[THIS IS THE 1st PART OF 7 PARTS IN A SEQUENCE OF LESSONS FOR THE FIRST "MINI-UNIT" OF THIS SEMESTER.]
Over the years I have taught this class -- and ones like it -- I have thought long and hard about how to create the best "space" for students to save and reflect upon research information -- sources, reactions, ideas, thesis statements and the like. Last semester, I used a simple four-page website, "The Research Notebook" website, but this semester I have decided to change this feature of the course and ask students to create "Research Blogs."
This lesson is the first of a sequence of lessons regarding the creation and maintenance of just such a blog.
The different components and aspects of the blog -- the ones that will be scored on the formative and summative level -- are:
After I briefly explain the various components, I reinforce these ideas by showing this presentation, which puts these ideas into sharper relief. At the end of the presentation, I show my mock up blog as well.
I describe in greater detail how to launch and begin the basic blog in the attached screencast.
Also, the lessons following this lesson walk you through an example of an actual "live" site and provide a look at some student examples as well. Using all of these lessons in concert, will allow you to have good, working knowledge of how you can use Blogger to create a "Research Blog."
You will need about 10 min. (or so) just to guide students through the process of setting up their blogs. The set-up is described in the attached video.
I ask students to review my presentation -- the one from the introduction to the lesson -- for homework to double-check that they have all of the blog components. I ask them to seek help from Google's EXTENSIVE help section (for Blogger) before asking me for assistance.
I've found that it is important to give these directions slowly as this will save an enormous amount of time from future lessons, which should be devoted to content of the blog and not layout or functionality.
After students have created and posted their blog, begun the rudimentary elements, they will work on their profiles VERY briefly if time permits in this first class. The lesson for the following day will have a more complete focus on the actual profile itself, so you may want to preview this for tomorrow (or the next time you work on the blog).
Also, I mention -- as is stated on the last slide of the linked slide show -- that they should really customize the blog as they see fit. After I announce this, I take a few minutes -- again time permitting -- to review the information at this Google support page.