About this Blogsphere:

This blogsphere attempts to capture, catalog and share resources relating to visual perception of information. It is about a world mostly dealing with Physical (Touch, Taste, See/Sight, Smell and Hear) and sometimes Metaphysical (and that is none-of-the-above category). Physical, for instance, touch (e.g., feel, felt, found), look and visualization, is here with an attempt to combine verbal, vocal and visual--to synchronously see, hear, share and do much more. Interestingly, in order to visualize one does not need special skills, competencies, etc. It is all about common sense, especially with human visualizations. In short, "information is in the eye of the beholder." Continue reading much more all-ado-about this Blogosphere

Akbani is a Cutchi Memon family name.

May 09, 2006

Blog As A Teaching Tool

This will be a running post: Updated 2 March 2007

Blogging for Scholars
Does your prof blog? If he or she does, you had better know about it. Professors who blog do so for a variety of reasons. Some are musing aloud over new ideas or research that will later appear in scholarly journals and on your library's shelves, virtual or physical. Some are exploring new ways of expression or appealing to a larger audience than they get in the paid lecture hall. Or they may be trying out a side of themselves that they don't quite dare expose fact-to-face with their primary community Continue reading @ Emerald LibraryLink

  • Moving Student Blogging Beyond the Classroom: Another Look, Posted by gsiemens, August 09, 2006
  • Emerging Teaching Tools. Distance Learning, Screen Recording, and Blogging, Ruth Duffy, July 24, 2006
    The theme of this conference -- Unfolding the Future -- is focused on ways to enhance tomorrow's college and workplace environment. In our workshop, we have highlighted three of the emerging technologies -- Blackboard, Camtasia, and Weblogs -- and how they are being used at Shoreline Community College. Now we would like to hear from you...
    If you are uncertain about how to do any of these steps, click here to go back and review. You may also listen by choosing "play this audio post" below. continue reading

  • Amanda @ blogwithoutalibrary.net, cites a new publication: "teaching social software," July 18, 2006, and Amanda states:
    Heads up: if you have any interest at all in teaching social software, you should read Teaching Social Software with Social Software by Ulises Mejias in the current issue of Innovate: Journal of Online Education (free registration required for full-text)...
    As you can imagine, I was thrilled to stumble upon this article (thanks, Paul!), given the fact that I’ll be doing a bit of teaching-social-software-with-social-software myself this Fall. I was even more thrilled to find out that Innovate hosts webcasts with their authors, and Mejias’ webcast happens to be this Thursday at 12pm.

    A Biological Blogger, July 14th, 2006
    Paul Z. Myers, an associate professor of science and math at the University of Minnesota at Morris, is something of an accidental blogger: He only started after setting up a Web site for students enrolled in one of his courses...

    How does a blog on developmental biology become such a big hit? Injecting a bit of politics into the proceedings doesn’t hurt: Mr. Myers, who bills himself on the blog as a “godless liberal,” mixes strongly worded attacks on creationism and intelligent design in with other “random biological ejaculations.” —Brock Read . Continue reading from A Biological Blogger. More of this Genre Webblogged at Blog Juice for Educational Technology

    Not sure, what is this all about?
    Hearing, seeing and listening may change your perception.
    Here you go [just-in-case you want to be oriented towards this subject] with a :

    TITLE: How and In Which Situations Web Logs or Blogs Work: How and Why They are Valuable in Children's Education
    SPEAKER: David Weinberger
    EVENT DATE: 11/15/2004
    RUNNING TIME: 55 minutes. (Thanks to Web Capture @ Library of Congress for sharing this excellent speech)

    I guess I am the ten zillionth person who is trying to visualize the above question. The deep web has this question and stated in umpteen ways. Nevertheless, the most common concerns include, viz.: a) the suitability of this tool to communicate; b) the compatibility of this tool in interactive learning process; and c) find WHAT WORKS, WHAT DOESN'T, WHAT'S PROMISING

    Let us begin with a reflection on the process involved and visualize the whole picture:

    "...These days it is rare to talk about a single function tool. Many discussion board providers now bill themselves as community software providers and bundle other tools into their products such as chat, instant messaging, polls, blogs, wikis, member directories and file sharing. So you will find some overlap between the first few sections of the tour and the groupware section! In addition, there is sometimes a split in communities where some like blogs and wikis and others prefer discussion boards. This split may be generational, but regardless of its origin, it is helpful to be aware of this and figure out how to bridge between the groups when picking tools."[source: Web Based Discussion Tools, in Tool Tour, by Nancy White. See also herein excellent illustrations and examples in "Social Software Tools (Blogs, Wiki's, and Other Creatures)."

    I will summarize my findings. The Webliography at the end of this article will give a link to some significant resources.

    A. Blogsavvy's prescription very valuable (value added because, it has received 53 comments, which would mean some thing that is really worth looking at!)

    How NOT to use blogs in education:
  • Never never approach blogs as discussion boards, listservs or learning management systems
  • Group blogs are a bad idea and don’t work
  • Don’t try and force blogging into something else
  • Ignore RSS at your peril

  • B. Arguments for and against using Blog are equally educating, in the Blog by Anthony Moretti, and I quote:
    Arguments for using Blog as a Tool:
  • Young people are using this technology; they might not read as much as we would like them to, but they do blog (and love pods)!!
  • Can foster creativity and expression; if this gets students to write, think, analyze; why not use it?
  • Cheap; can be set up for no money and be used in a variety of ways
  • Errors, omissions, biases, etc. can be caught
    Arguments against using Blog as a Tool:
  • Small audiences
  • Staying power?
  • Deciphering the junk from the credible

  • C. Despite the above inspiration, the Sixty Four Dollar question remains:
  • Are blogs good for education? Bill Bruck wrote in his blog as early as in December 2004 in Blended Learning:
    Well, they aren't awful. They are fashionable right now, and so may gain learner acceptance. They get learners to write, which is inherently good, and to express their opinions - which may or may not be a good thing. But there's a fundamental problem with blogs: They are essentially optimized for easily publishing one’s opinions on the web. This is fundamentally a flawed model for education. It promotes narcissism, not dialog.

    D. And the wise continue the debate. The latest evidence-based wisdom comes in a podcast, "Blogs in education: podcast," delivered by Keith Burnett’s blog, and posted on April 2nd, 2006
    Educational uses of blogs include: as class diary for a specific group of students, as notice-board for a whole cohort, and even as a space for students to write themselves.
    Students producing their own blogs requires careful thought. Web pages are cached by search engines and can be held in ‘frozen’ form for years – for this reason students might want to post under an assumed name. You also need to check College regulations about external publication by students. Some students find having their own page to show off work a motivational factor. Some teachers use blogs as notice boards for whole cohorts of students. I would suggest switching off the commenting in this case and possibly adding an e-mail list facility so students can have new notices e-mailed to their inbox.
    I find that I have most success with blogs used as class diaries – each class has a page. I can pop a summary of each lesson on the blog, and I can add links to Web pages with exercises, explanations, interactive quizzes or demonstrations. The blog can then be used by students who were at the lesson as a reminder of the main themes (and homework) and as a guide to carefully chosen and relevant Web pages. Students who had to miss all or part of the lesson can find a summary, possibly with text-book readings and some links that will enable the student to get the gist of the lesson and be able to join in a little more next week.

    E. Research Prospects in this Area
  • Blogs help students think for themselves,by Anna Salleh, ABC Science Online, 2 September 2005:
    Blogging is helping students to think and write more critically, says an Australian researcher, and can help draw out people who would otherwise not engage in debate.
    These are the preliminary findings of PhD research by Anne Bartlett-Bragg, a lecturer at the University of Technology, Sydney, who has been using weblogs or blogs in her own teaching since 2001.
    She says blogs are also extremely useful for categorising and managing a large collection of thoughts, whether they are from lecture notes, a student's own ideas, or comments on the ideas of others.

    F. Webliography:
  • Susan Crawford. Blogging on blogging on blogging, 02 Jun 2006
  • Zarah Grace C. Gagatiga. Blogs as Teaching Tools, 1 May 2006 
  • --. Blogging as a Tool for Teaching, March 29, 2006
  • Anthony Moretti. Using Blogs as a Teaching Device, 2 May 2006
  • Minjuan Wang, and Laura Bock, The Use of Blogs in Teaching, Knowledge Management, and Performance Improvement, World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education (ELEARN) 2005
    Vancouver, Canada October 24, 2005, ELEARN, Volume 2005, Issue 1.
  • Craig W. Smith. Synchronous Discussion in Online Courses: A Pedagogical Strategy for Taming the Chat Beast
  • Teacher dude. blogging and teaching ESF/EF, 3 May 2006
  • GIL KLEIN. iPods, podcasts latest teaching tool in classrooms, May 1, 2006
  • Ben Yates. Wikipedia as a teaching tool, 19 Jul 2005 
  • Learning from blogs, by Anna Davis, at EduBlog Insight [EduBlog is a place to reflect, discuss, and explore possibilities for the use of weblogs in education]
  • A. S. Tolba. The Potential of Blog as a Teaching and Learning Tool, 4 Nov 2005
  • Bryan [ http://killthefattedcalf.blogspot.com/2006/02/academic-blogs.html dead link ], Academic Blogs
  • Ewan McIntosh.Assessment is for Learning - so is blogging
  • What are the pitfalls of using blog as a teaching environment?
  • See also Blogsphere Search results 1 and Blogsphere Search results 2
  • Natasha Spring and William Briggs, Ed.D.The Impact of Blogging: Real or Imagined? [text in pdf]
    Microsoft's technical evangelist Robert Scoble met recently with CW Executive Editor Natasha Spring and frequent CW contributor William Briggs to set the record straight on blogs, their impact on the media, whether companies have anything to fear from this new communication medium, and the release of his new book, Naked Conversations.
  • Dorai’s LearnLog. Effective Bloggers are Learners, Thinkers, Explorers and Dreamers, May 26, 2006
  • Nancy White. Seven Competencies of Online Interaction,from the Northern Voice 2006 Canadian Blogger Conference in Vancouver on 11 February 2006
  • Diane Levin ,Mapping the blogosphere yields information about human behavior for social scientists, June 27, 2006
  • Track A — Blogs, Wikis, and Collaboration Tools, Internet Librarian International 2005, Transcending Boundaries: Information Technologies & Strategies for the 21st Century, 10-11 October 2005 • Copthorne Tara Hotel, London
  • Improving the quality of online presence through interactivity, Information and Management archive, Volume 42 , Issue 1 (December 2004), 217 - 226: 2004
    Online interactivity is becoming a valuable way of improving the communication quality of business web sites. As a result, it is important that web site designers understand the concept and how it affects the quality of web site design. This study empirically validated Ha and James' five interactivity dimensions (playfulness, connectedness, reciprocal communication, information collection, and choice) and their relationship to design quality. Continue Reading Improving the quality
  • Goodbye, Blog: The friend of information but the enemy of thought, by Alan Jacobs
    Whatever one thinks about the structure of the internet as a whole, it is becoming increasingly clear that the particular architecture of the blogosphere is the chief impediment to its becoming a place where new ideas can be deployed, tested, and developed. Take, for instance, the problem of comments. Continue reading Goodbye
  • TLT Group. Exploration Guide: Educational Uses of Blogs, Wikis, RSS Feeds, etc.
  • Using technology in teaching and learning cited by Cindee. [Full citation ]
    Using technology in teaching and learning: Resources to help you navigate a digital world, C&RL News, February 2007, Vol. 68, No. 2, by Bryan Alexander
  • Accuracy and the Blogosphere
  • Wikis, blogs and podcasts: a new generation of Web-based tools for virtual collaborative clinical practice and education, by Maged N Kamel Boulos, Inocencio Maramba, and Steve Wheeler, BMC Med Educ. 2006; 6: 41.
    Published online 2006 August 15. doi: 10.1186/1472-6920-6-41. [full text]

    See also my previous posts:
  • Citing a Blog, Wiki - Style for bibliographic notes and references
  • What's a blog - WYSIWYG
  • Blogging Spree: Trends in Information Visualization
  • Information Visualization at Wikipedia - Blogspheres Perspectives

    Quotable quote from Library Stuff:
    The power, posted December 19, 2003
    Anna writes:
    "There's something seriously wrong with the world when one innovative, blogging, rarin' librarian can have more links in a web directory than one of the most important theorists on classification and indexing."

    That's the power of weblogs, especially in the library world. I'm not sure why this is surprising, however. Who is more likely to have more content on the web, Jessamyn or Ranganathan? You will probably find more information on Ranganathan in books (library science 101, etc), than Jessamyn. Also, as Greg so dutifully points out, most of the links are interviews. When was the last interview you read on Ranganathan?

    Ewan McIntosh said...

    A nice selection of links to give people an indepth look at blogging. What a post!

    Diane Levin said...

    Dear Mohamed,

    Thank you kindly for introducing yourself and your blog to me. I'm intrigued by the subject matter of your blog and have enjoyed perusing the tantalizing smorgasbord of links that you offer your readers. It was also fascinating to learn of your multifaith work--it sounds as if you're involved in many worthwhile and important projects.

    Thanks again for your kind message!

    Best wishes,

    M Taher said...

    Thanks Ewan and Diane for this visual signature.

    Best, Mohamed

    Dorai said...

    That is a cool blog entry. It is a fascinating subject and full of rich links.

    Thanks for linking to my blog. I found it when I was looking at incoming into my blog. I am glad I did.

    Anonymous said...

    This is a useful range of links and a thought provoking post. I'm now moving into screencasting more than pure podcasting for supporting students, see my GCSE Maths blog for examples. YouTube provides a relatively useful publishing platform. The need to keep screencasts below 10 minutes helps to focus the exposition!

    Keith Burnett

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    Anonymous said...

    I'm writing a paper on the experience of student using blog as a teaching tool. This post actually a good start for me.

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    WebSubmitter said...

    Blogging as a teaching tool. Well I am very familiar with this. I recently graduated an university where in the last year we had a prof that recorded all her courses. She was doing a podcast.

    I guess this goes one step further than blogging. The fact that we could subscribe to that feed and that we had the needed information online to see at any time made a really big difference.

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