Blog Search Engines

Just as there are indexes for magazines and journals, which we at the library refer to as databases (but many students prefer to call search engines), the blogosphere has grown so rapidly (there are currently close to 70 million blogs in existence) that blog search engines have cropped up to help you find blog postings quickly. 

The largest blog search engine is Technorati. Search for the tag NJCU to see how often NJCU is mentioned in posts, and what (some) people have to say about us. (Smaller blog search engines include Ice Rocket and Sphere.)

To get an idea of how faculty and students are using blogs to support the curriculum, read this EDUCAUSE report which illustrates practical ways in which educators can use blogging. Blogging provides students with a range of opportunities including chances to:

  • practice writing in English or another language
  • see their peers’ work and respond to it
  • turn in and access assignments at any time
  • be creative with their blog and postings in an informal setting
  • interact with other students through comments

One NJCU Arts professor has used a blog to highlight her student’s work. An NJCU staff member uses her blog to explore developing a blog. Other NJCU students have set up blogs to accompany their course work in Educational Technology. See examples here and here. While I agree that it’s great to use blogs for educational purposes, I sort of think their creators might consider deleting them once the course has ended. Otherwise, we risk clogging up the blogosphere with potentially millions of blogs which were only actively maintained for a semester or two. What do you think? Are blogs truly useful in education or just a passing fad?

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