What is a blog?
A blog is an online publication medium. Most commonly, a blog displays entries known as "posts" in reverse chronological order, with the most recent posts being shown first. You can write a blog by yourself, or add other authors or contributors. Blogs with multiple contributors are known as "group blogs." Most blogs have a way to let other users comment on a post without changing post content or being a contributor.
You can use blogs to update class information (i.e. homework assignments), facilitate discussion of class topics (through blog comments), as an adjunct to student presentations (students upload a summary of their presentations), or as part of a writing requirement for a class (e.g. students are required to make 1 or more blog posts in addition to or instead of traditional papers). Blogs are a great way to help encourage student participation, especially for (but certainly not limited to) students who are shy or have health problems.
To get started with classroom blogging on Wordpress, go to Bryn Mawr Blogs to start your own blog!
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a blogging and digital publishing platform that can be used to create group blogs and simple websites. It is best for sites in which you want people to be able to leave comments on posts and pages. Bryn Mawr has a WordPress instance which faculty, staff, and student (in Tri-Co as well) can log into using their college user IDs and passwords.
How to make a blog post in WordPress: Go to your WordPress site Dashboard, click on Posts, and then click Add New. You will see a text editor much like MS Word. In fact, if you wish, you can write your post in Word and copy and paste it to the WordPress editor. Once you have written your post, you can post it on the blog by clicking the blue Publish button.
For more information on creating posts in WordPress, see the "How to Create a Text Post" guide below.
What is Serendip?
Serendip Studio has been described as a "digital ecosystem" and a "collaborative learning community." It was developed as a platform for scholarly discussion, collaboration and exchange, in the early days of the Internet when most content was NOT user-generated. Some faculty members use it as an alternative to Moodle, as it supports many of the same course management functions but in a more publicly accessible way.
Serendip Studio is a good choice for projects or courses that involve communication outside the boundaries of a class. Users have the option of making their posts publicly available (and thus discoverable by Internet search engines), or limiting visibility to classmates or individuals. A built-in portfolio feature also allows users to gather and showcase work posted across the site and over time. Faculty can also set up accounts for students and faculty at other colleges or for community partners, enabling them to comment on student work and/or post material of their own.
For more about Serendip Studio's history and to view sample courses, see their site. To set up an account or a project or course site, click the Contact link at the top of the main page.