Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Blogs in learning: what they are and what they aren't

Today, Vicki Davis has linked back one of her previous posts about the use of blogs in teaching and learning. I found it useful then, but am looking at it from a different persepctive today. She links to a post by Nicole Ellison on the empirical testing of blogs in the classroom.

I have been thinking about this from the learner perspective - trying to find ways that I might use this blog as a tool in my studies. This blog, my blogroll and my CoComments are so central to my thinking, that it is impossible to think of undertaking a complete postgraduate course without incorporating them.

Today is the deadline for my first paper, and I had considered handing it in on my blog, but, for many of the reasons Vicki gives, I decided that papers work best on paper. By and large a paper is a finished piece of work, which can be assessed. A line can be drawn under it and the teacher can comment on the content, the layout, the development of arguments, etc. A blogpost is more of a conversation. I can set out my thoughts on a subject and the whole blogosphere can tear the post to shreds, or agree, or add their own contributions. It is a work in progress, organic, and not restricted to contributions from the blog owner.

I think I might be able to use my blog as a research tool, but I can't see it becoming my delivery medium. However, this being a blog and all, I would be happy to consider suggestions as to how I might be able to incorporate this tool into my studies. All you teachers out there - what advice to give your learners? Would it work for me?


Harold Jarche said...

I wrote an article a while back and used Writely between myself and the editor. Here is the note that I added to the print version:
Author's Note: In developing this article, I have realized how
limited the print medium is, especially when transferring
what was originally a series of blog posts to create the basis of
what is written here. Added hyperlinks are now more natural
to me than using the APA format, which I have used for many
years, but I now view as a relic of a bygone era. What
originally flowed is now just a piece of stock. As a blog post
[http://www.jarche.com/?p=675] this article built on previous
posts and was open to comments and additions. With this
article, it seems as if the conversation, and my learning
process, have been frozen in time.

The article is on page 20 of the ADETA newsletter:

Anonymous said...

Harold, this is such a close reflection of my own thinking, that I might just append a version of that as a postscript to my papers. I find it so limiting and frustrating. As you say - it makes things seem frozen in time, which is totally at odds with the collaborative learning experience.