Using blogs to Connect.
Learn to set up your own space.
Use tags to organize your writing.
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Schedule of Events
Hangout on Air Netcast: (TBD)
Join Troy Hicks, an international expert on teaching with RSS and Greg McVerry as they host a fifteen minute show on using RSS.
Live Twitter Chat:
Join us for our first Twitter chat Thursday at 9:00 pm EST to discuss strategies, experiences, and challenges of teaching with RSS.
For this cycle you have to make or share a blog. Then write a post explaining why you came to join the #QuestionTheWeb experience.
Participants who complete the makes in this activity will be ready to use RSS and blogs with their students. Once you have set up and used blogs and RSS in your classroom you can return to apply for the RSS Teacher Badge
Why Teach with Blogs and RSS
How to Teach with Blogs and RSS
Blogging and RSS Tutorial
- Decide if you will use an existing blog or create a new blog
- Connect your your blog to #QuestionTheWeb
- Review the rules on how to blog (Hint: The first rule is there are no rules)
Need to set up a new blog?
Step One: Choose a platform
- WordPress.com a hosted version of the most popular blogging platform. You get a good selection of themes and features (but not quite as many options as hosting your own blog).
- Video Tutorial on setting up wordpress.com blog
- Blogger is Google’s hosted platform, so is fully integrated with your Google account and other tools. Blogger offers a wide range of themes and features to customize your blog.
- Video Tutorial on setting up blogger blog.
- tumblr is less thought of as a blogging platform, and is often more focused on media, but offers everything you need to write and organize your content, and its interface for writing is the least complex. Like WordPress and blogger, tumblr offers a range of themes to choose from. It takes a little more digging to find features for creating pages and enabling comments.
- Video tutorial on setting up a tumblr blog.
Step Two: Choose a url address
Be creative but logical. You may find It may take a few attempts to choose a blog url that is not already used. I would suggest avoiding ones that include a specific year in it or questiontheweb (e.g. questiontheweb.wordpress.com) — what if you really like using this site and what to blog beyond #QuestionTheWeb? What if you want to use the blog in 5 years?
Next choose a title. The title is where it will be listed on your blog site. For example the url may be mywalkmyworld.blogspot.com but the title of the blog could be My Journey, Our Walk. The title is how other people cite your blog. So be creative. Stay away from using your class number (GregsENG524) or questiontheweb (questionthewebblog). Its just boring. Your blog title is the front door to your digital space. Make it inviting.
Step Three: Go to the form below and tell us about your new blog
Step Four: Write your first post
Step Five: Spread your post
Great. Except we are only interested in the posts you write about #QuestionTheWeb. In other words we only want to syndicate your posts about #QuestionTheWeb. We will catch up on all your other great writing another time.
You need to understand how to use categories, tags, or labels. This identifies a post as being about #QuestionTheWeb WordPress uses categories. Blogger uses labels. Tumblr uses tags.
If you are using a wordpress blog you will use a category. Create a category called questiontheweb. Then when you publish a post for questiontheweb assign the category.
If you are using blogger you will use a label. When you publish a post assign the label questiontheweb
If you are using tumblr you will use a tag. Use the tag questiontheweb.
If you are using edublogs you will use a category.
How to Connect Your Blog
We will be using an RSS feed to connect everyone’s blog. After reading these instructions you will be linked to a form to collect information about your blog. RSS works.
Technically RSS is a type of file your browser can read. A virtual database containing all of your posts. Each entry includes a title (title of your blog post), the date it was published, a link to the single post, and then the HTML for all of the post’s content.
Important: before you can figure out your RSS feed you must publish one post to the category /tag/label walkmyworld. This way if you can’t figure out your RSS feed (no worries if you can’t) Greg will be able to by visiting your blog.
Step One: Review the basics of blog and rss feed url
If you know this stuff skip ahead. Though a little review never hurt.
It is important you understand the URL of your blog.
The main URL for your blog will look like this:
It is important you understand the URL of a specific post.
The url for a specific post will usually look like this:
Self hosted WordPress: http://myblog.com/myfrontdoor
It is important you understand how to share just your specific feed.
You can organize your posts into groups. You use categories, labels, and tags to accomplish this goal. This can then be turned into a feed that our RSS readers can scoop up.
WordPress: Most WordPress blog feeds are found just by attaching /feed to the url
Blogger: The RSS Feed address will look like
Tumblr: The RSS Feed will look like
Edublogs: The RSS Feed will look lie