7 reasons not to swear in blogs

signIt seems to be depressingly more and more likely to find that a blog article which looks promising is peppered with swear words – or one particular swear word that is repeated ad nauseum. I think that writers of such blog posts are making a grave error. Here are my reasons.
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The trials and tribulations of blogging as a SWOT analysis

There are people like myself, Steve Wheeler and others who think that blogging is a good thing to do for a number of reasons. I won’t rehearse theme here because you can read them in the articles referenced at the end of this one. However, blogging is not necessarily easy. Even if writing itself is not a problem, there are several other factors that need to be taken into account.
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Computing and ICT misinformation

IMAG0311I am continually astonished by people’s misconceptions or misinformation about education in general, and ICT in particular. To be more accurate, I am often shocked, but no longer surprised, at how poorly education tends to be reported on in the press – at least in my experience when it concerns stuff I know about.

Now, I understand this when it comes to a subject like science. I used to say to Elaine, over breakfast, things like:

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What is Both good and original in the world of educational technology?

... No!NO!NOOOO!When a young man with dreams of becoming a writer sent a manuscript to Samuel Johnson for his opinion, Dr Johnson is reputed to have replied:

“My congratulations to you, Sir. Your manuscript is both good and original; but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.”

I thought it might be interesting to look at 10 ideas that have gained popularity in the world of educational technology and ICT in recent years, to see if they meet the “good and original" test”. Here are my considered, though possibly opinionated, views.

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5 ways to establish credibility on your blog

ezine-expert-authorI don’t know what it’s like living in other countries, but here in England we are fortunate indeed. If I want to have a discussion on any subject at all, I can simply walk into the pub nearest to where I happen to be at the time, where I am virtually certain to discover a self-styled “expert” declaiming about the economy, or what’s wrong with kids today, or how to solve the financial crisis, or whether or not kids should be taught how to programme, or how the entire education system should be put right.

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Reasons to have a blogging team

quill-redIt took me an hour and 29 minutes to write a blog post this morning. Actually, it took me over two hours, because I thought about it last night. Fortunately, the amount of time I spent, which was about 1.5 hours longer than I’d intended, didn’t have too much of an impact on my work schedule, because I did the thinking last night whilst watching TV, and this morning I was the computer by 6am in order to get lots done before I started work.

But why am I telling you all this?

Because when I think of what I need to do to keep my blog updated every day, I realise what needs to be in place for a school blog to thrive. The answer is: a team.

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Why schools should have a hyperlocal blog

SilSpgErlVtg_0053 Blair ReporterMany years ago there was a television series in Britain called “The Cres”. Short for “The Crescent”, the series followed the day-to-day lives of the fictional residents of a street somewhere in England. Most episodes were engaging and humorous, and made compelling viewing. An article I read this morning reminded me of this, and made me think that a “hyperlocal” blog could work really well for a school.

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An example of how technology changes things

P1000244I have found the Never Seconds debacle quite interesting. Story in a nutshell, in case you missed it: nine-year-old Martha Payne writes a daily blog in which she uploads a picture of her school lunch and reviews it. Argylle and Bute Council has some sort of nervous breakdown and issues an edict telling Martha that she isn’t allowed to take photos of her lunch, because catering staff are now in fear of their jobs. As a consequence, Martha’s blog gets over 5 million page views in just a few days, the number of comments on her posts soars from around 30 to over 2,300 in two days, and Argyll and Bute rescind the ban.

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ICT and poor journalism

I attended a Westminster Legal Forum event about libel reform today, and someone asked whether bloggers were “real” journalists (or something like that). That sort of question implies that bloggers are somehow inferior to genuine journalists. I have to say, however, that when it comes to reporting on education policy, “proper” journalists do not always acquit themselves well in terms of accurate reporting. This was especially true in January 2012 in response to Michael Gove’s speech at BETT.

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Blogging on February 29 2012

blog readingI’ve always felt a bit sorry for the people whose birthday falls on February 29th – it must be terrible, for example, on your 28th birthday to be given presents suitable for a four-year old. Seriously, though, it must be a bit depressing to have the chance to celebrate your birthday on the proper date only every four years. But this leap year, they can celebrate in style, with a blog post!

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Are there benefits in having an unread blog?

Most people who blog about their profession (as opposed to, say, people who are keeping a journal for their own records or for their family and friends) like the idea of lots of people reading their blogs. But are there any advantages to having a blog that nobody reads?
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Review of The Copywriting Scorecard for Bloggers

The aim of this book, written by Darren Rowse and Glenn Murray, is to help you write better blog posts. However, “better” in this context refers to generating more visitors to your blog rather than “just” improving your writing skills. The idea is a simple one: why not identify the key elements of successful blogging, and then provide a tool by which to measure how a particular blog post has done? That’s exactly what the book aims to do.
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