Friday, May 20, 2005

Educational Uses of a Blog

From higher education (Glenn, 2003) to public education (Carr, 2005), educators are taking advantage of the lightning fast and free way make ideas available across the Internet using text, images, audio and video. New uses are constantly being invented.

Educators (teachers, instructors, professors, administrators) are using them to: teach writing with the blog as a kind of public word processor for student assignments; teach collaboration and build a sense of audience using the comments features; support institutional teamwork and collaborative thinking activity from curriculum development to policy formation, which was discussed in the section of social capital; build reputations as they distribute what they are learning in their field of study and share what they find important to their peers and students; create instructional tips for their students and parents as a course progresses; make course announcements and make assignments; provide a collection of annotated links to important resources; offer students and/or parents another place for feedback and discussions of what is being taught; and to get out news on anything.

Student blog composition can create unprecedented attention to student composition. Students at Hunterdon Central Regional High School read the Secret Life of Bees, then used a literacy style blog to create dialog around the book. Their site, has received more than 2 million hits (Richardson, 2005). Students use blogs to: create reflective or writing journals; create blog postings as submitted assignments; engage in collaborative writing teams using comments to provide critiques of the writings of classmates; build e-portfolios using a variety of media; share their findings of useful resources to support the learning of a course; and bypass adult restrictions on their communication.

Blogs can also be re-invented for additional purposes. This set of thinking about blogs is an example of using a blog site to support the gathering of comments for different sections of a larger document or essay. Each section heading in this essay is both a blog posting and a section of a standard web page. Each blog posting is used to collect responses and feedback which is used to further edit that section. The concept applies just as well to sections of institutional documents including guidelines, planning documents, policies and curriculum development.

Richardson (2005) has used his own blog ( to collect best practices information on educational blogging. Blogs bring great power to those numerous situations in which students must construct, collaborate, and communicate, what he referred to as the three C's.

Please leave comments which point out other educational uses.


Blogger Bob Houghton said...

See Scott Leslie's matrix of educational uses of blogs,

6/29/2005 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Greg Franklin said...

Students from different schools, districts, states and countries could actually work together on a research project. Students could be working on the research while my students sleep and vice versa. Together, they come up with a quality, finished project, have learned about each other’s schools and cultures and experiences a wonderful new model of collaborative learning.

7/06/2005 07:53:00 PM  

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