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
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
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:
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
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.
Vancouver, Canada October 24, 2005, ELEARN, Volume 2005, Issue 1.
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.
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
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
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
Published online 2006 August 15. doi: 10.1186/1472-6920-6-41. [full text]
See also my previous posts:
Quotable quote from Library Stuff:
The power, posted December 19, 2003
"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?