A blog, a shortened version of the term ‘Web log’, is an online chronological collection of personal commentary and links. Easy to create and use from anywhere with an Internet connection, blogs are a popular form of Internet publishing and have become an established communication tool. Blogging has evolved from its origins as a medium for the online publication of personal diaries to a respected vehicle for editorials on specific topics.
How to use it
- Increase others’ knowledge of your work and activities.
- Promote dialogue in your discipline.
- Streamline communications by minimising emails.
- Share expertise and knowledge.
- Encourage peer-to-peer learning.
- Support learning, express opinions, encourage reflection and debate.
How to apply it
Phases of learning:
- In Phase 1 of the Turin Blended Learning Approach (Course orientation and knowledge use)
- Post links to introductory material or content related to previous knowledge.
- Make contact with all participants.
- In Phase 2 of the Blended Learning Approach (Complement course material and free up class time for collaborative activities)
- Post case studies, news items, best practice for comments.
- Post links related to course content and ask participants to do the same.
- In Phase 3 of the Blended Learning Approach (Support & follow-up, Sharing knowledge)
- Participants post links to their action plans to receive feedback from peers and experts.
- Review key points and show additional examples and applications of concepts.
- Use a tutorial on how to set up a blog, like the video tutorial on WordPress in the Resources section below.
- From a computer, set up a blog using a free platform like Blogger or WordPress (Word Press plug-in available for multilingual blogs: http://wpml.org).
- Set up qTranslate to manage content in different languages from the WordPress editor, using automatic translation.
- To learn to embed pictures and videos in your WP blog, click http://tinyurl.com/dcnb4d
- To embed presentations in your blog, upload it to http://www.Slideshare.net and use the same method as for videos and pictures.
ITCILO course on “Communicating Labour Rights”
Vittorio Longhi, labour writer, blog administrator.
This is a blog for journalists and media professionals interested in labour rights and policies, international labour standards, corporate social responsibility and national and transnational trade union agreements.
General blogging tips:
- Get inspired by visiting blogs on similar topics.
- Always check facts and spelling.
- Less is more: keep it simple. Short, concise text is easier to read and easier to assimilate, but is harder to write.
- Organize your categories and tag your posts meaningfully with keywords or categories so that you can find older posts.
- Incorporate pictures and videos.
- Understand and explain the learning objectives of a blog.
- Cover a well-defined topic and end the post with a question to stimulate debate. Ask structured, opened-ended questions that focus on participant’s experience.
- Avoid passive invitations such as ‘Comment’ in favour of questions such as “What do you think?” and “Do you have other examples?”
- Use content from related discussion forums as inspiration for blog posts (“Top 10s”, “How to…”).
- Ask subject-matter experts to write periodic posts and answer questions from readers.
Tips for multilingual content:
- Prioritize what to translate. (Pieces that may have enduring relevance, such as FAQs, are often well worth the effort.)
- Professionally translate core content and reserve automatic translation for user comments (one common tool is Google Translate).
- Use a controlled English language model (with words that only have one meaning) to facilitate automatic translation.
Tips for promoting your blog:
- Video tutorial on WordPress: http://www.teachertrainingvideos.com/wordPress/index.htm
- ITCILO blog: http://tinyurl.com/pzyx73
- Pedagogical classification of blogs: http://www.edtechpost.ca/gems/matrix2.gif
- Blogs in higher education: http://www.worcester.ac.uk/ils/cult/cult.html
- Pedagogy: http://tinyurl.com/35utauq
- Multilingual blogging: http://tinyurl.com/3xukony and http://tinyurl.com/2zyhyt
- KS Toolkit: http://www.kstoolkit.org/Blogs