This February, OIT introduced a Blogging service to the campus in a low-key beta release (meaning that we didn’t advertise it and we tell all users that policies and features may change by the time it is officially released.) In the first month we had over 500 blogs created. Most seem to be “hello world” posts with very little content. Most of the active blogs are by students and record social activities and political musings. There are a few that show how blogs can be used in support of academic pursuits:
- A course blog with a very simple purpose: each post asks if there are any questions about an exam, students post their questions as comments.
- A blog for majors in a department to get announcements and updates and post comments on various topics.
- A faculty blog containing the musings of a faculty member on topics related to his specialty.
- A blog by a graduate student commenting on articles and books she has read as part of her thesis development.
- A research blog posting updates on research activities.
- A poetry blog with regular posts of a student’s writings.
Our primary purpose for introducing the blogs is to provide faculty an easier way to post public course sites and for students to create public sites for posting course work. (SPARK makes these possible, but in the confines of a registered class.) In June, we are replacing our three-day Dreamweaver class with an hour and a half on how to do the same thing with a blog.
Stay tuned to see what happens next.