Blogging 101

Recent updates to the blogs.lt.vt.edu system have made blogging at the Official GRAD 5104 Blog (and all the associated sites that feed GRAD 5104 through the magic of RSS) easier than ever before. To get started, make sure you are logged in (don’t have blogs.lt.vt.edu blog? Well, if you have an @vt.edu email address, head over here and sign up). If you’re already logged in, just hover over “+ New” in the toolbar (look up, it’s available in the anthracite colored toolbar at the top of the frame). Click “Post” and you’ll be redirected to a lovely (and easy to use) WYSIWYG text editor (you can also play with HTML [if so desired] by switching from the “Visual” to the “HTML” tab at the top right of the text editor). Once there, you can type to your heart’s content — discuss your expectations for the trip, share exciting pre-trip information, recap experiences as the trip unfolds, reflect on the enriching and challenges aspects of the trip, among countless other blogging topics.

When you’re ready to share your thoughts, simple click the blue “Publish” button in the righthand column. Oh, please use the category “PFPF15” (without the quotation marks) for any GRAD 5104 posts. The syndication filter will only accept those posts with the “PFPF15” category. Using categories (and tags too) will help readers (and you) better navigate the blog.

Don’t forget to add images, embed videos, adjust text formatting, and tweak all types of other exciting WordPress features (just play around with the toolbar at the top of the text editor). And, when you’re feeling ready — start exploring the lefthand column. There are numerous options for personalizing the look and feel of your blog.

This is your space to think out loud, more deeply explore things we are reading, digitally engage with GRAD 5104 colleagues, and share things (e.g. news, videos, multimedia, etc.) that are tangental to GRAD 5104. Since the course meets only once per week, the blog will be a very useful space to discuss and explore topics outside of class. For the most part, participants are  expected to develop unique themes and content for their own posts. You are expected to contribute often and meaningfully to the blogging environment. Use the blog as a space to ask questions (of the instructor, the GTA, each other, and outside readers) and share information as we explore the wide world of higher education. Again, the blog is designed to promote digital conversation about higher education and your individual and collective places therein. Therefore, you will need to not only create your own posts, but also comment on colleagues’ posts. To help initiate blogging conversation, there are five (5) mandatory prompts during the semester. In addition to free range blogging (where students select topics/issues pertinent to GRAD 5104 and write thoughtful and thought-provoking blog posts that help to stimulate additional out-of-class discussion), each student will write a blog post about 5 specific topics: (1) Mission Statements, (2) Open Access, (3) Scholarly Integrity, (4) MOOCs, and (5) Changing Higher Education.

Questions are, of course, welcome and encouraged. Don’t hesitate to contact Michael as concerns, confusion, or other blogging issues arise. Please refer to the document in Scholar titled “GRAD 5104 blog – getting started guide” for blog setup instructions. You can also leave comments throughout this blog.

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