The article discusses how blogs can be used for educational purposes outlining the activities of fifth and sixth grade students at Institut St. Joseph in Quebec City.
Stephen Downes notes that blogs can be used 1) to post announcements and to provide students with a space to post the results of their work or to reflect on concepts or ideas discussed in class. He also states that blogs can be used as a private space that students can to communicate with the teacher. This is an interesting way to use a blog as it allows the teacher to connect with a student. The teacher can get to know the student better without talking to the student in class, which can be useful especially in large classes where the teacher may not have the opportunity to observe every student. It also allows the teacher to see what the students think about a particular topic which the teacher could use to improve the lesson for the entire class.
The article also notes that blogging can be used 2) to develop critical thinking and information literacy skills. I think this is a great way to help students strengthen these skills because it allows them to reflect on what they are writing and thinking while they are while which is something most students probably don’t do. One way to encourage students to be write more thoughtful comments in their blog was suggested by Ken Smith saying students should be assigned to read and then link to what interests them and why and then, and they engage with the content and with authors through criticising, questioning, and reacting.
3)One thing that makes the use of blogs so attractive is their ease-of-use. The article describes the technology and software that contribute to this feature. 4)Negative features of blogs and blogging, such as the potential conflict between the blogger and the administration (liberous content is problematic), the possibility that not all students will be motivated all the time ( often neglect to see bogs when contents are already written).
Educational BloggingSeptember 14, 2007Downes, Stephen (2004, September/October). Educational blogging, EDUCAUSE Review, 39(5), 14–26. http://www.educause.edu/pub/er/erm04/erm0450.asp?bhcp=1