Blogging In the Classroom Samantha Hubbell W200 June 2009
Table of contents Interview with Alex Halavais Questions answered by Alex Thoughts of Interview Five don’ts of classroom blogging (I) Five don’ts of classroom blogging (II) Thoughts on “don’ts” Joy of Blogging (I) Joy of Blogging (II) Thoughts on Joy of Blogging Conclusion Citation
Blogs move student learning Beyond the classroom: Interview With Alex halavais Alex Halavais, assistant professor of communication and graduate director of informatics at the University at Buffalo, has incorporated blogs in his courses to encourage students to think beyond a single course, to integrate their learning across the curriculum, and to provide opportunities for feedback as students’ work evolves. Online Classroom recently spoke with Halavais about the evolving pedagogical uses of blogs.
What are you telling students to use this space for? Right now and I think this is going to be for the near future, my major use will be at the graduate level. We’re trying to integrate blogging across classes that students are taking concurrently and over time. They start to make much more of the connections between classes. We introduce blogs in the first course as they come into the program and then find ways that instructors on their own can integrate blogs. Usually this means taking assignments they already have and putting them in the blogs rather than handing them in on paper. Students link things from previous classes to their current work. We’ve talked to them about how you integrate this into some sort of portfolio and encourage them to be more retrospective in their work. Blogs move student learning Beyond the classroom: Interview With Alex halavais What effect have blogs had on your students’ learning outcomes? Right now it’s a qualitative field. It’s a really hard issue to tackle. People come in with different backgrounds, but they may learn something that you didn’t intend for them to learn. The educational process is difficult to attach a metric to when you’re using the weblogs. Some of it is they’re learning to write better. Some of it is they may find an area in which they are passionately interested in, and those are the kinds of metrics you just can’t do quantitatively in an effective way.
Blogs move student learning Beyond the classroom: Interview With Alex halavais I believe that blogging in the classroom is a great way to get students involved and interested in their education. As stated in the interview answers, students may learn something that you didn’t intend on them learning. It’s also great that connections can be made between the classes being taken. Using blogs, students can link their previous work to their current work. By doing this, I think that it is a great way to show student’s their progress in writing or creativity. It will also cut down on wasting paper so students can submit certain assignments on their blogs and others can view there work.
Five don’ts of classroom blogging Don’t just dive in. "If you put kids on blogs without setting up your guidelines and objectives, I can guarantee you will have a lot of problems," warns Anne Davis, an information systems training specialist at Georgia State University. 2. Don’t confuse blogging with social networking. MySpace, Facebook, and other social networking tools are just that--social networking platforms. However, a genuine educational blog is not about socializing, but about students helping each other get through coursework. 3.Don’t leap at the freebies. Blogger.com and TypePad.com may not cost a cent to use, but these platforms do not offer the structure a school district needs, says Jeffrey Yan, CEO of e-portfolio developer Digication. Yan says that free sites are riddled with advertisements that are outside educators' control. And because there is no way to build a cyber-fence around a particular classroom project, students have access to the entire blogging world--and vice versa.
Five don’ts of classroom blogging 4. Don’t force a sequential style. Yan says that structuring entries by topic rather than by time helps readers to make more sense of a blog. "You have to map out what you want to teach with a blog. Otherwise, you spend a lot of energy developing a product that may not have the maximum impact it could have. And that is a waste of opportunity because often you have only one chance to present it to students before they build a culture around it that you can't break.“ 5.Don’t leave the blogging to the students. “A blog becomes a community. You get to know students in ways that they won't reveal otherwise. A quiet child will give you her opinion [in a blog].” says Davis. And one do…. Do recognize what blogging can do for your students! Blogging engages students in creating short bits of writing, which Dubbels says they can then piece together and develop into larger pieces. "Blogs are great for transitioning from paragraphs to essays.”
Five don’ts of classroom blogging I find the “5 don’ts of blogging” very helpful. Using these “don’ts” as guidelines in the classroom can help better the use of blogging and possible internet use for assignments and projects. I think using a blog would create a community in the classroom where students can get to know one another’s thoughts more and mine as a teacher. I definitely agree with student’s working with one another to help improve each other’s work and giving ideas. Every teacher should take into consideration the “don’ts” of blogging.
The Joy of blogging Educators can work to integrate weblogs into blended education initiatives through some specific strategies: Posting student work: Students receive commentary from others in the classroom and even from ‘outside’ reviewers such as parents and potential employers. Students are enabled to view the progress of their own writing efforts over time and also get a sense of the progress of their class as a whole. 2. Exchanging hyperlinks: Through their blogs, students can swap interesting new URLs with their peers along with commentary (and are empowered to follow-up on this commentary as well). 3. Fostering reflective approaches to educational genres: Blended learning approaches can expose individuals to an assortment of educational genres. Following ‘edublogs’ can encourage critical reflection on these genres as individuals share classroom and other educational experiences.
The joy of blogging 4. Forming and maintaining knowledge communities: Weblogs can provide useful insights about the recent history of a field or profession as individuals trace through chronological posts. Weblog-based knowledge communities can also form as bloggers link to blogs with similar themes and provide critical commentary. Drawbacks: They generally showcase hyperlinks to new Internet resources, thus placing high value on what is current and ‘hot’ rather than what is most useful. Producing a weblog on a regular basis can also be time consuming and occasionally boring (if creative juices run dry); a number of weblogs have been orphaned over time as initial enthusiasm for the project waned.
The joy of blogging I like the strategies given to blend education initiatives . Posting student’s work can be a huge advantage for them. They will be able to receive feedback to improve their work or know that they are doing a great job. I do agree that through using hyperlinks, the ‘hot’ ones tend to get linked more, whereas, the ones that actually are more beneficial may be left out.
conclusion There are many advantages to using blogging in the classroom. Once students have blogging figured out, it can be used for turning in assignments, commenting on each other’s work, and comparing new work to old work. The “Five Don’ts of Blogging” must be used though in order to have a successful blogging experience in the classroom. Once rules and guidelines are laid out for the students, they can then explore on their own and learn new things that may not have been intended to be learned. I am a fan of blogging in the classroom, and would recommend its use in the classroom.
Citation Blogs Move Student Learning Beyond the Classroom: An Interview With Alex Halavais. (2004, December). Online Classroom, Retrieved June 22, 2009, from Professional Development Collection database. http://web.ebscohost.com.proxy.ulib.iupui.edu/ehost/pdf?vid=6&hid=108&sid=f923139f-d69a-4510-95dd-6c00031d7c9b%40sessionmgr109 Oravec, J. (2003, October). Blending by Blogging: weblogs in blended learning initiatives. Journal of Educational Media, 28(2/3), 225-233. Retrieved June 22, 2009. http://web.ebscohost.com.proxy.ulib.iupui.edu/ehost/detail?vid=11&hid=9&sid=d49e81e3-8367-41a8-9172 8489a33e65a6%40sessionm gr8&bdata= JnNpd GU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=aph&AN=12057770 Sturgeon, J. (2008, February). Five Don'ts of Classroom Blogging. T H E Journal, 35(2), 26-30. Retrieved June 22, 2009, from Academic Search Premier database. http://web.ebscohost.com.proxy.ulib.iupui.edu/ehost/pdf?vid=9&hid=104&sid=d49e81e3-8367-41a8-91728489a33e65a6%40sessionmgr8