Constructivism & Technology/Case Examples/Blogging
Blogging as Journaling and Personal Knowledge Construction
Blogging in the educational world has become a new way for students to express their knowledge through writing. “The weblog of blog was developed from early efforts to maintain a log of pages visited on the World Wide Web” (Learning Technology, 2006.). The blog can be an ongoing journal of information that is frequently updated (World Press Organization, n.d.). They are used for many different purposes including politics, personal enjoyment, and education. Today educators have found many ways to use blogging as a way to build personal knowledge construction. Journal writing has always been a favorite tool of teachers; the public nature of a blog gives it a social, collaborative and intercultural dimension not otherwise present (Languages for Social Cohesion, n.d.). The use of blogs in the classroom also creates a constructivist atmosphere helping students learn and explore through their writings.
Key Concepts of Blogging for Personal Knowledge Construction
The use of blogs in education creates a new atmosphere for students to improve their writing skills instead of the old paper and pencil journaling. Blogs have created a new way for students to communicate what they are learning about. This newer technology aligns closely with the concept of constructivism. “Constructivism proposes that learning environments should support multiple perspectives or interpretations of reality, knowledge construction, and context-rich, experience-based activities" (D. H. Jonassen).
Blogging builds a structure for collective learning through knowledge creation and sharing (Learning Technology, 2006). Teachers can use blogs in the classroom to promote many different learning experiences. Blogging provides opportunities for students to engage in collaborative group work. “Group blogs form collaborative team workspaces involving tasks like information acquisition, implementation and dissemination, thinking, intelligence, improvisation, sense making, emotions, and memory” (Learning Technology, 2006).
There are five main ways educators can use blogs to enhance learning in their classrooms. These five methods support a constructivist classroom due to their ability to let students develop skills through reflection, use of prior knowledge, and making connections with new information individually and in a group setting. Henry Farrell identifies five major uses for blogs in education. “Teachers use blogs to replace the standard class Web page. Instructors begin to link to Internet items that relate to their course. Blogs are used to organize in-class discussions. Some instructors are using blogs to organize class seminars and to provide summaries of readings. Students may also be asked to write their own blogs as part of their course grade” (S. Downes, n.d.).
Examples of Blog uses amoung Educators and Students
Teachers can use blogging in their classroom regardless of what grade they teach. There are a variety of activities teachers can use to support learning in all grade levels. Teachers can use blogs for announcements, instructional tips for students, classroom links, class based journals, and also use blogs as a discussion tool (S. Leslie, 2005). “Students as young as kindergarten can now blog on a daily basis in a variety of exciting ways” (L. Jackson, 2005). There are many websites set up for elementary age blogging. Some of these sites include Blogmeister created by David Warlick, Kidzblog, Thingamablog, and Think.com (L. Jackson, 2005). These sites provide various activities including options for young students to write and then illustrate what they are blogging about. Middle and high school aged students can engage in many learning opportunities as well. Blogs can be used to influence students to respond to thought provoking questions, reactions to photos and images, give opinions, create a portfolio of their personal writing, discuss classroom activities, write about newly learned concepts and vocabulary and more (S. Downes, n.d.). The activities listed above support high level thinking and also the concept of constructivism. Students and teachers can use classroom blogs to really explore topics and learn from others in the classroom. The use of weblogs in the classroom has created a new and fun way for students to communicate what they are learning and connect it to other subjects and knowledge.
Downes, S. (n.d.). Uses of Blogs in Education. Retrieved April 15, 2009, from Educational Blogging Web site: http://www.pembinatrails.ca/program/technology/uses_of_blogs_in_education.htm
Educational Broadcasting Corporation. (2004). Constructivism as a Paradigm forTeaching and Learning. Retrieved April 15, 2009, from http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/ constructivism/explor_sub5.html
Jackson, L. (2005, April 13). Blogging? It's Elementary,My Dear Watson! . Retrieved April 15, 2009, from Educational World Web site: http://www.education-world.com/a_tech/tech/tech217.shtml
Languages for Social Cohesion. (n.d.). A peer-to-peer collaborative writing platform for language learning. In Web Journals in Language Education . Retrieved April 15, 2009, from http://www.ecml.at/mtp2/Blogs/html/BLOGS_E_pdesc.htm
Leslie, S. (2005, January 27). Blogging in Online Education: . Retrieved April 15, 2009, from http://www.slideshare.net/sleslie/using-blogs-in-online-education
Technical Committee on Learning Technology. (2006, October). Blogging and Journaling are the same, but different. Learning Technology, 8 4(4). Retrieved April 14, 2009, from IEEE Computer Society Web site: http://lttf.ieee.org/learn_tech/issues/october2006/index.html#_Toc148658498
Word Press Organization. (n.d.). Introduction to Blogging. Retrieved April 15, 2009, from Codex Website: http://codex.wordpress.org/Introduction_to_Blogging
1. The first weblog was developed to maintain a record of pages visited on the World Wide Web?
2. Which of the following learning activities can teachers use group blogs for collaborative team workspaces to engage students?
A. Information Acquisition
B. Sense making
D. All of the above
3. All of the following are examples of how teachers can use blogs as part of the learning process except?
A. Blogs as a discussion tool
B. Blogs as a class based journal
C. Blogs as a study guide
D. Blogs to respond to photos or images
4. Blogging is best used for high school aged students opposed to elementary aged students.