Posts Tagged ‘educational blogging’
I took the opportunity to listen to yet another backlogged podcast yesterday. (As I did some window shopping, I shut the crowd out with my earphones!) I am glad that I did because this one focused on issues of integrating blogs with mainstream curricula.
I have been experiencing and mulling over some of the issues myself, so I was glad to hear other practitioners discuss edublogging. Here were a few things I picked up.
At around the 10min 30s mark, the guest of the show mentioned how she felt that “blogosphere” was a misnomer. She felt that there were actually several overlapping blogospheres based on areas of interest instead. Interesting perspective!
The conversation turned to the social construction of knowledge with blogs. At around the 12min 10s mark, someone revealed how it has been estimated that only 1 out of 100 visitors to a blog (or a wiki for that matter) will actually bother to comment or edit. That’s a depressing statistic! But this was a theme that was repeated in the podcast, e.g., at 35min. Authors need not be demoralized if they do not get as many comments as they hope; readership alone was important!
At around the 21min mark, the discussants talked about how blogs could be used for different purposes and for extending the classroom. This reinforced my own beliefs that blogs need not be viewed just as social journals, but also as personal and reflective ones or any other relevant purpose that teachers can think of.
As I reflect on the course that I facilitate, I am aware that most of my trainees’ blogs have a readership of two: The author and me. I see nothing wrong with that because that allows me to see inside their heads at critical moments. But I must think of ways to bring in the more powerful social aspect of blogging.
I thought that the best bit of the podcast was somewhere around the 23min 30s mark. The group started discussing whether blogs could or should be used for assignments. They also questioned the motivation of a student to read another student’s blog or to write their own entries: Were they doing it because they wanted to or because they had to? It was a question of agency. Personally, I don’t like the idea of grading blogs as assignments. But I think that awarding participation or bonus points is a start.
Late in the podcast (around the 52 and 57min marks), the group mentioned formal blogging strategies and how the teacher might model some behaviours. I liked how the guest shared her strategy of getting her students to create their own exam questions!
So this is my take on what edublogging is: Unlike conventional blogging, it can be imposed and more structured at first. I believe that edublogging is more disciplined and regular instead of being based just on personal agency. But for it to be effective, I think that edublogging must return to its roots of communicating within a close community.
Finally, I think that teachers who edublog must be models of blogging and not only set standards, but also blog ethically and responsibly. They can blog not only about academic topics, but also try to address values and attitudes.