Saturday, September 04, 2004

Response to "In the Classroom, Web Blogs are the New Bulletin Boards" by Jeffrey Selingo

I had actually read this article once before. I belong to Techlearning's email group and receive updates about articles and such. This one had interested me when I first saw it.

I really enjoy using journal writing with students. I believe journaling helps with metacognition- knowing what you know. The blog seems to be a more efficient means for journaling for students. One of my fears is that students won't be truly reflective using the blog since it ends up on the Internet. A quick discussion with my 16 year old daughter revealed that this fear is unfounded. Whereas I might be inhibited by the medium, the "younger generation" certainly is not. In fact, what I found was that the problem is more of taking the innocence of the medium for granted. For instance, it is a popular activity now for 16 year olds to have their own blogs. I've read some of the blogs of the students from our school. I am struck by a couple of things. First, the writings bear out the fact that there is a belief that posting something on their blog will only be read by their friends. This belief totally ignores the fact that anyone can navigate through the Internet to find their blog and they tend to post information too personally identifying. Second, the fact that a person of authority (teacher, principal, coach) can and might see their blog is mostly ignored. Inappropriate language is used at times as well as topical themes that are not appropriate for mixed audiences much less the Internet. Both of these issues bring to the forefront to me that we need to help our students understand more about this medium and how to use it to increase their own achievement.

Having said this, I believe that there is promise in the use of blogs for learning. Just like everything else in technology, it is up to the "more mature members" of the learning community to set the standard for use and model that use for those less mature.


Blogger B. S. Denton said...

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September 21, 2004 at 3:20 PM  

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