Monday, June 19, 2006

Use Blogs, Wikis, etc. for Teaching/Learning? Pro/Con

How would you convince a colleague that it is/isn't worthwhile to learn to use blogs (etc.) for teaching/learning? Provide at least one argument likely to convince a faculty colleague to try to do so. Provide at least one argument likely to convince a faculty colleague NOT to try to do so. [If you prefer, provide the arguments for an "academic administrator" or "student" or "instructional designer" instead of a faculty member.]

For more "Dangerous Discussions" issues related to educational uses of blogs, wikis, podcasts, etc., see:
http://www.tltgroup.org/ProFacDev/DangerousDiscussions/Issues/blogs.htm

This is for participants in the TLT Group's Online Institute Workshop:Blogs, Wikis, and NewsfeedsNew Web Tools for Teaching/Learning?June 6, 13, 20 at 1 pm EST

Please provide your arguments as suggested above by adding one comment to this posting. Please give your name and institution.

7 comments:

  1. Actually this is slightly ironic. The "relevant, useful resource" that I found addresses this pretty closely.
    Blogging can be great in an academic environment because it does lend itself to equality. All students are equal on a blank screen. No one receives more or less attention on blog space due to looks or popularity. It frees students to say what they may be too intimiated to relay in a classroom setting.
    On the other hand being required to write about a specific subject at a specific time can stifle the creativity flow. Some say that when it is demanded that a student write regarding a single topic in a limited deadline over and over again writing becomes a chore instead of a joyful release of thought.
    Well that's my input.
    Lori

    ReplyDelete
  2. The useful resource that I found was an article from Educause Review title Educational Blogging. You can review it at www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0450.pdf.
    This article describes how educational facilities such as Institut St-Joseph, Cornell College and State University of New York at Buffalo use blogging with their students. It also describes some available blogging tools and discusses the evolution of at least one of the entities. This article also warns of some potential pitfalls that can be encountered when using blogging with students.
    Lori Stowe
    TCU William H Koehler Center for Teaching Excellence

    ReplyDelete
  3. A pro argument: Blogging by students is a way to get at their developing thoughts and ideas, providing a way to discourage plagiarism of a final product (such as a paper). If they can articulate the ideas leading up to their paper, then we can have more assurance that the final product was theirs.

    A con argument: Reading blog entries by students will take time on the part of the instructor. If they are responded to, that will take even more time, and if they are not responded to, students will perceive them as busywork.

    Drew Smith
    University of South Florida

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Here is a very current article that relates to a reason for using blogs.

    I'm especially interested in this quote from the article: "They are post-modern, eclectic, Google-generationists, Wikipediasts, who don't necessarily recognise the concepts of authorships/ownerships."

    Until the concept of authorship is recognized and considered of value, the concept of plagiarism is meaningless. This is where blogs and wikis provide for an interesting juxtaposition: Blogs encourage posting your ideas and explicitly taking credit for them (although it remains possible to be anonymous, if that is of value), while wikis encourage posting ideas but giving up credit for them.

    Drew Smith
    University of South Florida

    ReplyDelete
  6. The aspect of Blogs and Wikis that is of particular interest to me, is the extent to which these can serve as vehicles for active group learning. I am interested in engaging students in collaborative projects ... where the resulting product or project depends both upon individual application and a truly collaborative effort. In such projects, it matters little who contributed which insight, or who made the greatest or the least contribution...because everyone benefits. A group blog or
    wiki would seem like the ideal type of living record to focus the energies of the group and support the active participation of all.

    Such experiences can be powerful examples of active learning...in which each member of the team learns from others, and is motivated to contribute to the group effort.

    ReplyDelete
  7. hey people! deviating a little! check this site out!! its quite useful!
    Comprehensive resources for those looking for recovery from addiction. http://www.addictionrecovery.net
    ............................................................................
    rodney saturn
    ............................................................................

    ReplyDelete

What do you think?