Following a work week when I felt the need to justify introducing teachers into Web2.0, I started my morning with Anne Davis‘s inspiring and research-based post Rationale for educational blogging. Besides listing 13 points below, she also references work by Don Leu, one of my heroes.
- Blogs provide a space for sharing opinions and learning in order to grow communities of discourse and knowledge — a space where students and teachers can learn from each other
- Blogs help learners to see knowledge as interconnected as opposed to a set of discrete facts.
- Blogs can give students a totally new perspective on the meaning of voice. As students explore their own learning and thinking and their distinctive voices emerge. Student voices are essential to the conversations we need to have about learning.
- Blogs foster ownership and choice. They help lead us away from students trying to find what the teacher wants in terms of an answer.
- The worldwide audience provides recognition for students that can be quite profound. Students feel more compelled to write when they believe many others may read and respond. It gives them motivation to excel. Students need to be taught skills to foster a contributing audience on their blog.
- The archive feature of blogging records ongoing learning. It facilitates reflection and evaluation. One student told me that he could easily find his thoughts on a matter and he could see how his thinking had changed and why.
- The opportunity for collective and collaborative learning is enormous. Students have the opportunity to read their classmates’ blogs and those of others. This is not possible in a regular classroom setting.
- Blogging provides the possibility of connecting with experts on the topic students are writing.
- The interactive nature of blogging creates enthusiasm for writing and communication.
- Blogging engages students in conversation and learning.
- Blogging encourages global conversations about learning–conversations not previously possible in our classrooms.
- Blogging provides the opportunity for our students to learn to write for life-long learning.
- Blogging affords us the opportunity to teach responsible public writing. Students can learn about the power of the published word and the responsibilities involved with public writing.
With Anne’s rationale in hand, plus a timely article sent to me by NWP colleague Eric Hoefler, I’m boosted to move into next week’s schedule, which will include introducing a new workshop for my district: Internet Safety. As part of the workshop, I’ll be sharing some examples and rationale for Web 2.0 in the classroom.