Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Using blogs to teach

Cathy Resmer at 802 Online writes about three blogs started by students for a UVM class titled Politics & the Internet. Her point is that KeepVermontersWarm.com sets a high altruistic bar for UVM Barf (about dining hall food) and Burlington Noise (about the local noise ordinance.) I imagine the course requirement did not address topic choice. And setting that aside, the different approach the three blogs have taken is interesting.

All three have clearly stated goals on the front page. That was probably a course requirement. KeepVermontersWarm.com (which should probably be titled "Keep Vermonters Warm") has a .com address and an interesting design, which, it turns out, doesn't work very well. They've only managed two posts beyond the front page.

UVM Barf and Burlington Noise are using Blogspot. UVM Barf makes good use of the sidebar, but should adjust preferences to show more posts on the front page. They've post-dated a post stating the site's goal in order to keep it at the top of the page - crude but effective.

KeepVermontersWarm.com and UVM Barf have links to petitions, one at ThePetitionSite.com and the other at PetitionOnline.com. I had no idea it was so easy to create online petitions.

All three sites could benefit from more careful writing or editing. But they all seem to be learning about local issues and blogging.

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