C key at the same time).
      On your blog post, click on the Edit html tab. Paste the html code (Press and hold down the Control
       key and the V key at the same time).
      After you add your post, you can preview it. The last step is to click the Publish Post button.

                                                                       Paste [Ctrl] + [V]
                                                                       the html code
                                                                       here to embed.

      You will see this:
Edit or remove posts:

      Click the Edit Posts tab. You can then edit, view, or delete your posts that are published or only drafts.

Other tabs / options:

Settings tab:

Make changes to your blog content. Choose options for publishing (change URL), formatting (number of posts
per page), comments (who and how), archiving, permissions (add authors, select who can view), feeds, email.
You can even delete your blog with the Basic tab.

Template tab:

Customize the look of your blog. Add page elements, change fonts and colors, edit the html of your page, and
change the blog’s template.


Your blogger start page. Here you can edit your profile, post a photo, get help, select a
language, get blogger news, and more.

How to do get back to my blog to make changes and add posts after I sign

      Go to
      Sign in with your Username and password.
      You will then see your dashboard.
      From there, you can manage your blog (view,
       add a post, delete a post, change settings and
Let’s post a personalized welcome to your blog with an avatar: a digital representation of you!

An avatar is an internet representation of oneself, often used on blogs, in instant m essaging, in online gaming,
websites, and more. is a website where you can create an avatar with a short message (recording of
your own voice or text-to-speech).

Step 1:

      Go to There you can see a demonstration movie.
      Register for an account.
      Click Register.

      Fill out this simple form and Click Register.

      Close the dialog box:

      You will be sent a confirmation email. Login to your email
       account and click on the Voki Activation link. You can now
       log in and create your voki.

Step 2:

      Now log in.
      You will need to agree to the terms of use and
       click Continue.
      Create your Voki!

Step 3:

      Customize your voki.
      Choose Create a New Voki.
                                                                             Choose character,
                                                                             clothing, accessories.

                                                                             Record a message by
                                                                             phone, text to speech,
                                                                             computer microphone,
                                                                             or upload a sound file.

                                                                             Choose background
                                                                             and a player (frame).

       Change coloring and

      Save your voki.

From here you can view your voki, email it, edit it, or delete it. You can also make another voki.

         Click View. Here is
         where you will get
         the html code to add
         your voki to your
       For the destination, choose Blooger.
       Choose the size (large or small).
       Click Get Code.
       Choose to agree to terms.
       Now, copy the html code in the box. (Select. [Ctrl] + [C]):

Step 4:

       Last, to embed your voki, go to your blog (login at

     Click New Post on the dashboard.
     Make sure that you have selected the Edit html tab.
   Give your post a title. Paste the html code that you copied from here. [Ctrl] + [V]

                                                                                    Paste the html
                                                                                    code for your
                                                                                    voki here.

       Finally, click Publish Post.
       That’s it! Your blog now has a personalized (though digitized) welcome from you!
So now what? How can I use blogs?

      Create a discussion forum for your class
      Embed various multimedia (this means you can use the html editor to post online video, slideshows,
       sound files, and more)
      Give students a chance to communicate openly with each other and with you
      Give students opportunities to work on team projects and collaborate
      Have students make their own blogs or make small group blogs
      Network with colleagues
      Post class assignments, lectures, study guides, notes, writing prompts, homework, readings, website
       URLs you want students to visit, class photos, students’ work (with their written permission),
       assignment samples/models, student / class / school news
      Share lesson plans and materials
      Use as an instructional evaluation tool. Give students a chance to comment on their progress, the
       class, your teaching, what they like / don’t like / understand / don’t understand.
      Use your blog for self-reflection, as a professional development tool

Other free blog websites:

Other resources:

       Blogger Will Richardson’s blog Weblogg-ed on using weblogs in education

       Online Education Database’s list of Top 100 Education Blogs

       Blogs in Education list of blog uses and related links

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