A little late but here’s some brief comments on the second day. Again this is available online so you can see everything yourself. A couple general observations is that blogger seems to be the host of choice. This is true with some of the things I’ve seen on our campus as it is free and easy to use. One thing that wasn’t mentioned (unless I missed it) in either of these presentations was privacy concerns. If you have students posting to a public blog in some way for a course you need to make sure your complying with your state or institutions privacy policies. You may have to give other, more private options to students then posting on the blog.

Blogs are another hot topic in highered and the integration with online courses has come up multiple times here. This presentation went over the very basics of blackboard vs. blogs. We don’t use blackboard at MSU so I can’t speak for it. Here there are a few options. You can load the blog within a frame or you could use some sort of RSS2JS service to pull in the headlines. Since the presentation was mostly stuff I knew I actually found the comments more insightful. They talked about faculty education and support in regards to the tools available for them and the importance of that. As distance ed support I’ve come across this numerous times and have even helped faculty at other institutions that happened to call our number. It sometimes amazes me that some institutions don’t have as robust support as something as technical as online courses require. The support might be there, though, and just be an awareness issue. I think the departments on our campus could do more with advertising services, including the library.

This presentation was in regards to using blogs as a place for collabortive discussion for students from different cultures to learn from each other. I’ve seen similar blog posts around the edusphere about middle school and other young classrooms doing similar things for “pen-pal” type relationships. I actually think the ideas of using cross-culture materials to teach was as interesting as using a blog to accomplish it. There were some interesting ideas and it is worth taking a look.