Why get students blogging?
A reason to blog for education is that it helps learning because it involves integrating knowledge. It contains the benefit of writing an essay on a subject.
Why not get students blogging?
This is a bit long, so don’t dive into it straight away during our workshop, but I’ve picked out some points below:
From the “Why Blogs Suck in Higher Ed” podcast episode, here are some great hints:
- *Blog jockey* is a role that rotates through the class, each week, which is the responsibility to synthesise the posts from the whole class.
- Blog as notebook for *several* classes, to make it worthwhile, just use tagging to separate them.
- One blog on her own domain, which sucks stuff in from the other blogs that she’s using.
- Some of the best work occurs when students want to share stuff with their families back home.
- Takeaway message: Blogging sucks when it’s totally disconnected from the rest of the blogger’s world.
By the way, the speaker with the glasses, Jim Groom, is a popular education blogger, keen on new tech in teaching: he’s involved with one of the more ground-breaking MOOCs, ds106, and is credited with coining a term, edupunk.
So… should your students blog?
What they would blog, ideally
- Links with analysis that gets into the meaning of the content;
- or reflective writing on practice;
- or analysis and synthesis;
- all the above – particularly if extended over a period of time. (Read more: p32 of the book ‘Blogs, wikis, podcasts,…’ by Will Richardson )
You might just want to introduce them to the issue of plagiarism, of course. They will need to be familiar with it as part of their academic career, and the following graphic can help to clarify the issue, with its focus on King’s.