What’s the point in blogging?

With the concept of granularity in mind I will try to keep this one short. Also because it’s summer and I should be relaxing a bit. Anyway, I’ve decided to put these ideas together here to use as a guide for future blogging. And here’s a link to Sarah Horrigan’s blog on Twettiquette also referenced in Weller’s book.

Introduction

As I mentioned in my first blog about a month ago, I’ve got no idea what I’m doing with this blogging thing. So I was very pleased to come across some handy tips for bloggers in ‘The digital Scholar’ by Martin Weller. Weller collects ideas from the following sources, Shaohui and Lihua (2008) and Loic Le Meur (2005).

Main features of blogs

  1. You need to be willing to share ideas and experiences at an early stage
  2. Getting input from other people is of vital importance
  3. Blogging makes collaboration easier
  4. Blogging helps you collect information from a variety of sources
  5. And gives you control over where you get your information from
  6. You need to quote other sources
  7. You can link to other blogs and websites
  8. There is a preference to post and react quickly
  9. Bloggers want to be recognised for their efforts
  10. It’s more about thought sharing than news sharing
  11. A nonlinear approach to organising knowledge
  12. blogs can be interdisciplinary
  13. They blur the line between personal and professional
  14. And encourage experimentation
  15. Being based on fledgling ideas, blogs can often be wrong or incomplete
  16. There is no filter, no editor or peer review

Weller. M, (2011)

A little bit of reflection as a student

To be honest I’d never thought of blogging before signing up for this course but now I’m finding it quite addictive. Before I would just read books, highlight lines, make a few notes and then probably forget everything in a couple of weeks. By writing blogs on what I’ve read I need to reformulate and connect ideas. This requires quite a lot of processing power in my brain, especially in August in Naples when it’s 36 degrees outside. Hopefully this process will help me retain more information for when I start my course in September.

Inspiration for teaching languages

It seems clear to me that blogs have a lot of potential to aid language learners. The affordances of these web 2.0 tools coupled with blog culture develop behaviours that dovetail with current communicative approaches. This is especially true of points 2, 3, 4, 14 and 15. It is therefore easy to imagine incorporating blogs into my current practice to promote communication, a sense of community, experimentation with language and peer correction. Despite these advantages there are still some concerns related to openness, mixing my personal and my professional life and the digital divide. These are issues that I need to look into before thoroughly planning and then introducing blogs to my classes. However, at first glance it would appear that the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

What do you think?

How do you use blogs with your students?

References

‘The Digital Scholar’ (Weller, M. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2011)

‘The Application of Blog in Modern Education’ (Shaohui, W. & Lihua, M. CSSE, 2008)

‘Is there a Blog Culture?’ (Le Meur, L. (2005) http://loiclemeur.com/english/2005/05/is_there_a_blog.html)

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