Blogging for Teaching and Learning
Kwaderno gives a pretty comprehensive list of reasons why one blogs. Apart from the self-centered aspect of blogging, I’m glad Hazel notes that people blog because they want to share their knowledge as well as to learn from others. Blogs can develop self-managed learning which is critical to participating in building an online community.
The very discipline of blog writing is an activity one can use to develop both written communication as well as higher-order thinking skills.
Dan Saffer put up odannyboy to motivate him to finish his postgraduate course at Carnegie Mellon. In an interview with elearningpost, he said he also feels there are others out there who may want to know how it’s like to take up a Masters in Interaction Design. Dan also teaches; now that he has graduated last May 2005, those blog postings have become part of his online learning portfolio. Pretty neat.
Aaron Campbell of Ryukoku University, Japan uses Live Journal in his EFL classes. It advocates the use of ‘social software’ like LiveJournal, as a tool for encouraging greater autonomy and self-direction in foreign language learning.
As I’ve experienced, it is time consuming to find potentially interested readers for one’s blog. Blogs run the risk of stagnation, either from lack of regular content or from a dearth of readers, or both. Campbell’s solutions using Live Journal would be attractive for teachers looking for online activities and a networked audience to support the EFL learner.
I’d like to invite the readers to share their experiences in using blogs for classroom teaching, as well as those who use blogs to support informal learning in their organizations. I believe that blogs can be used creatively to teach and collaborate–over and above being a tool for selling products or documenting one’s personal life.