blogging about blogging



literature-based claims of affordances of blogs

A number of authors who have written about the educational value of blogging described the following teaching and learning affordances of blogging:

  • The long-term and ongoing access of blog posts makes materials available for subsequent reflection and analysis, allowing for students to revise their work, thus enriching the learning experience (Downes, 2004; Ferdig & Trammell, 2004)
  • The structure of blogging encourages and enables the integration of other resources (often web-based) which complexifies, in potentially valuable ways, the task of reflection. Hyperlinks stretch outward into the web and bring news stories, comments, pictures and other content to a student’s own composition (Ferdig & Trammell, 2004). In this way, students are involved in reading, critiquing, comparing and contrasting and thus situating their own work within a larger discussion (Downes, 2004).
  • Blogs offer a venue (an activity and a tool) to extend classroom discussions outside the classroom which has led to increased interaction between students (Weiler, 2003). One teacher blogger argues that his students’ understanding of the material and “their personal relationship with it occurred outside of the classroom in the Web log,” (Richardson, 2003b, p.40).
  • Classroom blogs which encourage (perhaps require) students to read and critique each other’s posts have been argued to lead to “deeper and more meaningful interaction than previously afforded during individual journaling,” (Poling, 2005, p.14).
  • Classroom blogs are often public, thus making student work available for comment and critique by a much broader audience than the teacher. Awareness of an audience larger than the teacher can lead to increased student motivation to produce quality work with respect to content, clarity, and editorial components of their compositions (Carlson, 2003; Downes, 2004: Martindale & Wiley, 2004). The public nature of the blog also allows students to target and craft their writing for different audiences (Carlson, 2003). One teacher writes that interactions with “outside voices” that shared in class discussions led to led to a more in-depth understanding of the content.

Luehmann, A. & MacBride, R. (2007). Classroom blogging in the service of student-centered pedagogy: A comparative case study of two high school teachers’ use of blogs. Presented at the annual meeting of AERA, Chicago.

 

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