Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Posts tagged ‘blog’

Can the use of blogs and e-mail enhance writing skills at primary school level?

Sofia Funenga (2012) Developing Writing Skills in English Language Teaching Through the Use of Blogs and Email at Primary School Level,

After reflecting on the findings of this action research cycle, with the purpose of providing an answer to the research question Can the use of blogs and e-mail enhance writing skills at primary school level?, it is possible to conclude that, throughout the writing workshop sessions, young students not only improved the content and language used in their texts, but also adopted a better attitude towards writing.

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Does blogging really benefit high school students?

Mandy Lynn LeBourgeois (2012) Technology in the classroom: effect of student blogging on learning gains in a high school classroom, A Thesis Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Natural Sciences

Writing web logs (blogs) as well as reading the blogs of others has shown to extensively benefit students in terms of obtaining content knowledge. In the present study, analyses were done comparing raw gains of students who blogged about Biology I topics and those who simply answered questions on the same topics. No overall significant differences or trends were found in the learning gains of the experimental group of students (bloggers) and the control group (non-bloggers).

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Are interactive blogs more effective than isolated blogs in supporting student learning?

Yang, C. and Chang, Y.-S. (2012), Assessing the effects of interactive blogging on student attitudes towards peer interaction, learning motivation, and academic achievements. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 28: 126–135

Blogs have been increasingly used to supplement traditional classroom lectures in higher education. This paper explores the use of blogs, and how student attitudes towards online peer interaction and peer learning, as well as motivation to learn from peers, may differ when using the blog comments feature, and when students are encouraged to read and comment on each other’s work. We contrast two ways blogs affect learning engagement: (1) solitary blogs as personal digital portfolios for writers; or (2) blogs used interactively to facilitate peer interaction by exposing blogging content and comments to peers. A quasi-experiment was conducted across two semesters, involving 154 graduate and undergraduate students. The result suggests that interactive blogs, compared with isolated blogs, are associated with positive attitudes towards academic achievement in course subjects and in online peer interaction. Students showed positive motivation to learn from peer work, regardless of whether blogs were interactive or solitary.

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What is the role of blogging for twenty first century professional academic practitioners?

Kirkup, Gill (2010). Academic blogging, academic practice and academic identity. London Review of Education, 8(1), pp. 75–84.

This paper describes a small scale study which investigates the role of blogging in professional academic practice in higher education. It draws on interviews with a small sample of academics (scholars, researchers and teachers) who have blogs and on the author’s own reflections on blogging to investigate the professional benefits and costs of academic blogging. It argues that blogging offers a new genre of authoritative and accessible academic textual production, and in this way is changing the nature of what it is to be a twenty first century academic practitioner.

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How do second graders perceive blogging?

Jenny Tanaka (2012) How do second graders perceive blogging? Scholarly communication: An action research study. Powerpoint presented at the 17th Annual Technology, Colleges, and Community Worldwide Online Conference.

An action research study was conducted at a public elementary school in Hawaii, where second grade students’ perceptions of blogging for the first-time were gathered. Prior to the implementation period, students were introduced to basic computer skills that are necessary for blogging. Field notes and observations, daily reflection, a small group interview, and a post survey were used to collect data. Results revealed that students were very receptive and positive toward blogs. In fact, although blogging was not required outside of class time, some were blogging at home and even on vacation in another state and country. The students were not afraid to share their work, which portrayed a sense of authorship and ownership of their work, rather than apprehensiveness. However, some students encountered challenges with some basic computer skills, such as keyboarding and computer navigation. Despite some setbacks, this action research project yielded valuable feedback that could help the researcher and other educators to integrate blogging throughout many content areas.

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How do blogs help EFL students become academic writers through collaborative dialogues?

Yu-Chih Sun, Yu-jung Chang (2012) Blogging To Learn: Becoming EFL Academic Writers Through Collaborative DialoguesLanguage Learning & Technology, February 2012, Volume 16, Number 1

This study examines how blogs and their interactive and collaborative features help academically-advanced graduate students process academic writing knowledge and make sense of their writer identity. Seven graduate students undertaking Master’s level study in TESOL and Linguistics participated. The research questions are: (a) What kinds of writing-related topics do students blog about? (b) How do students’ collaborative dialogues on blogs help them process and reconstruct knowledge about academic writing? (c) How do students’ collaborative dialogues on blogs facilitate their negotiation of academic identities and construction of authorship? Open-coding and content analysis were conducted to inductively identify salient themes and patterns regarding students’ learning and perception of their writer identities. The results suggest that the blog activity not only encourages students to actively and reflectively engage in knowledge sharing, knowledge generation, and the development of numerous strategies to cope with difficulties encountered in the learning process. Blogs also endow students with a sense of authorship as the writers of blog entries and, at the same time, provide a space for them to sort out what being an author entails, their purposes of writing, and their authority in writing.

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Can Blogs and other Web 2.0 tools Enhance Cataloging?

Sherab Chen, (2009) “Can Blogging Help Cataloging?: Using a Blog and Other Web 2.0 Tools to Enhance Cataloging Section Activities”, Library Resources Technical Services (2009) Volume: 53, Issue: 4, Pages: 251-260

In response to the ongoing conversation about Library 2.0, which has focused on user participation and emphasizes efficiency in delivering library services to users, this paper draws attention to a practical application in technical services: using Web 2.0 tools to enhance performance in the cataloging department. From his position as the coordinator for non-Roman cataloging in a large academic library, the author shares his experience using a blog and other Web 2.0 tools to improve section management and professional activities.

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How can blogs help Librarians prepare for a Web 2.0 World?

Joanne de Groot, Jennifer Branch (2009) “LEARNING TO SPEAK WEB 2.0”: TEACHER-LIBRARIANS PLAYING WITH 21ST CENTURY TECHNOLOGIES, Asia-Pacific Conference on Library & Information Education & Practice, 2009

This paper presents the initial findings of a study that looked at students’ experiences with and reactions to learning about Web 2.0 tools. The research questions guiding this study were: How effective is a graduate-level course in helping teachers and teacher-librarians learn about and integrate new Web 2.0 technologies? And, What are the knowledge, skills, and attributes that these teachers and teacher-librarians develop as a result of undertaking this inquiry? Participants were students enrolled in a graduate-level technology course offered through the Teacher- Librarianship by Distance Learning program at the University of Alberta. The major assignment for the course was an inquiry on Web 2.0 and students were required to write blog posts as they explored 10 new tools. The major source of data for this paper came from the first blog posts, which were analyzed and then categorized into four main themes: feelings, experiences, design of the blog, and challenges. Although this paper only reports on the initial stages of the study, early analysis of all the data indicates that this course has been a great success in helping teachers and teacher-librarians learn about and integrate new Web 2.0 technologies into their personal and professional lives.

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Do students need guidance to blog effectively?

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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How can Blogs be used to maximize students’ collaborative writing?

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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How can blogs support L2 language development?

Gebhard, M., Shin, D., Seger, W., (2011). Blogging and emergent L2 literacy development in an urban elementary school: A functional perspective. CALICO Journal28(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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How can HOT blogging promote Higher Order Thinking?

Zawilinski, L. (2009). HOT Blogging: A Framework for Blogging to Promote Higher Order Thinking. The Reading Teacher62(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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Why do students (not) blog?

Andergassen, M., Behringer, R., Finlay, J., & Gorra, A. (2009). Weblogs in Higher Education – why do Students ( not ) Blog ? Higher Education7(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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Can blogs help ESL students develop their language skills?

De Almeida Soares, D. (2008). Understanding class blogs as a tool for language development. Language Teaching Research12(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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Can blogs support students’ complex thinking?

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.

Can blogs improve differentiated instruction?

Colombo, M. W., & Colombo, P. D. (2007). Using Blogs to Improve Differentiated Instruction. Education Digest73(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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