Blogs at the University of Maryland


In this article

What is a Blog

A blog (short for "weblog") is a series of entries, or "posts", usually displayed in reverse chronological order (last post first) on the Internet. Typically, blogs are authored by one person and open for comments from other people. They can also be written by a small group or open to an entire course. Often, blogs focus on a single subject. Blog assignments are an excellent format for covering a current event as it unfolds (for example an earthquake), documenting progress (an example would be an experiment), or time-based entries (like the diary of an internship).

The majority of blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments, but this is not required. The personal perspectives that can be found on blogs lead to a sharing of ideas and sense of community. With the use of plugins, additional functionality can be added, including the ability for users to message each other. It is this interactivity that distinguishes blogs from other static websites.

The University of Maryland supports WordPress (Edublogs), Adobe Spark and even Google Docs as tools with which students can create blog responses to assignments.

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Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark is a free web-based tool that students can use to develop media rich web pages without any need to know HTML. 

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Learn to Create an Adobe Spark Page

Learn to Collaborate on an Adobe Spark Page

WordPress Blog

Faculty, staff and students can request a freestanding blog with its own url at http://blog.umd.edu. Blogs are constructed with Wordpress software and hosted by Edublogs.

NOTE: Students must be added with their @umd.edu email addresses. Do not use @terpmail.umd.edu.

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Google Docs

Google Docs can be used by students to create personal journal reflections or shared blogging content.

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Additional Resources

Blogs in Plain English

This is a brief overview of blog technology.

Seven Things You Should Know About Wordpress

This overview of Wordpress blogs is helpful for the beginner to this platform.  Since the publication of this article, Wordpress blog are easier to use with the adoption of Edublogs which provide robust support materials.

Seven Things You Should Know About Blogs

This is an overview of using blogs in the classroom but there have been technical changes that make it easier to manage.

A Better Blogging Assignment

This article is a commentary on blog assignments in the classroom. It has been included because it offers ideas for strategies that may be helpful to construct a blogging assignment.

Instructional Strategies for Blogging

Nice guide for new and seasoned instructors to blogging. The categorization of comments is helpful to analyzing student contributions.

Avoiding Common Mistakes in Using Blogs with Students

Outlines the five most common mistakes in assigning blogs, and tips for avoiding them.

Seven Things You Should Know About Video Blogging

Webcams and phone videos have become ubiquitous and people are video blogging without even knowing it. This article is a nice refresher to the medium.

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Evaluating Student Blogs

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