Educational Blogging Blogging in general is a webpage where a person can post and write about any and everything they want. It can also include links to pages that interest them or that they would like for others to read. It’s technology’s version of a journal or diary. Teachers and students can use a blog for a variety of reasons. 1) teachers can use blogs to post class times and rules, homework assignments, and suggested readings. 2) teachers can post links associated with the lesson from the day or links that can give a deeper understanding of the lesson. 3) class discussions- students are more likely to join in a discussion from behind a keyboard 4) organize class seminars and provide summaries of readings 5) students can write their own blog as part of their grade.
Educational Blogging “Blogging is an opportunity to exchange our point of view with the rest of the world not just people in our immediate environment.”- Dominic Ouellet-Tremblay, 5th student at St-Joseph, Quebec City. The above quote shows another aspect of educational blogging. Students are getting feedback from their peers and others instead of just one set of eyes of their teacher.
Reflection/A-ha moment Blogging gives teachers and students alike the opportunity to work with means that they are comfortable with. Students today have so much technological stimulation that just reading a book or writing in a notepad is not going to keep their interests. Getting on a computer is what students in today’s times are used to. So if the teacher can integrate that in any way, shape, or form it should be done.
Pedagogy and Implementation According to Vygotsky’s educational theory (1978), educators acknowledge the “knowledge construction” processes of the learner develops through the social process of language use over time. As students learn this knowledge, they need to have ways to publish and expand this knowledge. Teachers “can infer the process by which students transform meanings and strategies appropriated with the social domain, making those strategies their own.”
Pedagogy and Implementation Blogs can be used for any reading/writing age group. They can be as broad or in-depth as necessary to fit your classroom. Listed below are suggestions for a successful chance at blogging. Do your own blogging: If you can know and understand it, then you can help the students to know and understand it! Visit other classroom blogs: See what other classrooms are doing and how they are using their blogs in the class. Gather ideas that could be useful in your classroom. Model blogging for your students: Show your students the good and bad points of blogging. Set up rules and expectations for both you and the student to follow. Make the blogs more public: This can open the door to experts commenting on the blogs and help students to see the different opinions. This can help the student be better prepared for what they are going to write. Explain the “reach” of blogs: Students need to be aware that blogs are public, therefore teachers, friends, and even parents can read what is posted.
Reflection/ A-ha moment “Technology can offer ways for students to establish personal and intellectual ownership of new concepts while they visualize and interact with abstract ideas. A blog essentially becomes a student’s personal online soapbox. Unlike a discussion forum that is shared by many, a blog gives students full control and ownership over their online content.” Students, especially middle-high school age, like to feel that they are in control. Blogging can give them this control. They can choose who views their blog and if they want, can even delete comments. Also, an idea that a student may put out there, can be built upon by the student once they get the feedback from people that aren’t “grading” them like a teacher would.
Benefits of Blogging A study of 25 junior English students done by Barry Bachenheimer, well-known in educational circles, shows that 84% of the students said the hardest part of writing a research paper was starting it, 74% believed that blog posts helped them to better articulate their ideas, 68% said blogs helped them determine what to say, and 60% felt blogging helped them begin the paper. Blogging can help students to get their thoughts in order, expand on their ideas, help with their research, and also get comments from fellow students. Typing on a computer is what kids know. So it goes without saying that having a student blog online as opposed to writing in journal, it is going to help increase what they write and potentially make that writing even better.
Benefits of blogging The use of blogs helps students become subject-matter experts: Blogging requires a 3-step process of scouring, filtering, and posting. The blogger will visit many sites trying to find the best content, causing them to read large amounts of information on their topic. Doing this causes the blogger to become even more knowledgeable. The use of blogs increases student interest and ownership in learning: Blogging is new to many students, therefore exciting! They also will blog about things that are important to them and receive feedback from others reading their blog. The use of blogs gives students legitimate chances to participate: Even as an adult, I find myself hesitant to comment or ask questions in front of groups of people. For many people, it is easier to put into words a question or comment and not have to “face the music” of any snickers or stares. The use of blogs provides opportunities for diverse perspectives, both within and outside of the classroom: With teachers having to “teach for the test”, time is not on their side. Discussions online allow that extra time that you don’t have during the period. Also, it opens the door for potential experts to chime in and give their outside opinion.
Reflection/ A-ha moment “Writers take more ownership of their writing when they know others will read it.” Even when sending an email at work, if I know that my manager or director will be reading it, I am more aware of what I am trying to say. I will type and retype an email just to make sure I sound capable of the job I am performing. If we really want our students to get all they can out of writing a good paper, then others need to be able to read it- not just the teacher. Blogs open this door and set a higher expectation for the writer without having to be “known” or fear of face to face ridicule.
Works Cited Downes, S. 2004. Educational Blogging. Retrieved from www.EdUCAUSEreview.com. Ramaswami, R. 2008. The Prose of Blogging (and a Few Cons, too). Retrieved from http://thejournal.com/Articles/2008/11/01/The-Prose-of-Blogging-and-a-Few-Cons-too. Compilation. 2004. Content Delivery in the ‘Blogosphere’. Retrieved from http://thejournal.com/Articles/2004/02/01/Content-Delivery-in-the-Blogoshere.