As I do not have the ability to gain access to a class to trial the use of blogs, I will just post my thoughts on this technology tool.
Recently in an English presentation, my group presented the argument that blogs should be used as a tool for literacy instruction.
The use of blogs within the classroom can promote the following attributes in students:
- Interactivity (Weiland & Hayden, 2007)
- Collaborative learning with peers
- Sense of community in the classroom
- Creating own opinions and viewpoints
- Personal reflection
- Critical thinking skills
- Assist with confidence and clarity
- Lifelong learning
- Higher order thinking
(Williams & Jacobs, 2004)
The Learning Manager could create a blog and post homework, links to sites and encourage students to post comments and reflect on classroom learning. It will also be important that the students are taught correct netiquette as well as being safe online.
There are three keys to an effective blog:
1. Evidence of a clear and strong sense of purpose
2. Recognisable and well-informed point of view
3. A good standard of presentation
(Lankshear & Knobel, 2003).
Blogs can be used as a great collaborative and engaging tool for students. Although they link well to multiple learning theories, Siemens (2005) states that learning best occurs within networks. One of the principles of connectivism is that learning and knowledge is constructed when viewing different perspectives and opinions (Siemens, 2005).
The use of blogs within the classroom is endless. For example, they can be used to upload photos of recent trips and allow the students to comment on their images, or post homework assignments. It is important to note that a password can be set to ensure that only the Learning Manager and students are able to view their blog to maintain online safety standards. They are a great tool and when used in the correct context, have great learning benefits for the students.
Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2003). New Literacies: Changing Knowledge and Classroom Learning. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press.
Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved July 16, 2009, from http://wwww.elearnspace.or/Articles/connectivism.htm
Weiland, S., & Hayden, R. (2007). Online Literacy for Distance Learning. Retrieved August 5, 2009, from http://www.uwex.edu/disted/conference/Resource_library/proceedings/07_5182.pdf
Williams, J. B., & Jacobs, J. (2004). Exploring the use of blogs as learning spaces in the higher education sector. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology , 20 (2), 232-247.