Blogs for Learning was originally conceived by Dr. Ethan Watrall and Dr. Nicole Ellison as a robust online resource designed for students and instructors who are interested in the theory and practice of blogging within an educational setting. The goal of Blogs for Learning is to provide information and resources as to the technical, legal, and pedagogical aspects of blogging in the classroom. The design of the Blogs for Learning site was carefully conceived to be elegant, highly standards compliant and very forward thinking.
Blogs for Learning was created with the generous support from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences and the Department of Telecommunications, Information Studies, and Media at Michigan State University. Special thanks go to Dr. Charles Salmon (Dean, College of Communication Arts and Sciences), Dr. Mark Levy (Chairperson, Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media), Andy Detskas (eProducer, vuDAT), and Deon Foster (New Media Designer, vuDAT).
Nicole Ellison (PhD, Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, 1999) is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media at Michigan State University. Her research explores issues of self-presentation, relationship development, and identity in online environments. Her previous research has examined the formation of virtual communities and the ways in which telecommuters use information and communication technologies to calibrate the permeability of their work/home boundaries, as explored in her 2004 book, Telework and Social Change. She currently uses blogs in her two undergraduate classes and is studying the effects of online peer feedback (via blogs) on variables such as comprehension, time spent writing, and student enjoyment of writing.
Ethan Watrall (PhD, Indiana University, 2005) is currently a faculty member in the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media at Michigan State University. In addition, he is a Principle investigator in the Communication Technology Lab and a Principle Investigator in the Games for Entertainment & Learning Lab. Ethan's primary research interests involve exploring the interplay between digital games and the public's perception of the human past, as well as the development of serious games for history learning. Ethan is also interested in the creative application of blogs as a learning tool within the classroom. Ethan Watrall has written seven books on interactive & web design, including the most recent Flash 8 Savvy (Sybex, 2006). His personal blog can be found at www.captainprimate.com
Jeff Siarto received his BA and MA in Digital Media Arts and Technology from Michigan State University. He currently lives and works in Chicago as a user experience designer and web developer. Jeff continues to work closely with MSU, consulting for the College of Communication Arts and Sciences and managing the college's web properties. He also keeps a blog on web design and technology called Simplifying the Web where he writes about user experience and all things web.