Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Blogging good practice and with youme

This week I am facilitating a discussion forum with a group of tutors enrolled on the ICT for education course. My brief is to introduce the concepts of blogging & start discussion on how to use blogging in either their own personal development or as a teaching / learning tool.

There are guidelines to corporate blogging which mirror the CPIT guidelines for staff who maintain blogs. What I needed to find is guidelines for educational blogging. Found a good overview by Jeremy Williams via Google Scholar which also includes an appendix on resources on blog methods and blogs in learning.

So far, the uses of blogging proposed by course members were to make use of blogs to improve on student reflection. I wanted to move the tutors beyond this so that blogging could be used in a more synergistic manner for students to record their learning journey; network with other people (not in their own class) studying in the same area; share, discuss & evaluate their learning with others in the class; archive the resources that they find & record their initial reactions so that they are able to compare these with later perspectives. In short, guiding students towards the left hand bottom corner of the matrix proposed by Scott on post about matrix of some uses of blogs.

Also, this week, Tricia Lewis (with Stephanie Roberts) presented a session on using blogging to help students learn English as part of the School of Humanities sharing of good practice series. Trish & her brother set up youme to encourage students (familiar with social networking) to practice their English via blogging. 300 students now use this site although not all are blogging regularly. The site has features with are user friendly to use including allowing students to blog, chat & take part in discussion forums. Groups of students can be brought together in clubs. This makes it easier for the teacher to work with students as they engage with blogging & for the students in each class to share their work. Great stuff & good to see most of the tutors in the language area taking up the challenge to make use of blogging to enhance student learning.