Monday, September 04, 2006

What’s a blog?

According to some definitions, a blog is essentially an online diary, which can be used to write up daily activities. Unlike a paper diary, however, it gives the others the opportunity to read the entries and to comment on them. From this line of argument follows that blog authors are seen as mainly being interested in distributing their private lives online.

What do you think about this definition? Does it correspond to your views of what a blog is? Do you blog yourself, and/or do you ask your students to? What is your definition of a blog?


At 2:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to some definitions, a blog is essentially an online diary...
I would not agree with that. In fact, it could be a useful tool to start discussions on almost anything, disseminate knowledge and trivia, start a fanzine, in short: provide a forum where people with a common interest - whatever that may be - can get together and share ideas and views (or just absorb other people´s if they do not want to participate actively) Have a look at ¨Germans Under Cover¨ for example (go google it!), I wish I had thought of that...

At 2:38 AM, Blogger Matthew said...

I like this definition especially the bit about distributing your private life online - sort of like the reality tv internet equivalent...I´ve just started blogging with the idea of recording what happens on this trip so that my family/friends can vicariously join me...i have another reason for blogging and that is that I sort of want to be a writer so i´m using the blog as a way of writing regularly...maybe i´m just dreaming...

At 3:53 AM, Blogger Margaret Southgate said...

It can be a diary, but there are other possibilities in the field of language learning. I'd like to explore the possibility of posting activities and ideas for my students.

At 5:35 AM, Blogger Linda Bradley said...

This definition is gradually being redefined and extended, I think. There is a range from the most private, blogging your trip to Asia, to others that are fairly 'unpersonal'. Have a look at eg:

At 8:34 AM, Anonymous Graham Davies said...

This is how blog is defined in Section 12 of Module 1.5 at the ICT for Languages website:

More recently, weblogs - or blogs for short - have begun to appear. These behave in similar ways to discussion lists, except that they often take the form of a journal or a collection of an individual's or group's ideas and thoughts, and they offer an easy facility for uploading new material to the Web. Increasing use is being made of blogs in education. Educational uses of blogs include:

-Journals of school excursions. If the excursion takes place abroad and one of its purposes is to learn a foreign language language, then the students may be encouraged to put together an electronic "scrapbook" in the foreign language, including texts that they have written and photographs and audio/video recordings.
- Online courses in which the teacher sets the tasks and receives the coursework from the students. These may be "open" courses and viewable by the public or "closed" courses aimed at a specific group of students. "Open" blogs can motivate students, encouraging them to improve their writing style due to the presence of other viewers. Such blogs may include Internet resources specified by the teacher and day-by-day records of what the students have learned.
- Webquests.
- Teacher training materials and hints and tips on using new technologies in the classroom.
- School and college newsletters.
The Wikipedia entry on blogs describes a wide range of blog types:


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