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.
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.
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.