EduBlog and it’s features
The usage of Blogs has become popular in educational institutions including public schools and colleges. Blogs can be important tools for sharing useful information and tips among co-workers, dispersing information to students, or keeping in contact with parents. Teachers can create, monitor and edit Blogs to ensure that the postings are relevant and pertain to the classroom. With weblogs, students can find themselves writing for a real audience that, apart from the teacher, may include their peers and students from other classes (Bruns& Jacobs, 2006).
There are various teacher-related Blogs on the internet where teachers are able to share information with one another. This may include specific content that they are working on in their classroom or lessons that they wish to share with other teachers. It is a tool for the educators to share their ideas with one another on what work has been done with students and what has not. Teachers may often depend on these sources to communicate with one another regarding any issues in education. In this way, the Blog often acts as a support system for teachers where they can retrieve ideas, tools, gain support and recognition from other professionals in their field. Some of these Blogs have become recognized as useful tools, especially teachers Blogs which could directly be making a difference in the educational system. For example, Anthony Mullen’s Blog, is about the teacher traveling, discussing dropout rates and sharing his experience with others.
Teachers use Blogs as a way to communicate and enhance classroom teaching among their students. It is easy to introduce the use of Blogs in the classroom and permits both the teacher and student the ability to edit and add content at any time from anywhere. The ability of both the teacher and student to edit the subject content allows for study to take place outside the classroom environment. Blogs maximize the exposure with other students from around the country or world while improving writing and communication skills. It is found that Blogs can be used to promote writing skills of students in different societies (Tekinarslan, 2008). Teachers are using the Blogs as a way to post important information such as homework, important dates (exams, assignments, seminar, etc.), missed lessons, projects, discussion boards, and other useful classroom information that is accessible by all. Students could access this information from home, or from any computer that is connected with the Internet. Studies have shown that Blogging, a tool of Web 2.0, may be used effectively for educational purposes (Ferdig& Trammell, 2004; O’Donnell, 2006; Xie, Ke& Sharma, 2008; Sollars, 2007; Philip & Nicholls, 2009; Hourigan& Murray, 2010).
Students could use Blogs to communicate with other students for doing group projects. Students could also access the Blog to ask each other questions regarding a missed assignment or the lesson. It also gives students an opportunity to collaborate on poetry, various writing assignments, or readings. Students can respond initially to the text, including their thoughts, feelings, connections, questions, etc. Other students would have the opportunity to respond to others and react to these responses. This would be generated conversation among the students and develop their critical and analytical thinking skills. It also permits students who are shy and reserved in the class to voice their opinions and insight using the different approach. With the use of Blogs in the classroom, students learn various things from one another and individually express themselves as well. Yue and Brooks’ (2007) study, Blogging may be perceived as a valuable asset, enhancing learning strategies of large cohort university teaching. However, this tool is not free from some negativity due to its mandatory nature of tasks and requirement of more explicit directions and validation in the writing of students’ own academic Blogs (Hourigan& Murray, 2010).
The use of Blogs in education gives students a global perspective. Teachers from different areas, states, countries, and continents are able to collaborate on different projects and learnings. For instance, a classroom in India can collaborate with classrooms in Norway, Canada, Australia, Cuba, etc. with just a few clicks of a button. Learning through Blogs permits the students to take control of their own learning and steer it to their own needs. Students are able to see that the opinions and even strategies vary based on the location and culture. Children are from different situations, but a common thread of learning can unite them. The use of Blogs in the classroom embeds technological literacy in the children that will help them in adulthood.
Teachers and parents could also use Blogs in order to communicate with one another. Information can be posted for parents on special events occurring in the classroom such as field trips, celebrations, and presentations. Blogging is also a central tool for parents to find out daily assignments so that they can check up on their children and classroom expectations. Having this clear and open communication between the parents and students can ensure success. Assisting parents on what is developmentally appropriate for their children on a Blog could open communication and help parenting skills as well. A teacher’s first priority is to educate their students, but educating and communicating openly with parents through Blogs is a helpful tool to keep the lines of communication open between teachers and students families.
Salient Features of EDUBLOG:
Students can use EduBlog to record what they learn, and teachers can use Blogs record what they teach. For example, a teacher can Blog a course specifying the assignments that the students are required to do, including the assessment method, along with links to internet resources, and recording daily what is taught. This application has many advantages;
- Students can quickly catch up if they miss a class.
- The teacher could be used the Blogs as a course plan.
- The EduBlog serves as an accurate summary of the course that prospective students or new teachers can refer to. Blogging could also be used to record class excursions and to create electronic “scrapbooks” of student life.
- EduBlog could be used to motivate the students to do more reading and encourage them to develop their values.
- Blogs could also be used to bring out the diversity in the classrooms, in terms of learning styles and individual preferences.
- Can encourage Critical thinking, Analogical and Analytical thinking.
- Can encourage Creative, Intuitive and Associational thinking.
- Potential for maximized access and exposure to the quality information
- Can ensure social interactions.
- Link one’s class with another class somewhere else in the world.
Role of Teacher in EDUBLOG:
Teacher plays an important role in the development and utilization of Blog in learning. The teacher should act as a role model by creating his/ her own Blog. Moreover, the teacher has to motivate the learner to utilize these technological innovations in teaching learning situations.
Teachers can create a EduBlog to
- Reflect on their teaching experiences.
- Reveal teacher-training experiences.
- Write about the specific teaching unit.
- Explain what work you did in the classroom.
- Provide some hints for teaching other teachers.
- Write about something new you have learned from other teachers.
- Explain teaching insights which you acquired from what happens in your class room.
- Share ideas for teaching learning activities or language games to use in the classroom.
- Describe usage technology in the class room.
- Write about important teaching and learning issues.
- Post the information related to the class room such as calendars, events, homework, assignments and other related class information.
- Post assignments based on subjects matter and have students respond on their own weblogs.
- Describe the tips for improving writing skills.
- Provide the examples for class work, vocabulary activities and grammar games.
- Provide exposure to online readings for the students to read and react.
- Collect and organize the Internet resources for a particular course, providing links to appropriate sites and annotating the links as to what is relevant about them.
- Post photos and comments on class room activities.
- Invite the comments posted by students or postings on issues in order to give them a writing voice.
- Publish about good student writings done in class the classroom.
- Show the students’ art, poetry, and creative stories.
- Create an effective teaching site, posting not only classroom information, but also activities, discussion topics, links to additional information about topics they are studying in class, and readings to inspire learning.
- Create a literature club and an online book club.
- Publish the students’ messages on specific topics being used to develop language skills.
A teacher has to motivate the students to create their own EduBlog to;
- Write their reactions to the thought-provoking questions.
- Write their reactions to photos that are seen.
- Discuss results of surveys they carry out as part of a class unit.
- Express their ideas and opinions about topics discussed in the class room.
- Complete class writing assignments given by the teacher.
- Write about comments, opinions, or questions on daily news items or issues of interest.
- Discuss the activities which they have done in the class and tell what they think about them.
- Write about the class topics, using newly acquired vocabulary words and idioms.
- Display their best writing pieces. The teacher can also encourage the students to create a shared weblog to;
- Complete the group project work, assigning each group a different task.
- Describe the products of project-based learning.
Complete the student Web Quest. (Anne Davis’s EduBlog Insights, 2004).
- Vimalkumar, P. (2010). Effectiveness of blog based learning in Physics at Higher secondary level. Retrieved from: https://sg.inflibnet.ac.in/handle /10603/205647