General

Blog and it’s role in e-learning

P Vimalkumar, Alagappa University

Blog:

A Blog (weblog) is the type of website or part of the website in which items can be posted and displayed with the newest at the top. Like other media, blogs often focus on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news, etc., Some Blogs function as online diaries. Shortly, Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events or the other material such as text, images, audio, video, animation, and graphics. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse – chronological order. A typical blog combines text, images, links to other blogs, web pages and the other media related to its topic. The word weblog was coined by “Jorn Barger” in the year 1997. Since its appearance in 1995, Blogging has emerged as a popular means of communication, affecting public opinion and mass media around the world.

The term Blog is a blend of the terms web and log, leading to weblog, weblog, and finally, the term `Blog’ was coined from these terms for reasonable purposes. Authoring a blog, maintaining a blog or adding an article to an existing Blog is called Blogging. An Individual article (entry) on a Blog is called “Blog posts,” “posts” or “entries”. A person who posts these entries is called a Blogger. The collective community of Blogs is called Blogosphere. The dynamic capacity of Blogging as a communicative channel for both individual self-expression and social connectivity have fuelled increasing interest in Blogging as an educational resource (Williams & Jacobs, 2004; Burgess, 2006).blog based learning

The web sites that publish these Blog posts or articles are called Blog sites. Blog sites often provide opinions, commentaries or news on a particular subject, such as food, education, politics, or local news and personal online diaries. Some Blog posts provide a list of links called Blogroll (Agarwal and Liu, 2008). Previously, Blogging was used as a medium for the publication of simple online personal diaries. Online diaries are created and updated by changing the text, photos, or links to other sites. Later, it has the capacity to engage the people in collaborative activities, such as knowledge sharing, reflection, and debate. Currently, Blogging is used in all kinds of domains, such as personal, educational, community, politics, and entertainment.

Since it is a social network, Blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other. There are various types of Blogs, and they focus on different-different niches.

Even though Blogging was launched almost a decade ago, Blogs have been reshaped the web, impacted politics, shaken up journalism, and enabled the missions of people to have a voice and connect with others.

The key to the popularity of Blogs is the available scope for user interactivity. Initially, a Blog could be treated by its provider as little more than a news space, and it is not exceptional. Over a period of time, the distinctive style emerged in the course of writing entries and responding to feedback, that reflects the personal character of the Blog creators (Jeremy and Jacob 2004). The semantic web has reached out to all the web users’ communities. Web users are increasingly making use of the different techniques available. Thus, people make use of those tools and Blogging software for sharing information on various topics.

In other words, A weblog may define as “weblog or Blog is a website that consists of a series of entries arranged in reverse chronological order, often updated frequently with new information about particular topics”. The information can be written by the site owner or could have been gathered from other web site or other sources or contributed by users. There are many different types of blogs such as personal Blogs, corporate and organizational Blogs, political Blogs, travel Blogs, project Blogs, music Blogs, moblog, photo Blog, education Blogs, etc.

An edublog is kind of Blog written by someone with a stake in education. Blogs maintained for the purpose of class room instruction, or Blogs written about the educational policy are taken into account for this category. The collection of these Blogs is called the edublogosphere. The explosive growth of Blogs can be attributable to their ease of use, flexibility, and interactivity. First, Blogging technology is easy to use and cost-efficient (Blood, 2004). The origin of Blogging goes further back than the Internet to the days of personal diaries, chronicles and other written forms of personal information. Blogs have become increasingly popular especially among young people. It is reported that more than half (54%) of Bloggers are under the age of 30 (Lenhart& Fox, 2006).

Today, a Blog is considered to be a web page that serves as a publicly accessible personal journal for an individual or company. Blogs are typically written in chronological order and displayed in reverse chronological order to the reader. Online media, such as discussion forums and the e-mail lists are also considered to be predecessors to the Blog. In the past decade, Blogs have replaced personnel homepages as the dominant self-publishing vehicle on the internet (Wortham, 2007). Blogs often reflect the personality of the Blogger. To this end, the most accurate and fitting evolution of today’s Blog comes from the online diaries where the diarist would keep an online journal of themselves.

Though these technological changes are acceptable, in many cases some tasks are become tedious to handle the web information effectively. Blogging is the most familiar social web application. The weblog software supports features such as authoring, editing, and the publishing of Blog entries in the Blogosphere. Generally, a Blog contains the title (the main title, or headline of the post), body (main content of the post), permalink (the URL of the full, individual article), and the posted date (date and time the post was published). Blog entries can optionally include comments (Comments allow readers to discuss Blog entries, correcting errors or otherwise expressing their opinions on the post or the post’s subject), categories (or tags) (indexes to subjects discussed by the entry) and Trackback or pingback (links to other sites that refer to the entry).

A typical Blog consists of the following features;

(i) Title of Blog – Main title, or headline, of the post made by the Blogger.

(ii) Main Body – Main content posted by the Blogger.

(iii) Readers Comments – comments added by the readers or viewers.

(iv) Permalink – Blog URL in full, individual article.

(v) Date of Post – Time and date of the post uploaded by the Blogger.

(vi) Categories or tags – Post of the content matter, is discussed.

(vii) Trackback -Blogger may link to other websites.

Role of Blogs in E-Learning:

At present, most of the website users are using social network sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedln, YouTube and Flickr, for sharing the information. Most of the internet users are also post their comments or feedback, using social networking sites. This is fact especially in the area of Blogs. In general, E – learning would contain the resources relevant to the learning object that would be assisted to the learners. But, when the Blog resources themselves are the learning materials, their contribution is high in terms of their content richness, widespread knowledge resources for the various domains, and free form of the content of the subject publishing. E-learning systems are developed mostly based on the domain application needs; in the same way Blogs could also be organized and manipulated for the needs of implementing E – learning systems.

Types of Blog:

The various categories of Blogs and their descriptions are as follows; Personal Blogs are meant for publishing Bloggers’ personal information. Most of the corporate make use of social interactive sites for sharing their internal communications and discussions; such Blogs are known as corporate or organizational Blogs. Politicians are using the Blogs for e-campaigning. Such kind of Blogs are known as political Blogs. Blogs are not only limited to some specific areas, but cover almost all human involved activities such as travelogs, vlog, photo Blog and education related Blogs. Blogs differ not only in the type of content, but also in the way that content is delivered or written.

Personal Blogs: The personal Blog, an ongoing diary or commentary by an individual, is the traditional, most common blog.

Corporate and organizational blogs: A Blog can be private, as in most cases, or it can be for business purposes. Blogs used internally to enhance the communication and culture in a corporation or externally for marketing, branding or public relations purposes are called corporate blogs. Similar Blogs for clubs and societies are called club blogs, group Blogs.

Blog by genre: Some Blogs focus on a particular subject, such as political blogs, travel blogs, house blogs, fashion blogs, project blogs, education blogs, nicheblogs, classical musicblogs, quizzingblogs and legalblogs. Whereas in the case of genre Blogs focusing on literature, art, film or music. Two common types of genre blogs are art blogs and Music Blogs.

Blog by media type: A blog comprising videos is called a vlog, one comprising links is called a linklog, a site containing a portfolio of sketches is called a sketchblog or one comprising photos is called a photoblog. Blog by device Blogs can also be defined by which type of device is used to compose it. A Blog written by a mobile device like a mobile phone or PDA could be called a moblog.

Difference between Websites and Blogs:

The website can be differentiated from Blog. A blog allows for easy creation of new pages and new data are entered into a simple form. Whereas, in the case of website which is professional, the creation of new pages is more formal than the Blog. Furthermore, in Blogs adding the article to the home page, creating the new full article page (Permalink), and adding the article to the appropriate date or category-based archive are possible. It permits for easy filtering of content for various presentations: by date, category, author, or other attributes.

Table 2.1 Shows the differences between the websites and Blogs

WebsitesBlogs
Content is static.Content is regularly updated.
Formal/ Professional.Nonformal.
Transactional.Informative and educational.
Technical knowledge in coding is a must.No coding knowledge is necessary.
When a Website is updated, there is usually no feature for notify to the readers.Blogs are usually set up with an RSS feed. When update with a new post, this RSS feed notifies to the readers.
Waiting period for search engine spiders to spider your website.Blogs can be easily setup to ping Blog directories and search engines when adding a new post or update the Blog. So, the posts will appear in search engines within a minute.
Interactivity does not exist. It is only one-way communication.

There are many ways to communicate such as comments, Trackbacks, Permalink, etc. between Bloggers and readers.

Comments: Readers can post their comments and Blogger and other readers can respond.

Trackbacks: when another Blogger mentions a particular post and adds a link to that post a brief excerpt will appear in your post’s comment section to let you and your readers know that they could follow another Blogger’s view point of your post.

Permalink: when another Blogger or website links to a specific post they will use the post’s specific page link. This page link is called Permalink. This is a great way to link building on the internal pages of your Blog.



This Article Collect From:

  • Vimalkumar, P. (2010). Effectiveness of blog based learning in Physics at Higher secondary level. Retrieved from: https://sg.inflibnet.ac.in/handle /10603/205647
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Md. Ashikuzzaman

Work at North South University Library, Bangladesh.

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