Blog Activity

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[[Category: Learning_Activity]]
[[Category: Learning_Activity]]
[[CS Principles]]

Revision as of 17:38, 7 August 2016

Title Blog Activity
Overview Learners will create a personal blog and post to it.
Prerequisite Knowledge None
Learning Objectives To understand the purpose of a blog. To create and post a blog entry. To understand the use of tags to distribute blog postings to a planet.


According to wikipedia: [1]

"A blog (a truncation of the expression web log) a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries ("posts") typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first). Until 2009 blogs were usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often covered a single subject. More recently "multi-author blogs" (MABs) have developed, with posts written by large numbers of authors and professionally edited. MABs from newspapers, other media outlets, universities, think tanks, advocacy groups and similar institutions account for an increasing quantity of blog traffic. The rise of Twitter and other "microblogging" systems helps integrate MABs and single-author blogs into societal newstreams. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog."


  • Provide immediate availability with long term accessibility
  • Require no HTML knowledge

What makes a Web site a Blog?

  • Personal writing with byline
  • Contributions by one person or a group
  • Short entries – a paragraph to a few pages
  • Dated entries – usually displayed in reverse chronological order
  • Themed and often opinion based
    • Business topic
    • (for personal blogs) hobby, diary, report of the cat's daily activities

Blog to blog connections are common

  • Blogs cite each other
  • Multiplies visibility of postings
  • Expands communities

Blog posts can be threaded discussion triggers

  • Many blogs allow comment posting
  • The blogger controls thread topics by always posting the initial thread item

Blog posts can have tags and categories

  • Can assist with routing or selection of posts
  • RSS (and RDF and Atom) provides a push technology letting people “subscribe” to a blog
  • Blog planets provide a way to collect a stream of related blog posts

Blogs in the Open Source World

  • Many FOSS developers use blogs to reflect on their work or to make observations on FOSS events or new technologies.
    • For instance, the forking of LibreOffice from OpenOffice was a source of several blogs weighing the merits of the split.

Blog Planet There are many cases where it makes sense to pull together all of the blog postings either from a particular group or all blog postings related to a particular topic. In fact, blog planets are software that accomplishes this. For instance, Fedora has a planet that collects all of the postings for people blogging about Fedora. TeachingOpenSource also has a blog that aggregates the blog posts from the faculty members and FOSS developers that belong to that community. In order to have a blog post sent to a planet, the blogger must "sign up" for the planet and then use the appropriate tags to identify a particular blog post as being relevant to the planet. More formally, a Planet can be defined as both:


Part 1 - Creating a blog

If you do not already have a blog, create one at (or other blog host of your preference). Do the following:

  1. Go to
  2. Click Get Started and fill out the form provided.
  3. Fill in basic information in your profile
  4. Fill in the “About” page

Part 2 - Posting to your blog

Now that you have a blog, it is time to make a post.

  1. In an earlier activity you completed the FOSS Field Trip and looked at projects on sourceforge. Create a blog post that talks about the type of FOSS project you searched for (education, finance, health care, etc.) and what you found (refer to the notes you took when answering the questions). What projects caught your eye? Were they active projects? Did language or platform seem to match your curriculum? Any thoughts you are willing to share about the activity, what you learned and/or how you hope to incorporate FOSS into your classroom would be great to include in your blog post.
  2. Add a link to your blog by adding to your entry on the POSSE participants page (or create a new entry if you didn't create one in the Wiki Activity). Model your entry after the ones shown. Please insert your link alphabetically by last name.

Part 3 - Introduction to Planets

  1. Read the following Wikipedia page about planets.
  2. Go to the Teaching Open Source Planet and observe the recent blog posts that the planet has aggregated. You'll note that there are posts on a variety of different topics from a variety of different people. (It is not expected that you understand all of these posts.)

Part 5 - Signing up for the TOS planet - OPTIONAL for the POSSE Workshop

  1. Go to the TOS planet Feed
  2. Tag your post with whatever tag you will use for posts that you want to appear on the Teaching Open Source Planet (suggestion: TOS).
  3. Go to Teaching Open Source ( and create an account if you have not already: (
  4. Follow the instructions to add your URI for the feed the Planet Feed List ( You will have to edit the Feeds section to add the URI and your name. Follow the format of the other entries there and be careful to read and follow the Feed Info Format section.


What will the student hand in?


How will the activity be graded?

How will learning will be measured?

Include sample assessment questions/rubrics.

Criteria Level 1 (fail) Level 2 (pass) Level 3 (good) Level 4 (exceptional)
The purpose of the project
Why the project is open source


What should the instructor know before using this activity?

What are some likely difficulties that an instructor may encounter using this activity?

Additional Information:

ACM Knowledge Area/Knowledge Unit What ACM Computing Curricula 2013 knowledge area and units does this activity cover? ACM_Body_of_Knowledge
ACM Topic What specific topics are addressed? The Computing Curriucula 2013 provides a list of topics -
Level of Difficulty Is this activity easy, medium or challenging?
Estimated Time to Completion 60 minutes
Materials/Environment Access to Internet/Web and web browser.
Author Who wrote this activity?
Source Courtesy of Karl Wurst and Greg Hislop
License Licensed CC BY-SA

Suggestions for Open Source Community:

Suggestions for an open source community member who is working in conjunction with the instructor.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

CC license.pngCS Principles

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