blogging about blogging

Blogging to Learn

Bartlett-Bragg, A. (2003). Blogging to learn. Knowledge Tree e-journal. Retrieved on 5/20/2007.

This article quickly summarizes what blogs are and then examines educational blogs. Here major claim is that “the intention appears to be to enrich the learning experience and provide an opportunity for learners to shift from surface to deeper levels of learning” (p. 2). By deep learning she means, “how learners stand back from an experience, seek out connections between concepts, and contextualise meaning” (p. 3).

Bartlett-Bragg notes the following ways that she sees blogs are being used in education:

  • Group blogs
  • Publishing writings
  • Field notes and journals of professional practice
  • Personal opinion publishing
  • Academic blogs
  • Research journal ‘a hybrid between journal, academic publishing, storage space for links and site for academic discourse.’
  • Learning journals – I might term these reflective blogs. These allow the author to post their own thinking and processing.

Bartlett-Bragg then moves on to describe her 5 stage blogging process that she has seen in her classes:

    1. Establishment- Setting up the blog (and all decisions that go with that). Then beginning to post regularly- usually more fact oriented.
    2. Introspection- Students are prompted to begin to look at emotions and to start evaluating their experiences.
    3. Reflective Monologues- Students build on reflections and begin to identify ideas which they want to further write about
    4. Reflective Dialogue- the author stops making blogging a requirement at this point, and she sees those who have found this a meaningful activity take over the process. The students begin to look to others who continued to blog and thus a dialogue begins.
    5. Knowledge artifacts- They use their own blogs as a way to provide knowledge and opportunities for more learning to the readers of the blog.

The article concludes by suggesting that blogging is a unique pedagogical tool, different from learning journals, yet containing much of the same elements. She found in informal conversations that students had greater freedom to explore their own ideas and thus deeper learning could occur.

She ends the article with this question: “If knowledge artefacts are the reformulation of ideas that clearly state a position or argument then does blogging have the potential to encourage reflection and deep learning at both levels of reflection – in action and upon future action?”


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