That's a wrap! Congratulations to all our winners. The Book Arts Bash now has its own domain name, and a brand new web site for a new Bash in 2010. Visit us here!
Please visit the Favorite Poem Project, and hear Americans read the poetry they love.
This category and this page are exactly the same as the category (and page) for entering an entire blog. The only difference is that for this category you are entering one specific post, and on the entry form you must provide the specific address of the post you wish to enter. You may submit a post that you authored for a group blog.
What is a blog? Blogging started out as online journaling (the original term was "web log" which shortened to "blog") and has developed into a grass roots publishing revolution. Blogging became popular because it is so easy to start one, update one, and publicize one. Bloggers who read other blogs can leave comments, build links, make friends, and keep up with what's going on in other people's lives who are experiencing similar things like homeschooling, parenting, or weight loss. Some bloggers also tackle specific topics like technology, entertainment, art. Blogs differ from traditional web sites in that they are less labor-intensive to create, and they are updated more frequently, kind of like a magazine as opposed to a book. We're looking for interesting blogs with quality content, updated regularly, with a readable format. You do not have to have a high pagerank or lots of traffic to enter and win. Maybe your blog is new, or an undiscovered gem.
Teaching This Genre:
Anyone can have a free blog at Blogger (owned by Google) by going to http://www.blogger.com and signing up. You can keep your blog completely anonymous by using a pseudonym, or you can put in as much "real" information as you're comfortable with. You don't need a server to host a blog -- all you need is an internet connection and a free Google user account. There are other places to blog for free: Wordpress, Xanga, Typepad, and LiveJournal for example. Or, you can host your own blog and use their software to update it. With free templates, free hosting, and a very easy user interface, anyone who wants to blog can be blogging happily in an hour.
So, what is blogging good for, pedagogically speaking? Blogging gets kids writing (and typing) in a medium that provides instant gratification. Doing almost any assignment becomes wildly easier and more interesting when it's done on a blog: "Go and blog ten interesting things about the ancient Indus Valley" or "Go and blog your spelling list" or "Go and blog about your plans for your science project." As soon as you push the "Publish" button, your work is online for all to see. Doing the work seems more attractive when it's going to be publicly published, and there is an obvious reason to get the spelling and punctuation correct, since it will be read by others.
Blogging builds connections between kids who can read each other's blogs, leave comments for each other, and encourage each other. It's great for showing off work to grandmas and grandpas and cousins in faraway places, and it's also very nice for the student to be able to look back over a year's worth of blogging, click through the pages, and see what has been accomplished. A blog actively maintained becomes a diary of exciting experiences, a school portfolio, a photo album, an art gallery, and mostly an expression of who the student is.
Here are some guidlines for kids and parents who blog, from Microsoft:
A blog post about blogging for kids under 13.
On a positive note: Some benefits of blogging.
For finalists and winners, please visit the results page.