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Blogging for Beginners




Blogging for Beginners (B4B)



TESOL Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) IS





How can teachers spice up their classes, raise students' interest in a topic and let them express their thoughts freely? How can they engage students in interacting with each other as a group? This hands-on online workshop will show you how you can achieve all this by starting your own blog, and will invite you to reflect upon the potential of blogging for language teaching and learning. Become a blogger, and learn how to involve your classes in meaningful blogging in just 6 weeks

This six-week online workshop aims at providing participants with different ways in which blogging can be integrated into their teaching. It will be a chance for blogging newbies to set up and enhance their running a blog, and explore the world of possibilities provided by different kinds of blogs. By the end of the workshop, attendees will have experimented with creating a blog, inviting members, posting and editing entries and commenting on other blogs. Besides, they will have looked into comment management, template personalization, differences betwen blog hosts and syndication.




By the end of the workshop, workshop participants will have:


  • created a blog
  • posted and edited entries
  • commented on other blogs
  • tried team blogging (inviting members)
  • explored options for comment management
  • investigated possibilities for template personalization
  • compared different blog hosts
  • grasped the concept of syndication (RSS)
  • compared aggregators and other syndication tools
  • discussed the potential of blogging as a teaching tool in the English lesson and as a tool for professional development


Discussions will take place via a Yahoogroup, and at chat sessions (on Skype, yahoo messenger and Alado). Summaries of all these will be made available through the session wiki, collaboratively constructed during the workshop. This wiki is linked to the group blog and will be kept online for future reference.


Weekly readings and blogs by different ELL teachers and researchers will be recommended for modelling and reflection, and participants will be encouraged to discuss these at the group blog. Additionally, suggestions for readings for extension will be announced.


Synchronous communication: Office hours and live presentations will be held to discuss content and pre-defined topics, provide technical support, build rapport and create a sense of community. Chat logs and recordings of the live sessions will be made available through the session wiki.



Target audience

ELL teachers with no extensive experience in blogging. Participants are assumed to have skills for basic communication via a discussion group, and Internet browsing skills (tutorials will be made available for difficulties in those areas that may prevent participation).



Weekly content

Week 1: Getting Started

During the first week of the course, participants will:

  • exchange introductions and become familiar with the group environments
  • try tools for synchronous communication to be used during the workshop
  • answer a survey to determine their previous experience with blogging
  • add themselves to the group map
  • visit the group blog
  • discuss the concept of blog (and distinguish it from "website" and "wiki")


Extension: Blogging for ELT - Different kinds of blog

Week 2: Understanding and Starting a Blog

During this week, participants will:

  • get to understand blog jargon
  • enter a comment to the group blog
  • open an account at Blogger
  • plan their own blog (defining its purpose and target audience)
  • choose a theme for their blog
  • create a database of participants' blogs
  • explore recommended blogs and reflect upon these models


Extension: Blogging for ELT - Selecting the best bloghost for class blogging

Week 3: Blogging: off we go!

During this week, participants will:

  • edit their blog profile
  • post their first entry to their own (or the group) blog
  • edit and format their entry
  • add images and links to their blog entries
  • explore options for comment moderation and establish their blog settings according to their preferences
  • familiarise themselves with the basics of syndication
  • try Feedblitz as a way of keeping track of other participants' blogs.
  • explore recommended blogs and reflect upon these models


Extension: Posting to a blog - adding an audio or video file

Week 4: Involving Students in Blogging

During this week, participants will:

  • identify the steps involved in getting students to blog
  • study several cases of class blogging and reflect upon what determines the success of such experiences
  • debate whether teachers should correct students' postings
  • compare alternative ways to respond to students' postings
  • consider ways in which teachers can find partners and audiences for their blogging classes


Extension: Successful Class Blogging - Blog pedagogy

Week 5: Going Beyond: Make your blog unique

During this week, participants will:

  • Add files (audio or other types) to their entries
  • Identify the main areas in blog templates
  • Learn the basics of HTML so as to get ready to...
  • ... personalize their blog templates
  • Embed multimedia widgets in their blogs
  • Embed an aggregator in their blog template


Extension: Useful tips to template customization

Week 6: Rounding Off

During this week participants will:

  • Discuss the challenges of blog integration into their teaching contexts
  • Share blogging projects for the year 2007
  • Ponder over the future of blogging
  • Assess their own learning
  • Evaluate the workshop


Extension: The Future of Media


Each week, guest bloggers will be contributing to the group blog, sharing their experiences on the weekly topics.

Dates and times for office hours and live presentations will be announced during the registration period.

Moderators (aka The Blogging Team!)

  • Carla Arena

A Brazilian EFL teacher, explorer of the potential of technology integration into language learning, Carla started to explore the possibilities of tech-applications some years ago and has been trying them out new ever since. Carla is a teacher trainer and site content manager at a Binational Center in Brasilia. She's a blogging fan (or addict!) and enthusiastic Webhead.

Casa Thomas Jefferson

International Exchange



About Me


  • Gladys Baya

An Argentinian EFL teacher and teacher educator, Gladys has been fond of computers since her husband "forced" her to buy one 12 years ago! Her life radically changed after attending “Becoming a Webhead 2005”. Inspired by WebheadsInAction, she's recently started Learning with Computers,an online community of teachers to encourage computer novices to share their learning.




  • María Claudia Bellusci

An Argentinian EFL teacher and eager explorer of technology. Claudia has been training teachers in the use of computers in the classroom since 2002 and is currently working on her Masters Degree in Technology Applied to Education. After participating in EVO 2006, she joined Learning with Computers and turned into a fervent advocate of online communities of practice.



  • Erika Cruvinel

A Brazilian EFL teacher interested in all applications of technology in language learning. Together with Carla Arena, Erika is a computer lab monitor and site manager at a Binational Center in Brasília. Erika is especially interested in the uses of blogs to develop collaborative projects among different countries.





Co- moderator

  • Silvana Carnicero

An EFL teacher from Argentina who has been teaching English to different levels of the educational system (including adults) for over fifteen years. Silvana’s interest in technology started in the year 2001 and since then, she has been giving both face-to-face and virtual courses and seminars on how to include technology in daily teaching practice.




Tools to be used


Join this session


To join this group:


  1. Go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bloggingforbeginners
  2. Click on the blue button:
  3. Follow the instructions
Note: When you register for the group, you will have to be approved by the moderator. In order to reduce the possibility of "unwanted" members (such as spammers), please be sure to explain who you are and why you want to enroll in the session


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