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Blogs and Pedagogy

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years ago
Blogging Facilitates Learning if the Pedagogy is at the Core 


Blogs are the hub from which we can effectively use other tools to transform our classrooms.


I made this post, "Blogs and Pedagogy",  on May 31, 2006.  It seemed a perfect way to begin this presentation. I am going to highlight a few points I made on the post.


This definition of pedagogy resonates with me:

The strategies, techniques, and approaches that teachers can use to facilitate learning.


I particularly like this definition. Facilitating learning is our job. As I have been exploring the world of blogs over the past four (now five) years, I believe that my strategies, techniques, and approaches have improved due to the very nature of blogs. I’ve tried to capture the right word for these “pieces” of blogging that enable us to improve our instruction, techniques and strategies in ways that are not possible without the tool. In a way it’s like a new approach to learning that has been given to those of us who teach. I’ve called these pieces components, attributes, aspects, traits, elements. None seem to fit perfectly but I think attributes comes closest.


These attributes foster the promise of good pedagogy. Blogs are unique in the ways they offer teachers incredible possibilities to build on the pedagogy.


So on to the attributes of blogging that show promise for developing our pedagogies in whatever content area we teach:


Audience & Comments Having a worldwide audience who can read what students write brings forth recognition for students that can be quite profound. Students are used to the teacher being the only audience for their work. The realization that others think that what they have to say is important is empowering. They are amazed. I recall one student whose highlight for the year was having a high school student say that his writing made a difference. In another scenario I had a group of elementary students who were concerned that their writing would not be good enough for a group of high school students who were reading their blogs. It’s not that they didn’t want to try but what was important to them is that their writing be good in the eyes of their audience. We cannot create that with an audience of one.


Voice – Blogging can give students a totally new perspective on the meaning of voice. They can 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 give students a place for that voice to be heard by many. Many students that would be hesitant to speak in a classroom will share their ideas on a blog.


Conversations & Dialogue - The dialogue that goes on in our classrooms about our learning through blogging is the key to getting conversations and then postings that promote critical thought by students. Here the teacher is the catalyst for helping develop an atmosphere that encourages and respects the learner and their ideas. Ideas have to be nurtured, explored and discussed. Blogs put us on a learning path together with our students where we can shape new learning environments for the future. Blogs also offer incredible opportunities for dialogue and the social construction of meaning.


Ownership & Choices – Blogs help lead us away from students from seeking to find what the teacher wants in terms of an answer. Students feel more compelled to write when they believe many others may read and respond. They want to do better. Giving students a choice in making their own connections about their learning on blogs paves the way for blogs to be constructivist tools for learning. These attributes are compelling and powerful motivators that help us shape the pedagogy.


Archives – Having records of the learning that is ongoing facilitates learning and evaluation in a much easier and efficient matter. One student put it to me that he could easily find his thoughts on a matter and he could see how his thinking had changed and why. This lets us approach evaluation in reflective ways.


So let's shape the pedagogy! Let's  facilitate the  learning as we have fun with these engaging tools that are free, easy, and waiting for us to use them in creative ways! Click on the remaining tools on the SideBar and it is my hope that you will find some useful ways to put the pedagogy into the tools!




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