Thursday, September 15, 2005

Impression of Blogging in Education
When I first read over the material, before the orientation day, I was frightened. I had never heard the term "blog" before. I thought it would be quite complicated, especially since I have not taken a computer course in 5 years. Now, as I have followed the steps and am actually "blogging", I feel amazed at how easy it was to set this web log up. Unfortunately, at this point, I have now realized that the difficult part of this class will be to think about, reflect, and understand what technology means for education and what types of technology integration I will incorporate into my classroom's teaching and learning environment. This is new to me. I did not realize the course that technology has been taking - going from being an option within schools to being required (not just as a separate subject but part of all subjects).
After reading over the information, going to all the links, as well as, searching Google, I have come to believe that most importantly and more often, communication is happening on-screen (whether it's email, cell phone text, or blogging). It is true that younger people know more about technology than older people do, making it a goal of mine to always be on the same page as my students when it comes to technology. If my students know how to use a certain technology, I should be thinking of ways I can use it to help them learn better and to help me teach better.
Not knowing much about blogging as of now, I cannot think of many ways it could be used in the classroom. One way it could be used, I think, is for discussion or almost as a journal. A teacher could give the student's a topic or a question to write on each week. The teacher could ask the kids to do a book review for their blog, students could communicate with their teachers telling them what they liked or didn't like about the lessons that day, etc.
Some advantages to blogging are that it can be worked on anytime and it is easy to use. It may be motivating for students who do not like speaking aloud in class, do not like hand-writing or for students who just love computers. For students who lack in computer skills, they could learn to type better. It creates a community of learners, something the kids would have in common and get excited about. It creates opportunites for students to read more, discuss topics and most importantly gives everyone an equal opportunity to express their own thoughts.
Disadvantages might be, because it is public domain, people may be inappropriate or offend others with their words. Also, information may not be factual. Blogging may also make some teachers forget about the importance of reading and writing off line by having students do too much work on their blogs.
I may not have said everything I learned about blogging but I feel I have learned a huge amount by doing this first assignment. Different ways of using blogging in the classroom keep popping into my head...

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