I sat back to ponder why I blog, and why I take the time to read other blogs. Here are a few reasons I thought of off, the top of my head:
- to share knowledge and resources
- news & information acquisition
- a research starting point
- connection to peers in my field of study/work
- a sounding board for ideas/questions/thoughts
- to be part of a community
In thinking about education and reviewing the above list, I can see why blogging is an effective means for contextualizing and mentoring learners. Sue Waters mentors educators on effective blogging and web 2.0 resources on EduBlogs. She delved into the topic of blogging for learning and connection during last week’s #eci831 weekly session on Elluminate. The concept of blogging in the classroom, leads to a transparent educational process for students. Learners are able to share ideas and be empowered in their digital learning community. Blogging can deeper understanding of knowledge and course content, while challenging students to participate in an open, expressive forum.
Image from the Algebra Learning Networking website
It was interesting to learn how other students in the class viewed blogging for learning. Some are unsure about how to include blogs, while others want to ensure engagement and purpose in their learning environments. Here’s the #eci831 class brainstorm for our Thoughts, Challenges or Concerns about blogging:
- how do educators best define learning outcomes to give purpose?
- how to get students to buy in
- how to engage students; keep them interested and on task
- most important aspect in my class
- assigned topics or more creative original ideas
- what to write
- learning in a public forum – putting yourself out there
- loosing the meaning for the learning objective
- long term use
- safety of students and liability
- privacy concerns for parents
- how to move teachers towards these ideas
- non-standard views of students
- open or closed environments for students?
- teachers blogging as PD, nervous about putting their ideas out there
- do all students feel confident in their posts
- what to have the students blog about
- how to move teachers away from seeing blogging as a tech ‘add
Final thoughts from Sue, was actually in the question form:
What are 3 questions (and why) you would like answered on educational blogging or building personal learning networks?
So here are my 3:
- What are some of the key privacy concerns for educational blogging? And how educators best address these issues? Resources for either Canada or US would be greatly appreciated.
- Are there any examples of peer mentor blogging initiatives in education, that you know of, in K-12 or Higher Education learning environments? It would be interesting to learn more about how modelling and mentoring can help learners engage in blogging.
- How has your blogging practice altered (or has it?) now that microblogging (Twitter, etc) has been introduced into the blogasphere? Do you engage much in microblogging? How do you see value in it for learning?