To my delight, this month I received a hard copy of the summer edition of the OTAN (Outreach and Technical Assistance Network) Online Connection (www.otan.us), and guess what was inside the issue? A full two pages by Marian Thacher of "Blogging as an Instructional Tool." Because of that, I've spent another 20 hours looking at other people's blogs, accidentally going to Lorelle's blog (see my links for educators and bloggers) and subsequently watching a video of her July presentation in San Francisco which was all about blogging (it is an investment of an hour, but worth it to see this animated speaker in action - lots of ideas about how to keep your class awake after watching her!).
What have I learned about blogging as an educational tool? First, you've got to invest some time to start one and then more time keeping it alive. Second, it's better to write short posts rather than long ones. Get the idea out there. Third, if you want anyone to read your blog, you've got to do your part and visit other people's blogs, leaving your blog as a calling card. Finally, when teaching, give your students the opportunity to be read and heard either by building their own blogs or posting writings on yours. However, the shy Asian ones may not ever do it in English.
P.S. If you go to my other blog (Mbote from San Diego), you'll see that in July after the return from Alberta, I was continuing to work on developing my blogging skills. I've got the 'hammer,' and now I can show you how to overload a blog with photos. Next job, figure out how to link photos to my posts, so you don't have to look at all the pictures if you don't want to!