Blogs as a Learning Tool
An Interactive Way to Learn
Blogging has provided society with a number of ways to share information. Furthermore, with the integration of blogs as a learning tool, it can reinforce what students are learning, albeit the blogs must be from credible sources. One thing of particular interest is the fact that blogs can also provide an interesting interactive experience especially for children which can in turn increase the chances of learning and even more important, retention. There are three common uses of a blog when referring to them in a learning capacity and they and they are called learning tools of the teacher, the student and the freelancer. Blogs have provided society with another way of expression. They have become another way to learn and another way to spread information. Yes, blogs have become the new form of communication and a new way to put oneself out there, so to speak.
For this specific learning setting, blogs would be extremely useful as an educational learning tool for several reasons. Since this learning setting focuses on learning about diversity and the class itself is a mix of students from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Student blogs would enable the students to learn from one another. Through the use of student blogs, students could blog first about their own cultural and ethnic background and then respond or reply to other students. This will not only provide them with the knowledge of different cultures, but it exposes them to other student’s home life as well and they will be able to learn just how similar and how different they are to one another. Furthermore, assignments can be submitted through the use of blogs and allow for easy peer editing.
Teacher blogs can also be extremely beneficial to both the students and teachers. Through the use of blogs, teachers can post assignments, grades, due dates and just basic informative announcements to the class. Teachers can even post the curriculum and homework assignments that way parents can have the opportunity to see what the students’ progress is. Through the use of blogs, even report cards can become interactive and parents no longer have to worry about students not bringing them home or watching the mail come day to day to try and intercept.
According to Patti Shank, author of The Online Learning Idea Book, blogs can be excellent tools for learner reflections and sharing. (Shank 2007, p. 128) Blogs help learners integrate new knowledge and they can be incorporated into any educational level from elementary to graduate school and doctorate work. (Shank 2007, p. 129) Blogs can be adopted into any educational setting and perhaps depending on the learning environment, it may be adapted as opposed to adopted. For this particular learning setting, blogs would not need to be adapted, but simply adopted. The reason being is that there is no need to change the use of blogs for this particular environment as this specific class would benefit from blogs as they are.
Blogs as they are already meet the needs and expectations of this learning environment. Video blogs would be one element that would be of constant use. Through the use of these types of blogs it would provide easier access for parent teacher conferences as well as student to student interaction.
Its interesting how the internet has changed the way we do things. Many people remember using the telephone and writing letters to people. Then email came and was followed by texting. After that, blogging soon followed and now we have twitter and thousands of social networking sites that are used for a variety of things from entertainment to education to just keeping in touch with your friends. Now everything seems to be about twitter, what’s next for our techno savvy world?
Shank, P. (Ed.). (2007). The online learning idea book: 95 proven ways to enhance technology based and blended learning. San Francisco: Wiley
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