• Weblogs in education

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    • What is a Weblog?

    A weblog, also called a blog, is an easily created and updateable website that allows people to publish to the Internet instantly. They vary from serving as an online diary or journal that is updated once a day to being a collector of web content on a particular topic with potentially many entries in one day.

    The information can be written by the site owner, gathered from other websites or other sources, or contributed by users. Generally, weblogs are centered around one or several subjects or themes, usually of topical interest. They can be thought of as developing commentaries, individual or collective, on their particular themes.

    Web logs tend to have many hyperlinks to other websites. These other websites are related to the subject or theme of the weblog.

    Weblogs also allow feedback from readers. They offer collaboration by joining many readers and writers from diverse geographic, political, and socioeconomic groups in one place (Richardson, 2003). 

    An example of a weblog used in Ms. Sanborn's fifth grade class. Her students record the daily events into the classroom weblog.

    • How Can a Weblog Be Used in a Classroom?

    A weblog can be used as a personal journaling space in which the author makes regular entries. These entries can focus on class content or related student interests.

    It can also be used as a daily log of class events. Students can jot down the events of the day, and for homework or a next day activity, they can input the events into the weblog. Students would take turns doing this activity.

    Weblogs can offer an extension of class discussions. If the discussion had to end due to time, then it can be continued online long after school is over. This allows students who did not get a chance to discuss, as well as the reticent students, to join in on the conversation. Students can post comments about certain topics, and other students can respond or start new ones.

    Another use of a weblog is an electronic portfolio of written work. The students' work can be displayed online for others to read and post comments about. They will have a live audience to view their work. 

    Students can post journal entries into a classroom weblog. Because they have a real audience, they are encouraged to produce high-quality work.

    • What Are the Effects of Using a Weblog?

    The instant publishing on weblogs makes students more able and willing to read, write, and discuss about the world around them. They know they have a real audience to write to, and they may even have a collaborative environment where they can give and receive feedback (Kennedy, 2003). Therefore, students are compelled to do their best work.

    Teachers who have used web logs in their classrooms say that students put more thought and effort into their blog writing, knowing that parents and others may read their work on the Web. They want to make sure that not only their teacher, but others who read it, will think it is good enough (Selingo, 2004).

    Students can strengthen their reading skills and strategies by exploring other’s weblogs and hyperlinks (Oravec, 2002). They will have to carefully read through these linked websites to decide which information is relevant and important to them. Not only that, but the students can build on their knowledge base by reading the content on the different linked websites.

    Weblogs also allow students to interact with their peers more quickly than a regular journal. Students who tend to be more quiet in class usually come alive online.

    Some teachers report that weblogs seemed to be used the most during the school day. Not that many entries are posted after school or during the summer. This has led some to question whether the technology has actually done anything to interest students in writing.

    Some teachers also worry that the casual nature of writing on the web may encourage students to use incorrect writing conventions in other forms of writing. This could include email style abbreviations, bad grammar, and poor spelling (Selingo, 2004).

    However, it depends on how the teacher uses the weblog in the classroom. Some require that the entry be written on paper first, edited, and then posted onto the weblog. Others think of weblogs as a different form of writing in which the teacher should be concerned with content, not grammar.

    There are also concerns around students and their work being too public when published on the Internet. The teacher may need to receive parental permission before posting the student work online. 

    • Author

    Miranda Bella, SDSU EDTEC Graduate Student

    Bella, M. (2005). Weblogs in education In B. Hoffman (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Educational Technology. Retrieved July 16, 2010, from

    • 标签:
    • education
    • read
    • teacher
    • weblogs
    • web
    • work
    • writing
    • weblog.
    • students
    • class
    • weblog
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