Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Web 2.0: Educational Uses 4 Blogs

Here are some findings I came across when I was searching for how blogs are used in education.
“Scaffolding for struggling students” by Sara Kajder and Glen Bull (2003) is from one of my favorite technology in education sites, http://www.iste.org. The article describes how blogs can reengage students with text. The article lists 6 instructional characteristics of a blog and 10 instructional activities divided into the following 3 groups: literary, revision and grammar, and reinvented blogs. “Perhaps the most significant instructional potential of blogs is student engagement.” . Student engagement is the thread that continues throughout this article and all the articles I’ve read. One idea that really cemented itself in my mind because I’ve seen this in my own students’ journals is the recognition of student created sketches . “Student journals have traditionally incorporated images and sketches. Blogs offer this capability as well as sound, motion, and an expanding list of new possibilities that engage struggling readers and writers in unique ways.”
David Huffaker writes in his article “The educated blogger: Using Weblogs to promote literacy in the classroom” that “weblogs provide an excellent opportunity for educators to advance literacy through storytelling and dialogue. Storytelling and literacy are the foundation of language development, and more so, the foundation of learning.”(2005). His article lists specific examples of how elementary teachers are using blogs to “encourage writing for third graders” (2005) and how mentor teachers and new teachers use blogs to “document, reflect, plan, mentor, analyze, and to communicate.” (2005).
Paul Anderson’s article, “What is Web 2.0? Ideas, technologies and implications for education”, is an exhaustive overview of Web 2.0 tools, from Wikis, to Blogs, to Professional Learning Environments (PLEs), etc. Anderson writes and quotes a reference as how “alternatives to this [ugly moniker of user generated content (UGC)] include content self-publishing, personal publishing (Downes, 2004) and ‘self expression’. I like the thought of self-expression in education. It ties into the previous established thoughts that Blogs allow student engagement.
Yoany Beldarrain’s article, “Distance education trends: Integrating new technologies” discusses Blogs and other Web 2.0 tools as how they pertain to online learners. Yet even in this virtual environment, the idea of blogs assisting student writing is emphasized. “Blogs lend themselves to…enhancing writing…as student portfolios to keep record of an individual’s progress, accomplishments, as well as reflections.” (2005)
Researching how Blogs can be used in education was very insightful. I’m hoping to begin using Blogs in my Yearbook class as a way for students to develop their story writing skills (using photos they’ve taken) and to develop their critical analysis skills by giving each other feedback on their stories. Now, if I can think of a way to use them for my music classes…

Anderson, P. (2007, February). What is Web 2.0? Ideas, technologies and implications for education. JISC Technology and Standards Watch. Retrieved, November 23, 2009, from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
Beldarrain, Y. (2006, August). Distance education trends: Integrating new technologies to foster student interaction and collaboration. Distance Education, 27(2), 139-153. Retrieved November 23, 2009, from http://www.dastous.us/edtechadvocate/2.pdf
Huffaker, D. (2005, April). The educated blogger: Using Weblogs to promote literacy in the classroom. AACE Journal, 13(2), 91-98. Norfolk, VA: AACE. Retrieved November 23, 2009, from http://www.editlib.org/p/5680
Kajder, S. & Bull, G. (2003, October). Scaffolding for struggling students: Reading and writing with blogs. Learning and Leading with Technology. 31(2), 32-35. Retrieved November 23, 2009, from http://heartlandaeatoc.pbworks.com/f/Scaffolding+for+Struggling+Students+Using+Blogs+and+Wikis.pdf


  1. Michael,
    Thanks for the link to your blog - your blog is helping me to stay focused and letting me know the next step for our class.


  2. Michael, what about using them to review pieces music. You could assign different genres, have some student choice posts and have them compare and contrast music from different time periods. Great post!