You can just "lurk" if you like! Look around, view lectures, read things. Want to get a little more involved? Go to our blog posts and offer Comments. Want to really join in and help us make OOTLE17? Here's how:

Get started at any time during the course. We're building OOTLE17 together on the open Web by interacting with one another: writing, reading, commenting, challenging, supporting, learning. So jump in!

To participate in OOTLE17, you will need to have a blog and a Twitter account. If you already have a blog or a Twitter account, you can certainly use it if you choose. But we know that most of you have never had a Twitter or a blog! In many ways, this course counts also as "Twitter 101" and "Blogging 101." What you will do is:

  1. Create a Twitter account;
  2. Create a blog;
  3. Learn the blog URL and RSS "feed" for your OOTLE-related posts (don't worry, we're helping you);
  4. Send us your Twitter handle, along with that blog URL and RSS feed (trust me, you can do this; see below).

One: Create a Twitter account:

This is easy. Go to, and follow the prompts to create an account. You will choose both a "handle" (mine is "anummabrooke") and a "real name" (mine is Brooke Lester). You may certainly use a pseudonym for your "real name" if you choose! It's up to you.

Want to get more comfortable with Twitter? There are several good tutorials available. When you're ready, tweet a tweet, remembering to include "#ootle17" (include the # sign, but not the quotes) in the tweet. After a few minutes, it will appear in our Twitter feed for this course!. Looking for someone to follow? Follow me if you like.

NOTE: For our purposes, you should NOT choose to have your tweets be "protected", since this will leave them invisible to other participants in the course. Instead, allow your tweets to be public, and limit your personal information accordingly.

Two: Create a blog:

If you have never made a blog, I recommend choosing or Blogger. Both are free. If you choose, you will need to create an account with a user name and password. Blogger is part of Google, so if you use a Blogger blog, you will be prompted to sign in with a Google account.

You can just go to or Blogger and follow the prompts to create a new blog. If you would like to see a tutorial first, there are many on YouTube. Here is a good tutorial for starting a Blogger blog, and a good tutorial for starting a Wordpress blog.

Remember that you can use a pseudonym on your blog rather than your real name, if you choose. One of the great things about creating your own space on the Web is the freedom to represent yourself in the ways that you choose!

Use the label/tag "ootle17" in your posts: Once your blog is set up, write a short post. Be sure to use the "label" feature (in Blogger) or "tag" feature (in WordPress), using the label or tag "ootle17" in your post. For example, here is a post from last year, at my personal blog, using the tag "ootle16."

Three: Learn your blog URL & RSS "feed" for your label/tag "ootle17":

First, learn the URL (Web address) for your blog posts that include the label/tag "ootle17".

  • If you have a Blogger blog, the URL should be "" (no quote marks or spaces).
  • If you have a WordPress blog, the URL should be "" (no quote marks or spaces).
Next, in order to aggregate course-related posts here at the course hub, we need the RSS "feed" for just those blog posts that include the label/tag "ootle16."

  • If yours is a Blogger blog, the correct RSS feed should be "" (no quote marks or spaces).
  • If yours is a WordPress blog, the correct RSS should be "" (no quote marks or spaces).
"What if my blog is not a Blogger or blog?" If you're using something else, you probably know how to figure out the URL for posts that have a certain tag, and how to determine an RSS feed for that URL. If not, do some Googling or ask around.

Four: Send Us Your Twitter Handle, and Your URL & Feed:

Use the Sign-Up Form below. Congratulations! You should begin to see your tweets in our Twitter feed whenever you use the #ootle17 hash tag in your tweets. And, you should begin to see your blog posts among our aggregated posts whenever you use the "ootle17" label or tag in your blog posts.

Now just watch this site's Home page. Beginning in February, we will offer a weekly program of activities, starting with some opportunities to become comfortable with your blog and your Twitter account. Welcome!

Name *
Name OR the Pseudonym you will use for OOTLE17.
Should look like this: for Blogger, "". For WordPress, "".
Should look like this: For Blogger, "". For WordPress, "yourblogname,".
For example, "@anummabrooke".
We will reply using your email address.