According to Rebecca Blood (2002), blogs may be classified as journals, notebooks or filters.
- journals – record daily life
- notebooks – write ideas / thoughts focusing on both personal life and the outside world
- filters – comment on interesting news
This Web 2.0 tool has application in the educational setting. As Hsu et al (2009) indicated, researchers are exploring “the potential cognitive and metacognitive effects of incorporating blogs in teaching and learning activities that engage and facilitate meaningful learning.”
When blogging is introduced as a metacognitive activity, my first reaction is – not enjoyable, at least for me. Presented that way to someone who is new to blogging, it becomes a chore and a reminder that I need to polish up on my writing skills. Thanks to the learning design for this course and the resources provided, that baggage is slowly being removed.
I looked at a teacher blog of student’s work: Sheridan School Showcase (http://shershowcase.edublogs.org/) and immediately experience blogging in an educational setting as enjoyable. (I believe I felt that way because I am beginning to enjoy the experience of blogging in this course.) It thought it remarkable that elementary school children are exploring Web 2.0 tools such as Animoto, VoiceThread, etc. – kudos to their teacher(s). This must be such a powerful experience for the children when their work is showcased with affirmative comments from their teacher.
In reflection, I think the soft structure put in place for our course blog has enabled me to enter into blogging and experience, as so many in the class have said, the power of this Web 2.0 tool. I cannot help but compare this experience with that of the discussion forum tool in Blackboard. The organization of content in a blog platform is much easier to read (less fragmented) and I feel it also affects how I write (more fully). I spend more time (than I would for a DF) considering what I will write, scribble the key words or phrases on paper and organize my writing, edit and post into the class blog. Now I can see why my boss who is an avid blogger often thumbs down when I thumbs up on the use of DF. I believe there is still a place for DF where writing is less intense.
In Will Richardson’s blog, he filters and writes comments on things that are happening in education. In his response to Michelle Rhee-Weise’s perception on PD for teachers, he offers another perspective on PD. So, about the characteristics of student and teacher blogs, it seems to me that student blog tends to tell the world about themselves and teacher blogs tend to invite a response to their topics / thoughts (it seems).
Blood, R. (2002). What is a weblog. In R. Blood (Ed.) The Weblog Handbook: Practical advice on creating and maintaining your blog (pp. 1-25). Cambridge, MA: Perseus
P/S I am still editing my podcast to take it down from 35 min. to 15 or less……