Saturday, September 04, 2004

Blogs in education

Will Richardson's weglogg-ed


Will Richardardson at the first EdBlogger Conference

New York Times Features K-12 Ed Blogging

Well, I think the title just about says it all: "In the Classroom, Web Blogs Are the New Bulletin Boards." Um, I beg to differ.

You know, it's amazing how often I get asked that question: "Well, how are blogs different from, like, news groups?" Graphics. Collaboration. Shared space. Digital paper. Syndication. And so on, and so on... But for some reason, so many people still look at them and see, well, bulletin boards I guess. Too bad.



Stephen Downes on Blogs in Education


Stephen Downes has just written a great roundup article on blogs in education in Educause.

Highlights. Three types of blogs in the virtual extension of the classroom:
  1. online assignment sheet and bulletin board
  2. public space where students can post their work or reflections
  3. private personal space, reserved for private thoughts and teacher guidance


Fifth graders at Institut St-Joseph were motivated upon finding that the whole world could read and comment on their blogs. Write about the circus and someone from the circus may write you back. Blogs create learning communities that go beyond school walls and extend beyond the end of the term.

Blog posts tend to be short, informal, sometimes cocntroversial and sometimes deeply personal, no matter what the topic.

Five uses identified by Henry Farrell:
  1. class web page to announce times, rules, assignments, readings, exercises
  2. links to topics
  3. to organize in-class discussion (the anonymity prompting posts from shy students)
  4. organize seminars and provide summaries of readings. groun blogging.
  5. students write their own blogs
Will Richardson says blogging helps teach reflection, writing about a topic over a sustained period of time, and engaging readers in a sustained conversations that then leads to further writing and thinking.

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