It’s been several months since I have last posted on this blog, but I would like to update more often and not always for coursework. In the meantime, here are my thoughts on blogging in education:
I really like that tools/sites such as Edublog and Kidblog exist so that younger students have the chance to voice their opinions and knowledge on a variety of topics and have a forum for online discussion. The 140edu.com video featuring Kim Sivick showcased a great example of how students can use blogging (and Twitter) to pursue inquiry-based learning and interact with people from all over the world. The video examined how the typical elementary school assignment we’ve all had at some point (write a report on a foreign country) can be greatly expanded in a dynamic and interactive way. I also really like the idea of using a blog as an online discussion forum for students by posing questions to answer, as Janie Cowan did with her students (Cowan, 2008). The librarian I am working with for my fieldwork, Susanna, has a blog for her library. My fieldwork will be at the Sustainability Academy, an elementary magnet school. I think I will tell Susanna about Cowan’s blogging success and suggest she might use blogging to pose literature-related questions to her students, in a question of the week format. She could also have them post examples of books, people, and websites that promote the three types of justice that the Sustainability Academy promotes: social, economic, and environmental. Susanna also has essential questions she has for all the students that she wants them to explore all year long: “How can the library help us be community members? How is it a place for me, a place to grow? How can the library connect us with the outside world?” I think she could also pose these questions on the blog throughout the year.
I like that the “7 things you should know about…Blogs” also presented the downsides of blogging such as certain individuals can make blogs their own personal soapboxes and use them to present their bias and inaccurate information. I recently saw the film Contagion in which Jude Law plays a blogger who uses fear-mongering tactics in his writing for his own personal gain. As I was reading the “7 things” article I was thinking about that character and hoping the article would present the dark side of blogging.
I also would like to explore blogging more for my current job. We have a blog as part of our website at Sara Holbrook Community Center, but now it is mainly used for official announcements and newsletters. I would like to use it as a forum to encourage discussion as well, especially among our donors and board members, as well as to promote our services to the larger Burlington community.