To Blog or Not to Blog?

Blogging is becoming increasingly more popular, not just with high school and college students, but with educators as well. However, I have never been one to just “jump on the bandwagon” without seeing a need or a reason for something. So this brings up the question, what is the benefit for educators of using blogs in class? I think some of the greatest benefits are ingrained in the basic concept of blogging – thinking, reflecting, writing and recognizing connections. Having students (and educators) read and comment on blogs allows them the opportunity to take a stance on current issues, to voice their thought process, to support their ideas, and to learn in the process. Having students (and educators) manage and compose their own blogs gets them writing and fosters reflection; it also affords them the opportunity to recognize and illustrate connections to other blogs and/or sites online by imbedding links within postings. Blogging allows the classroom to go global by allowing those outside of the classroom to infuse their ideas into the classroom environment which is scary to many educators. So, I guess the basic question is… is blogging in an educational setting worth it? Is it beneficial? I think so, but I would love to hear your thoughts.

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6 Comments on “To Blog or Not to Blog?”

  1. Kyle Stevens Says:

    I feel that blogging, used as an education tool, will allow for school to transition from teaching memorization to teaching learning. I spent some time reading the blogs of both educators and those behind the blogging force. Similar to other recent technological advancements, blogging has both its supporters and its detractors. I have read articles describing how universities are not only encouraging the use of podcasting by professors, but distributing iPods to students to enable such activity. Conversely, I have read posts by some in the education field noting that professors are unsure how to encourage students to attend class if they can access the lectures via podcasting. This begs the question that if students were able to gain this information from reading a text, would professors still express dissatisfaction?

    As with any new idea, the limits on ideas depend on the creativity of the teacher. Personally, I view the use of blogs as a medium to share with parents the activities of the class. I view the use of blogs as a medium to share with other schools the discussions and view points of my students. I view the use of blogs as a medium to encourage discussions with nationally prominent experts allowing my students to gain the personal insight they normally would not be privileged to acquire. As I begin teaching students how to blog and begin to experiment with the opportunities blogs provide I am excited about how my classroom will look in the next few years.

  2. John Witter Says:

    We have two things in common: I recently started a blog and we work in the same building!

    Personally, and a little more seriously, I think I have already benefitted from blogging. Since my blog is primarily about my lessons and objectives for my class, it hold me to a higher standard because it is public. Even if no one is reading my blog (I don’t want to know if they are not) I perceive being held to a higher level of accountability.

    Second, I posted my blog address to my students, so they can see what I am posting about what they are doing in class. This allows them to look behind the curtain, to steal an image from “The Wizard of Oz”, and see how the class is built, not just how it runs.

    I have been blogging for less than a month, so I’ll need more time to develop more reasons. I’ll get back to you.

  3. astephens Says:

    John,

    I think you make an important point… blogs are public, so used as an educational tool they can be very powerful. They can as you say, “hold you to a higher standard” or as Kyle stated provide access to the classroom for parents and others outside the walls. I also believe one of the essential benefits of blogging is reflection and connections. Educational blogging allows the writer time to think about what is happening at his school or in his classroom and relate it to education as a whole. This is a key instructional piece that many educators tend to leave out. Educators spend a lot of time planning lessons and tying it to the curriculum, but they do not always take time to reflect on the success of the lesson or the structure and organization of their classroom. I think blogging can help educators incorporate these aspects into their teaching.

  4. LeftLaneEnds Says:

    Connections – a seemingly random web of connections that I never would have known about before. When I read other posts I: 1) connect with others about what is going on in the educational world; 2) always end up somewhere I hadn’t anticipated, but still somewhere that was somehow related; and 3) usually end up commenting or posting my own thoughts, which is reflecting – and reflecting is self learning.

    We are in an age of connectivity that is beyond what we’ve ever known, and exploring that (to me, at least) is fascinating.

    As for students, we’re always looking for that one trigger that solidifies a connection to the content. I really believe that the tools are finally at our fingertips.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    i think that by blogging you open the doors to even more ideas and opinions. i understand that is scary to many people. yet it provides a point to every that would be against it. pending on who is blogging it shows how well educated other people in the world actually are no matter the place. Just like some people can understand a simple thing like why governments are catorgorized and some are just completely baffled at it.–>

  6. UnodsHok Says:

    any news coming ?


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