Well, we’ve made it to Week 12/16 of the Fall semester here at MSU. And that means, that the fifth and final IDM is due in my Interactive Media I course.

This weeks featured site is Blogs For Learning, an instructional blog for students and teachers that provides, “information and resources about the technical and pedagogical aspects of blogging in the classroom.”

Blogs For Learning is the brainchild of two of my MSU professors: first, Dr. Ethan Watrall, my Interactive Media I instructor, and second, Dr. Nicole Ellison, the instructor of my “Social, Cultural and Psychological Implications of Computer-Mediated Communication,” course.

I’ve been visiting the Blogs For Learning site periodically over the last month or so and must say that it is, by far, my favorite site of all the IDMs. It’s an elegantly designed “Web 2.0” site that allows registered users to contribute to a blog and submit articles (pending admin approval) on the topic of blogging in an educational setting.

The layout is clean and simple, yet stylish and modern enough to remain visually appealling. I really like how the site takes four basic colors (blue, green, an orangish/red, and grey) and uses several shades and variations of each to create a well balanced appearance. The small icons around the site also use these colors to spruce up the pages nicely.

The content of the site is all very well organized and simple to navigate. The only area that could possibly use some work, might be the search function. It appears to be somewhat confused in terms of case sensitivity – searching for “dopa” returns nothing, while “DOPA” returns a recent blog article, whereas searching for “rss” and “RSS” return the same results. Also, searching for article content doesn’t seem to be accurate (ie. searching “MSU” returned nothing, where “MAET” returned the most recent article, in which both terms were used). But, that’s a problem with searches that I am becoming more and more familiar with. In attempting to implement search functionality into my own project site, I’ve discovered similar problems and the difficulty involved in overcoming them.

Overall, I give the site 9.5/10 (-.5 for the search problems). Blogs For Learning is a very valuable resource that all teachers and students (of all ages) should be referring to in this new age of social connectivity and technology in the classroom.