Carla Arena (2008) Blogging in the Language Classroom: It Doesn’t “Simply Happen”, Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language (2008) Volume: 11, Issue: 3, Pages: 1-7
This paper describes the importance of guiding students to use blogs (Web logs) for educational purposes. While blogs are commonly thought of as simply happening, in fact, educators in a media literate world need to rethink and redefine best practices for using this tool. Introduction Ideally, through blogs, students would create content and construct knowledge using the wonders of these publishing tools that abound online. I definitely believe in the power of blogs to improve students abilities while learning a second language, in my case, in an EFL context. However, blogging doesnt simply happen. The word has been spread about the potential of blogging for the language classroom, but there needs to be more than an idea to convince students that they can really profit from this tool on the read/write Web. There are numerous options for blogs, depending on the goals set for them. In the English as a Foreign Language setting, one can find blogs for professional development, class blogs, and students individual blogs, among others. In this sense, unleashing the potential of blogs for language learning will be directly related to teachers understanding of the pedagogical benefits of such a tool, and the students perception of its value in their learning process. As pointed out by Glogowsky (2008) in his post about blogtalk, Blogging is not about choosing a topic and writing responses for the rest of the term. It is about meaningful, thoughtful engagement with ideas (para. 2). Blogs as Conversations Blogs imply conversations. And, for these conversations to happen, there first needs to be a redefinition of the educators presence and role in the blogging classroom. Educators should be facilitate the process of establishing the online conversations within oneself, among learners, with other teachers, and possibly the world. Students will have to get used to the blogging experience to learn how to properly answer posts, how to cite, and how to establish their own blogging tone through their posts. in such a way that they find their unique channel of communication in the target language.
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Zaini Amir, Kemboja Ismail, Supyan Hussin (2011) Blogs in Language Learning: Maximizing Students’ Collaborative Writing, Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences (2011) Volume: 18, Pages: 537-543
Educators have engaged with Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs or podcasts, to make learning more personalized, more interactive and more dynamic. Blogging has emerged as one of the most popular forms of online discourse. Blogging is seen as a learning platform in providing opportunities for learning English which can improve the students’ knowledge about their language performance in writing. The unique nature of the blog’s architecture and the low cost have not only affected how students can publish and distribute their work to a wider audience but also how the students see themselves as authors. This paper focuses on the use of blogs in a language and IT course which can help to maximize students’ collaborative writing. Findings from the blogs include the perceptions of ESL students of how blogging can contribute to the development of the students’ writing.
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Gebhard, M., Shin, D., Seger, W., (2011). Blogging and emergent L2 literacy development in an urban elementary school: A functional perspective. CALICO Journal, 28(2).
This study analyzes how a teacher in the United States used systemic functional linguistics to design a blog-mediated writing curriculum to support second grade English language learners (ELLs) literacy development and abilities to use computer-mediated communication tools for social and academic purposes in and out of school. The questions posed by this study relate to how blogging practices shaped a focus students emergent uses of print over nearly two years in a U. S. urban school serving a large Puerto Rican community. This study is informed by Hallidays theory of systemic functional linguistics (SFL) and Vygotskian conceptions of appropriation and mediation. Using a combination of ethnographic methods and the tools of genre analysis, the findings indicate that blog-mediated writing practices afforded students an expanded audience and range of purposes for literacy activities. These practices, coupled with genre-based instruction, supported the focal students emergent literacy development. The implications of this study relate to conceptualizing how ideational, interpersonal, and textual metafunctions of language intersect through computer-mediated communication to support L2 language development.
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Zawilinski, L. (2009). HOT Blogging: A Framework for Blogging to Promote Higher Order Thinking. The Reading Teacher, 62(8), 650-661. International Reading Association.
The article focuses on the use of educational blogs by elementary school teachers and students to encourage computer learning and literacy. The most commonly used blogs (also known as weblogs) in the classroom are: News blogs which report information about classroom schedules and homework; Mirror blogs in which the writers reflect on new ideas; Literature response blogs where teachers and students consider reading assignments; and Showcase blogs which post student work such as podcasts and art work. The article also discusses classroom and Internet resources available to help implement such technologies into a lesson plan.
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Andergassen, M., Behringer, R., Finlay, J., & Gorra, A. (2009). Weblogs in Higher Education – why do Students ( not ) Blog ? Higher Education, 7(3), 203-214.
Positive impacts on learning through blogging, such as active knowledge construction and reflective writing, have been reported. However, not many students use weblogs in informal contexts, even when appropriate facilities are offered by their universities. While motivations for blogging have been subject to empirical studies, little research has addressed the issue of why students choose not to blog. This paper presents an empirical study undertaken to gain insights into the decision making process of students when deciding whether to keep a blog or not. A better understanding of students’ motivations for (not) blogging may help decision makers at universities in the process of selecting, introducing, and maintaining similar services. As informal learning gains increased recognition, results of this study can help to advance appropriate designs of informal learning contexts in Higher Education. The method of ethnographic decision tree modelling was applied in an empirical study conducted at the Vienna University of Technology, Austria. Since 2004, the university has been offering free weblog accounts for all students and staff members upon entering school, not bound to any course or exam. Qualitative, open interviews were held with 3 active bloggers, 3 former bloggers, and 3 non-bloggers to elicit their decision criteria. Decision tree models were developed out of the interviews. It turned out that the modelling worked best when splitting the decision process into two parts: one model representing decisions on whether to start a weblog at all, and a second model representing criteria on whether to continue with a weblog once it was set up. The models were tested for their validity through questionnaires developed out of the decision tree models. 30 questionnaires have been distributed to bloggers, former bloggers and non-bloggers. Results show that the main reasons for students not to keep a weblog include a preference for direct (online) communication, and concerns about the loss of privacy through blogging. Furthermore, the results indicate that intrinsic motivation factors keep students blogging, whereas stopping a weblog is mostly attributable to external factors.
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De Almeida Soares, D. (2008). Understanding class blogs as a tool for language development. Language Teaching Research, 12(4), 517-533
Web 2.0 has allowed for the development of cyber spaces where any computer user can create their own public pages to share knowledge, feelings and thoughts inviting linguistic interactions with people around the globe. This innovation has caught the attention of language practitioners who wish to experiment with blogging to enhance the teaching and learning experience. In 2007 I set up a class blog with my nine pre-intermediate EFL students in a language school in Brazil. This experience gave rise to two central questions: a) did my students see our blog as a learning tool? and b) what was blogging like in other language teaching contexts? To answer the first question I carried out some Exploratory Practice for three months. As for the second question, I designed an online survey which was answered by 16 members of a community of practice called the Webheads. Ultimately I learned that my students saw our blog as a learning tool and that blogs are being used in different ways around the world. This article presents the rationale behind using blogs in language classes, describes my research process and discusses the understanding my students and I have gained from exploring our own practices.
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Ramos, Maria Altina Silva. Blog and Complex Thinking: A Case Study
Online Submission, US-China Education Review v7 n8 p11-21 Aug 2010. 2010 11 pp. (ED514801)
The Internet does not promote learning by itself as children and young people often use it passively. The teachers’ role is to help them interpret and analyze available information critically. The blog, as a means to deploy the concept of “on-line interaction” is, according to Granieri, “The most accessible and natural tool for sharing and publishing, in addition to text, images movies and also sound, will be increasingly disseminated, because of increasing speed of data transmission” (2006, p. 31). It is therefore natural that the use of the blog is more and more frequent as a resource, pedagogical strategy or other capacities at all levels of teaching (Gomes, 2005). In this paper, a case study is presented based on some blogs, focusing on: the methodology for collection of text and multimedia materials; treatment and analysis of data with the NVivo software; findings and further evolution perspectives. Read Full Text.
Colombo, M. W., & Colombo, P. D. (2007). Using Blogs to Improve Differentiated Instruction. Education Digest, 73(4), 10-14
The article discusses the use of blogging to improve differentiated instruction in science classes. It provides a hypothetical model of differentiated instruction in a seventh grade science classroom containing English language learners (ELLs), students with individualized education programs, and gifted and talented students. It discusses the use of material posted in class blogs to extend instructional time by providing a way to reinforce learning strategies, introduce topics and concepts, review material, and provide enrichment. Materials can be presented in text format, as podcasts, or as video files to reach students at different levels and with different learning styles. A list of free and commercial software for class blogs is included.
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