Blogs: a learning tool<br />Blogs, a new mode of on-line communication in which users frequently post thoughts and commentary and interlink with each other, have received substantial attention from educational practitioners lately. When used in educational settings, blogs can facilitate thinking skills and knowledge construction. A large number of blogs have emerged and are emerging as a means to either promote discussion of various topics online, or support individual and group learning in classroom settings.<br />
Its advantages of easy-to-use interface.<br />As a tool whose use has spread rapidly in the last decade, owing to its advantages of easy-to-use interface and financial feasibility, blogs have great potential to become an effective digital learning tool in both formal and informal learning. However, more comprehensive pedagogical approaches need to be established about the use of blogs in teaching and learning. For instance, how does learning occur among a community of bloggers and how can blogs better facilitate their learning process? What are the best ways to use blogs individually and collectively? <br />
Blogs: a knowledge construction tool.<br />So far, it seems that blogs easily lend themselves to active knowledge construction, through collaboration, debates, and argumentation. This indeed conforms to the social constructivist, which holds that learning is a process of negotiation between one’s internal knowledge schema and external information acquired through learning activities. This knowledge representation and construction process is mainly supported by blogs’ a for mentioned archiving and hyperlinking functions. In particular, archiving provides “ways that can narrate paths taken in the systematic exploration and development of a theme…and thereby reveal a structure of knowledge. As a window to the paths of intellectual development, blogs facilitate learners and teachers to explore how ideas connect and evolve over time.<br />
Benefits for Teachers and Students<br /> Blogs can be a useful resource for educators to find information related to their particular discipline or interests. In effect the blog allows colleagues to act as filters or judges of content from many sources and to allow as many editors as they like. A second major advantage of using blogs in this way is that the content of a blog can be guaged by the confidence the reader has in their colleagues contributing to the blog. Teachers can use weblogs to provide an area to point students to useful resources and discuss issues arising as part of a teaching and learning program.<br />
Typical of weblogs employed for teaching would include:<br />Links to websites as resources <br />Observations on learning content <br />Discussion forums <br />Learning resources <br />Syllabus <br /> Teachers make articles available to read electronically. Blogs maintained by individual students or a class enable teachers to assess their students’ thinking patterns and depth of understanding. As a consequence, the learners are self motivated and learning together.<br />
Ten ways to use your blog<br /> <br />1. Share materials, news, downloads, links and more . Anything that you post to your blog will instantly be accessible by your students from school and from home. What’s more, you can easily manage who gets to access them through passwords and privacy measures.<br />2. Facilitate online discussions and collaboration. Students can simply respond to blog posts and discuss topics through comments or on our simple to use forums.<br />3. Create a class publication that students can easily publish to and you can easily edit. Seamlessly produce a custom designed, finely tuned and engaging collaborative online publication by your class.<br />4. Replace your newsletter and stay in touch with parents about what is going on in class. Always enjoyed photocopying and stapling pages and pages of newsletters on a Friday afternoon? Thought not! It’s ridiculously simple to post class information, news, events and more on your Edublog.<br />
5. Get your students blogging so that they can share their work and thoughts . Your blog can be used to glue together your students’ blogs which you can quickly create, co-manage, and even edit if needed.<br />6. Share your lesson plans. We all love planning, right? Using an blog can turn planning and reflecting on classes into a genuinely productive – and even collaborative – experience.<br />7. Integrate videos, podcasts, and other media . In just a couple of clicks, you can embed online videos, multimedia presentations, slideshows and more right into your blog posts.<br />8. Create blogs for clubs, student groups, events, sports teams, or just about any type of group. Blogs make it easy to organize groups by keeping everyone informed.<br />9. Get feedback or gather information. You can use comments, forums, or even customized forms to collect feedback, survey data, or ask anyone you’d like to give input or ideas.<br />10. Create a fully functional website. One of the great things about blogs is that they are much, much more than just blogging tools. In fact, you can use your blog to create a multi-layered, in-depth, multimedia rich website – that hardly looks like a blog at all.<br />
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