The Potential Use of Blogs as a Learning Technology
The Potential Use of Blogs as aLearning TechnologyBy Gregory Rooks
Introducing the Concept of aBlog Let us start with introducing the concept of ablog. What is a blog, you may ask? Accordingto Blogger.com:http://www.blogger.com/tour_start.g, a blog is apersonal diary:Whats a blog?A blog is a personal diary. A daily pulpit. Acollaborative space. A political soapbox. Abreaking-news outlet. A collection of links. Yourown private thoughts. Memos to the world.
Introducing the Concept of aBlogYour blog is whatever you want it to be.There are millions of them, in all shapesand sizes, and there are no real rules.In simple terms, a blog is a website, where you write stuff on an ongoingbasis. New stuff shows up at the top, soyour visitors can read whats new. Thenthey comment on it or link to it or emailyou.Or not.
Introducing the Concept of aBlogSince Blogger was launched in1999, blogs have reshaped theweb, impacted politics, shaken upjournalism, and enabled millions ofpeople to have a voice and connectwith others.And were pretty sure the whole dealis just getting started.
The Blog’s Use as a LearningTechnology according toThe three learning theoriesSchuman, L. (1996). Perspectives on instruction. Available:http://edweb.sdsu.edu/courses/edtec540/Perspectives/Perspectives.html,are:Behaviorism, Cognitivism and Constructivism:The BasicsBased on observable changes in behavior. Behaviorismfocuses on a new behavioral pattern being repeated until itbecomes automatic.Behaviorism:Based on the thought process behind the behavior. Changes inbehavior are observed, and used as indicators as to what ishappening inside the learners mind. Blogs cannot observebehavioral changes to determine what is in the learner’s mind.
The Blog’s Use as a LearningTechnology Cognitivism: Based on the premise that we all construct our own perspective of the world, through individual experiences and schema. Constructivism focuses on preparing the learner to problem solve inambiguous situations (Schuman, 1996). Blogs are a very good match with the Cognitivist theory of leaning
The Blog’s Use as a LearningTechnology Constructivism: Based on the premise that we all construct our own perspective of the world, through individual experiences and schema. Constructivism focuses on preparing the learner to problem solve inambiguous situations (Schuman, 1996). Problem solving inambiguous situations is a good match for using Blogs as a learning tool.
A blog gives you your own voice on theweb. Its a place to collect and sharethings that you find interesting—whether its your political commentary,a personal diary, or links to web sitesyou want to remember. Publish Your Thoughts
Many people use a blog just toorganize their own thoughts, whileothers command influential, worldwideaudiences of thousands.Professional and amateur journalistsuse blogs to publish breakingnews, while personal journalers revealinner thoughts.Whatever you have to say, Blogger canhelp you say it.
Blogging is about more than justputting your thoughts on the web. Itsabout connecting with and hearingfrom anyone who reads your work.With Blogger, you control who canread and write to your blog — let justa few friends or the entire world seewhat you have to say!
Blogger Comments letanyone, anywhere, offerfeedback on your posts. You canchoose whether you want toallow comments on a post-by-post basis, and you can deletecomments you dont like.Access Controls let you decidewho can read and who can writeto your blog.
You can use a group blog with multipleauthors as a communication tool for smallteams, families and other groups. As asingle author, you can create a privateonline space for collecting news, links, andideas, to keep to yourself or share with asmany readers as you want.
Blogger Profiles let you find people andblogs that share your interests. Your BloggerProfile, where you can list your blogs, yourinterests, and more, lets people find you (butonly if you want to be found).
Here are ten popular blogs according toMargie Gelbwasser in her article:Gelbwasser, M.. (2009, September).THE TOP 20 TEACHER BLOGS.Instructor (1999), 119(2), 37-39.Retrieved February 28, 2011, from ProQuest Education Journals.(Document ID: 1873816341).
According to go.blogger.comWhether youre starting your blog or just think itstime to give your existing blog a facelift, Bloggersuser-friendly editing tools help you easily design agreat-looking page.
— Our lets you easilycreate a that looks uniquely yours. Withjust a click after selecting a template, you canchoose the colors, fonts, layout, andbackground of your . But, for users whowant even more control, you can use our to do everythingfrom changing the color of links to addingcustom .
— Bloggers simple drag-and-drop system lets youeasily decide exactly where your posts, profiles,archives and other parts of your blog should live onthe page.
You’re never more than a click away from sharingyour favorite photo. Just click the photo icon toupload a photo from your computer. If the photoyoud like to put on your blog is already on theweb, thats fine too. Just paste the URL and we’llput the image in your post.You can also send camera phone photos straightto your blog while youre on-the-go with BloggerMobile.
Mobile BlogSpot optimizes the layoutof your blog for those reading your blogfrom a mobile device. To see what yourblog could look like on mobile devicescheck out the preview functionality bygoing to the Dashboard > Settings >Email & Mobile tab.
SMS/MMS posting lets yousend text, photos and evenvideos straight to your blogwhile youre on-the-go. All youneed to do is send a messageto email@example.com from yourphone. You dont even need aBlogger account. The messageitself is enough to create abrand new blog and postwhatever photo and text youvesent. Later, you can claim yourmobile blog or switch your poststo another blog; just sign in togo.blogger.com and use theclaim code Blogger sent to yourphone.
Email posting is anotheroption to consider ifSMS/MMS posting isunavailable from yourmobile carrier. Find outhow you can use theMail-to-Blogger featureto post by email.
Here are ten additional popular blogs according to Margie Gelbwasser inher article: Gelbwasser, M.. (2009, September).THE TOP 20 TEACHER BLOGS. Instructor (1999), 119(2), 37-39.Retrieved February 28, 2011,from ProQuest Education Journals.(Document ID: 1873816341).11. Best Student-Written BlogYOUTH VOICES, youthuoices.netTHE LOWDOWN: Students and their teachers participate in a"colossal ongoing discussion about everything" viapodcasts, videos, and blogs.WHY WE LOVE IT: This blog turns the typical student-teacherrelationship on its head with both parties acting as equals andlearning from each other.
12. Best Tell-lt-Like-IMs BlogITS NOT ALL FLOWERS ANDSAUSAGES, itsnofallfioiversandsausages.blogspot.com.THE LOWDOWN: A second-grade teacher with the pseudonym Mrs. Mimidishes about the crazy side of teaching.WHY WE LOVE IT: Fantasies of throwing down with that colleague whorummages through your desk? Horror field-trip moments that have carveda permanent groove in your mind? Faculty-room shenanigans that ruleyour day? Thanks to Mrs. Mimi, we never have to feel alone.WHY SHE LOVES BLOGGING: Says Mrs. Mimi, "Its comforting to knowthat I am not alone in my frustrations."
13. Best Laugh-Out-Loud BlogREGURGITATED ALPHA BITS, regurgitatedalphabits.blogspot.comTHE LOWDOWN: Anonymous elementary school teacher blogs about the students sheloves and the job she hates.WHY WE LOVE IT: This blog gives you totally true antics of the elementary school kind andtips you can really use: Preview "educational" videos before showing and be alert for fourth-grade make-out sessions! Perfect with a good cup of coffee, when you need to block outirritating colleagues, and when you could use a good laugh to start your day.
14. U. Best for Media SpecialistsTECHNO TUESDAY, blog.cathyjonelson.comTHE LOWDOWN: Media specialist Cathy Nelson provides tips on incorporating librarytechnology into lessons.WHY WE LOVE IT: Nelson shares creative research ideas as well as humorous daily tidbits.WHY SHE LOVES BLOGGING: Says Nelson, "It enhances my ability to be reflective, to seehow I have learned from others."
15. Best for Problem SolvingCLASSROOM SOLUTIONS, blogs.scholastic.com/classroom_solutionsTHE LOWDOWN: Hear straight from Scholastics team of teacher advisors on topics rangingfrom readers workshop to discipline and organization.WHY WE LOVE IT: AU of the photos and videos! Almost every post features a photoshowing exactly how the teacher advisor implemented an idea in his or her classroom. Youcan also subscribe to the posts for just your grade level.
16. Best Substitute SecretsJUST A SUBSTITUTE TEACHER, kauaimark.blogspot.com.THE LOWDOWN: "Mr. Homework" tells harrowing tales of the substitute kind.WHY WE LOVE IT: Lets be honest. Sometimes wed rather come in sick than call in a sub.Mr. Homework, however, is one of the good guys. His outlook on the sub life(e.g., "Sometimes its not about actually teaching anything") makes us wish he was in ourdistrict.
17. Most Entertaining Math BlogHOODA MATH BLOG, hoodamathblog.comTHE LOWDOWN: Math teacher Michael Ed Laviteli uses games to teach math.WHY WE LOVE IT: The word games may conjure images of worksheets withcutesy pics and fill-ins, but Edlavitch goes way beyond that. His arcade gameswith Flash - complete with worksheets teachers can print out - are reminiscent ofold favorites like Pac-Man. Kids will play video games anyway, why not sneak insome learning potential?
18. Best Classroom Use of BlogsLEARNING IS MESSY, learningismessy.com/blogTHE LOWDOWN: Brian Crosby discusses how he uses blogging and othertechnology in the classroom.WHY WE LOVE IT: Crosbys creativity cant help but draw us in. He has usedSkype to broadcast, a class visit from Christa McAuliffes mother and tocommunicate with a student who is on home instruction due to leukemia.WHY HE LOVES BLOGGING: Says Crosby, "It is the strongest resource I haveexperienced in 28 years of teaching."
19. Best View of the Inner CityTHE JOSE VILSON, thejosevilson.com/blogTHE LOWDOWN: Artist, poet, and math educator Jose Vilson gives the inner city a humanface by blogging about sometimes touchy topics.WHY WE LOVE IT: Vilson does not shy away from tackling the controversial, such as hisentry about the shortage of black Latino male teachers like himself. Hes passionate aboutchanging education and exposing inner-city reality, and his passion is contagious.
20. Best Blog From Outside the ClassroomTALES FROM THE SCHOOL BUS, talesofaschoolb usdriver. blogspot.co mTHE LOWDOWN: A school bus driver fills us in on the insanity that goes on before studentsenter the classroom every morning and after they leave.WHY WE LOVE IT: We all have to multitask, but try keeping order and driving at the sametime! This blog gives us the dirt - from failing brakes to bus "heathens" like Whiny Girl. Thisis a side of school we often overlook!
ReferencesA YEAR OF READING, readingyear.blogspot.comBlogger.com:http://www.blogger.com/tour_start.g, a blog is a personal diaryCREATING LIFELONG LEARNERS, needleworkspictures.comDIGITAL ANTHOLOGY, di.gitalanthol.ogy.blogspot.comDOCERE EST DISCERE, docereestdiscere.ivordpress.com Gelbwasser, M.. (2009, September). THE TOP 20 TEACHERBLOGS. Instructor (1999), 119(2), 37-39. Retrieved February 28, 2011, from ProQuest Education Journals. (Document ID: 1873816341).INTEGRATING TECH, thespiari70.blogspot.com
ReferencesITS NOT ALL FLOWERS AND SAUSAGES, itsnofallfioiversandsausages.blogspot.comHOODA MATH BLOG, hoodamathblog.comJUST A SUBSTITUTE TEACHER, kauaimark.blogspot.comLEARNING IS MESSY, learningismessy.com/blog MRS. CASSlDYS CLASSROOM BLOG classblogmeister. com/blog.php ?blogger_id = 1337
ReferencesPRINCIPALS PAGE, principalspage.com/theblogREGURGITATED ALPHA BITS, regurgitatedalphabits.blogspot.comSchuman, L. (1996). Perspectives on instruction. [On-line]. Available: http://edweb.sdsu.edu/courses/edtec540/Perspectives/Perspectives.htmlSCIENCE FIX, sciencefix.comSTEP BY STEP INSTRUCTION ON HOW TO CREATE AND USE A BLOG,go.blogger.comTALES FROM THE SCHOOL BUS, talesofaschoolb usdriver. blogspot.com