Reflecting on blog tools

Poster created by jennip98 CC-BY-NC-SA
Poster created by jennip98 CC-BY-NC-SA

I have finished creating my website and blog for Task 1 so this week I have been looking at other students websites and blogs. For Task 1 we all had to create a website, blog and a poster about a topic related to safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT. I decided to do a poster about Best Practice for Attributing Creative Commons Images as I feel ethical use of others work is a very important skill that I need to know so that I can pass it along to my future students. Reading other students blogs it was obvious that many people have never created a website or blog before so we are all in the same boat! I don't feel so alone on my learning journey. Wow, some students have done a fantastic job. I was very impressed with what everyone has produced in such a short time! 


Comparing my own Jimdo blog with the different tools other students have used I noticed that different blog technologies display or don't display various features. For example: In my Jimdo blog I can't see an archive list on the side of the page like you can see on Blogger or Weebly blogs. Also, if I post a long blog with images a read more link is displayed. When I click on the link it displays the entire post in a separate page, but then I can't see any way to navigate back to the main page except by clicking on the Blog link in the top navigation. This makes it awkward to move back and forward through my blog posts. I did a Google search "Jimdo + create blog archive" and found some information about creating a blog archive. However, looking at the instructions, it appears you have to manually create a new page for each year. Maybe I'll look at changing to an external blogging technology so I can explore the full features offered by a real blogging platform.


I also noticed that I could not add comments to students blogs who used WIX or Google Sites. I did a Google search "Wix blog comments" and found some information on the WIX help center. It appears the comment box is not automatically displayed and this page provides instructions for how to customise your comments box. I wonder if the students who used Wix blogs know this? Maybe I should post a message on the LMS discussion forum. Another Google search for "Google sites comments" revealed that comments on Google sites can only be done by the owner or editors - not vistors. Commenting on others blogs is a major component of blogging, so it appears the Google Sites in-built announcement page is not the best tool for a blogging. I think if I was going to ask my students to build a website using Google Sites, I would probably suggest they use Blogger for their blog platform. From the comments I've read about Blogger is seems very easy to use and would provide the opportunity for other students, teachers and parents to comment on my students work.

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