Potential of blogs

I have found that when I added Information Technology or web 2.0 tools to my English classroom, students tended to be more motivated and engaged. I could go so far as to say that students are inherently more engaged when we put a piece of technology in front of them than when we stick a paper and pen in front of them.

The experience and research coming from the provincial Blended Learning Pilot shows that boys, who are our traditional reluctant readers and writers, are more engaged and produce more writing when they are using web 2.0 tools (online discussion, blogging).

Additionally, we know that all students take more responsibility for their writing when they know that their peers will be reading it.

Graphic Representation of the Potential of Blogs

Weblogs in Education by Tan Yuh Huann, Ow Eu Gene John, Jeanne Marie Ho Pau Yuen

Megan Poole on the Benefits of Blogging

The following list of benefits of blogging is an excerpt from Megan Poole's site (full credit goes to her - click on her name to visit her blog):

"Benefits of blogging

With the right educational design, and with good teaching, blogging has many benefits in the educational setting:
Intellectual and writing

  • Encourages writing
  • Encourages reading
  • Encourages diverse perspectives
  • Teaches appropriate expression of scholarly opinion
  • Improves writing skills
  • Promotes interpretation, validation, assessment, analysis, critique, synthesis, evaluation, creativity, imagination
Communication, collaboration, participation, socialisation

  • Connection with experts
  • Engagement in the community
  • Audience — you can have readers in the wider world
  • Developing links and networks with others
  • Appropriate online behaviour
Motivation and organisation
  • Control and ownership on the part of the blogger
  • Students who lack routine and order in their study find blogs useful for organising notes, thoughts, information (Armstrong, Berry and Lamshed 2004)
  • Students try harder when they know their work is being published to the world
  • Ease of feedback from both teacher, other students, and the world in general
  • Allows for archiving and searching
  • You (and the student) can track learning progress through time
  • Easy communication with students and parents
Classroom benefits (Oradini and Saunders 2007)
  • Easier for students to submit their work
  • Easier for the tutor to view work quickly
  • Helps in the monitoring of student progress
  • Provides templates to enable scaffolding of student progress
  • Facilitates provision of both formative and summative feedback
  • Allows students to be more creative
  • Saves time when collecting work
  • Accessible anywhere" (Megan Poole)