Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The use of blogs in education

Like Podcast, wiki and other types of new technology, blogs can be use in classroom environment for diary entry; it also can be a useful tool to link communication between study groups within a class or other classes or even schools. If use effectively, blogs can create a learning environment that extend beyond the schoolyard.

Why should we use blogs in the classroom?

There are numerous educational benefits of blogs. Blogs are:
• Highly motivating to students, especially those who otherwise might not become participants in classrooms.
• Excellent opportunities for students to read and write.
• Effective forums for collaboration and discussion.
• Powerful tools to enable scaffolding learning or mentoring to occur.

How do we use blogs in education?

Blogs can serve at least four basic functions.

1. Classroom Management

Class blogs can serve as a portal to foster a community of learners. As they are easy to create and update efficiently, they can be used to inform students of class requirements, post handouts, notices, and homework assignments, or act as a question and answer board.

2. Collaboration

Blogs provide a space where teachers and students can work to further develop writing or other skills with the advantage of an instant audience. Teachers can offer instructional tips, and students can practice and benefit from peer review. They also make online mentoring possible. For example, a class of older students can help a class of younger students develop more confidence in their writing skills. Students can also participate in cooperative learning activities that require them to relay research findings, ideas, or suggestions.

3. Discussions

A class blog opens the opportunity for students to discuss topics outside of the classroom. With a blog, every person has an equal opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions. Students have time to be reactive to one another and reflective. Teachers can also bring together a group of knowledgeable individuals for a given unit of study for students to network and conference with on a blog.

4. Student Portfolios

Blogs present, organize, and protect student work as digital portfolios. As older entries are archived, developing skills and progress may be analyzed more conveniently. Additionally, as students realize their efforts will be published, they are typically more motivated to produce better writing. Teachers and peers may conference with a student individually on a developing work, and expert or peer mentoring advice can be easily kept for future reference.

22 comments:

Towner said...
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Pathways Tutoring Lawrence Heights said...
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Dominic said...

USES of BLOGGING FOR EDUCATION

1)Classroom Management (Community of learners, update efficiently, post handouts, assignments)

2)Collaboration (peer review, cooperative learning, suggestions)

3) Discussion (different learning styles--shy people can participate, ESL students benefit)

4) Student Portfolios (organize work by date, track student progress)

Avital said...

Blogs are useful, not only as a teacher-student and student-student interactive tool, but they also further develop students' skills in their interactions outside of the classroom framework. Students graduating today need to have a high degree of skills in this domain in order to be effective after high school. Presenting this as an opportunity to some students who may not have the time or resources to otherwise use this type of communication is an asset that we can provide as educators.

Shafin Devji said...
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Towner said...

I think that blogs could be an effective way to encourage students to take their reading response journals seriously in an English class. Giving students a peer audience for what they write - and asking students to respond with comments to what their peers have written - should build in both accountability and ownership to the journal writing process.

Shafin Devji said...

I feel that integration of blogging technology with other technology such as video podcasting can amplify the quality of classroom management. Specifically with science, using a blog to discuss concepts covered in class can allow a valuable opportunity for gathering feedback from students. This feedback could allow for a teacher to design a video podcast that can be linked to the blog to effectively consolidate concepts that are covered through a demonstration, additional notes, etc.

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Adi said...

Blogs can be a great way for students to not only improve on their writing but also to develop interaction on a personal level. Which is a good way to hit two birds with one stone. If they're a little insecure about their writing they can always get help from a private teacher if they want.

Emily said...

Blogs are widely popular in education, as evidenced by the 400 thousand educational blogs hosted by edublogs. Teachers have been using them to support teaching and learning since 2005. Through years of practice, a common understanding has formed around the benefits of the use of blogs in education specially in business courses.

Unknown said...

Blogs are useful, not only as a teacher-student and student-student interactive tool, but they also further develop students' skills in their interactions outside of the classroom framework. Students graduating today need to have a high degree of skills in this domain in order to be effective after high school. Presenting this as an opportunity to some students who may not have the time or resources to otherwise use this type of communication is an asset that we can provide as educators.

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Hope Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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Konstantinos said...

Great article. I am teaching drawing and painting and I intend to start using blogs in the next session. So far, I have been using emails to communicate with students, to send presentations, links, relevant information, etc.
Without doubt, a blog has many more advantages because students can communicate with each other, post images of their work or other relevant images, make comments on the posts of other students, etc.

I haven't really been blogging, so I have a practical question that I would like to ask. I wonder what happens with the blog once the course is completed. Should the blog remain open? should it close? Could I continue using the same blog with the students of the next session, or I should create a new one?