Skip to content

Using Blogs in the Classroom

December 13, 2011

I’m a big fan of the possibilities of blogging and online writing (not a very big surprise I imagine…) but, like with any sort of educational technology, there are good ways to use it and bad ways to use it. While that is perhaps stating things a little too simply, the technology needs to be used to meet particular goals – not simply for the sake of using technology.

An article on EmergingEdTech details some hints to get the most out of student blogging assignments. Some key points are made that I want to expand on.

Blogging is meant to provide increased dialogue. The advantage that blogging has over traditional writing assignments is that it is posted online and is available for comments and feedback immediately. This sort of peer-reviewing can be built into the assignment or can be left open – though, when left open, the results are usually quite low. Obviously, in a classroom setting, there needs to be questions asked around who is included in the dialogue (Blogs in the Higher Education Classroom: Public or Private?)

Blogging is a way of keeping material current and relevant. It is a great way to engage in the readings or other materials in new ways. Have students relate a reading to current events. Have them connect readings. As they read their classmates’ entries, they will see new connections. Instead of waiting until the end of semester to hand in an assignment, it encourages engagement in a more relevant way.

Blogging is about community building and collaborative knowledge production. When students hand in writing assignments to the instructor – who reads them? Only the instructor (or a TA)! With blogging, students get to read what their classmates are thinking and struggling with. They get to see what topics are exciting their classmates at a level that cannot be done in a classroom. Blog posts build on each other, you can see progression of thinking and ideas. Blogging supports a type of learning that unites the students into a collaborative process beyond the time and walls of the classroom.

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: