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Ideas

Our CILC Blogs setup borrows heavily from UMW Blogs, a community publishing platform at the University of Mary Washington that’s been running since 2007. To help get your creative juices flowing, here are ten ideas for using a platform like this:

1. Traditional Blogging5. News9. Creating New Web Applications
2. Courses6. Collaboration10. Presentations
3. E-Portfolios7. Publications
4. Websites8. Multimedia

(based on “Ten Ways to use UMW Blogs,” originally created by DTLT staff)


1. Traditional Blogging

As the name suggests, CILC Blogs can be used as a good, old-fashioned blog.

Personal Blog

You can easily share your opinions, generate discourse, and interact with others using the best blogging software out there.

Travel Blog

In the same vein as the personal blog, but with an international perspective. Many students blog their experiences overseas during semesters or years abroad. Some, like Jennifer Davis, even blog about experiences abroad after graduation, such as the Peace Corps.

  • Em in Asia is a blog started by Fulbright grant-winning UMW student Emily Potosky who has been regularly blogging about her adventures teaching in South Korea for more than two years.
  • Andi Livi Smith’s Preservation Abroad features posts from the Historic Preservation Summer study in Paris, France.
  • Jennifer Davis’ Trifles and Treasures is a blog kept by a UMW Alum who has been living in Africa since her graduation 5 years ago.
  • UMW Abroad aggregates posts from a wide range of study abroad students.

Review Blog

If your interests lie in music, art, literature, or film, you might decide that what you really want is a space to share your reviews and observations.


2. Courses

There is more than one way to skin a course with CILC Blogs. Below are two examples:

A Group Blog

This blog is for the professor who wants to have the class blogging together as a group on one blog. This is probably the easiest to implement, given the Add Users widget, which allows students who already have a blog or username to simply sign up for the blog with their e-mail address.

An Aggregated Course Blog

If many distributed posts are relevant to a certain subject or topic, they can be aggregated into one course blog (or “mother blog”) for a running stream of the latest work from various students within the class. This option allows students to own the work they do for a variety of classes in their own digital notebook.


3. E-Portfolios

CILC Blogs is an ideal way for students to create a portfolio of class projects, or even a personal portfolio. Such a portfolio could conveniently go on a résumé or C.V.


4. Websites

The flexibility of WordPress can be used to create powerful static websites as well, without using external applications like Dreamweaver. Below are a few examples of the types of sites you can create with CILC Blogs.

Department Sites

Research Sites

CILC Blogs can be used for class projects or individual research.

Professional Sites

Faculty have even started to use it as a quick and easy way to create their own homepage to publish information about their scholarship, teaching, publications, etc.

Student Organizations

Blogs are a great way for student groups to stay connected and share information with themselves and the community. Student organizations use their blogs to display important club information, news, student resources, and multimedia.


5. News

Blogging is a popular way of sharing information with others. Using a blog to keep your community up-to-date has becoming increasingly more popular over the last decade.


6. Collaboration

CILC Blogs offers an excellent platform for creating virtual meeting spaces for completing group projects, and makes collaboration easier. There are many examples of using blogs as such a space, where multiple users can quickly share with one another.


7. Publications

CILC Blogs reduces some of the technical and monetary challenges of creating high-quality online journals, magazines, zines, and numerous other publications. The work of Mike McCarthy’s and Claudia Emerson’s students have been doing provide an excellent example of this possibility, which has really only just begun to be explored.


8. Multimedia

CILC Blogs allow people to share their personal multimedia, such as audio and video.


9. Creating New Web Applications

WordPress is flexible enough that advanced users can utilize themes and hacks to create their own social networking tools. Fragment is one example already discussed under the collaboration section. Fragment allows users to give short “shout-outs” in an expressive space, using the Prologue theme that is a Twitter knock-off.

Additionally, Professor Marie McAllister is creating an audio sharing site focused on Eighteenth-Century Poetry. The site leaves very few traces of a blog; in fact, it is using RSS to aggregate poems by specific authors on a page. Each of these links leads the visitor to a post that has the audio. Moreover, the audio comes from a combination of sources, such as the public domain audio files at Librivox, as well as poems recorded by professors and students more locally. So far the site has over 175 audio poems.


10. Presentations

Given how attractive a blog on CILC Blogs can be- and all the features it affords you- why not use it to create a presentation for a conference that can serve at the same time as a resource for references, ideas, and concepts long after the presentation is over? It has been done pretty effectively already.

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