Weblogs in Education
What is a Blog?
The word blog is shortened from the word "weblog." It is often inaccurately described as an online diary that is subscribable, organized in categories, and displayed in reverse chronological order.
A blog is similar to an empty book, it is how we use the book that turns it into something. This book can be anything we want it to be from a sketchbook, a diary, a dictionary or writing portfolio it depends on the content that we put into this book.
Blogs offer the ability to archive content that is posted by date. The commenting feature of blogs allow for immediate feedback on a posting. The content that can be posted to a blog can be text, images, files, audio and video. Publishing postings to an intranet or the internet can by done quickly and easily.
General Ideas Around Blogs
- use blogs for real-world writing experiences
- prolong discussions outside the classroom or for question and answer
- easily include discussions with authors or guest speakers
- quickly give feedback to students, and students to each other (no stacks of paper)
- track student writing development
- encouraging students to help each other with their writing
- create a classroom newsletter by using a multi-user blog for the different topics. I.E. classroom trips, sports, upcoming trips …
- create a school website with sections that can be easily updated
- students using peer networks to develop their own knowledge
- update new information such as homework and assignments
There is a debate with regards to publishing control and blogging with students. Many educators in the K-12 realm seem to use a process where by student posts and comments go through an approval process before being posted to the World Wide Web. A variety of blogging environments have been developed to encourage this sort of monitoring, some examples are Blogmiester and Ontario Blogs.
Other educators allow students to maintain their own individual blogs for classroom use with the caveat that students follow guidelines in order to keep their blogs part of classroom discussion.