Week 14 Educational Blogging, Podcasting, and Coursecasting

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Week 14. (April 16th) Educational Blogging, Podcasting, and Coursecasting

1).  Wolfgang Reinhardt, Martin Ebner, Günter Beham, & Cristina Costa (2009, March). How People are using Twitter during Conferences. http://lamp.tu-graz.ac.at/~i203/ebner/publication/09_edumedia.pdf

2).  Lenhart, Amanda, & Fox, Susannah (2006, July 19). Bloggers: Portrait of America’s new storytellers. Washington, DC: Pew Internet & American Life Report. Retrieved on June 25, 2010, from: http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media/ 



3). Kang, I., Bonk, C. J., & Kim, M-C (2011). A case study of blog-based learning in Korea: Technology becomes pedagogy. The Internet and Higher Education14(4), 227-235. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2011.05.002

 4). Jaz Hee-jeong Choi. (2006). “Living in Cyworld: Contextualising Cy-ties in South Korea,” in Uses of Blogs, eds. Axel Bruns & Joanne Jacobs (New York: Peter Lang. 2006), 173-186, http://trainingshare.com/pdfs/jaz_c_cyworld_ch.pdf

source:  http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/o/online_blog.asp

The first article I read reminded me of a womens’ computer science conference I attended a couple of years ago.  Intellagirl was one of the guest speakers.  She demonstrated how Twitter could be used during the conference.  If anyone had questions or comments, they could post to a live feed that was displayed on the screen on the stage.  Throughout the conference she read the posts and would respond to them  throughout the conference.

Like wikis, I think blogs are a great opportunity for students to practice writing.  The other students can read what they write and give them feedback.  The best way for students to get comfortable with writing and become great writers, is to have lots of practice.  Blogs can be accessed by the teacher and all of the students at school or at home.  Furthermore, comments from readers can push the writers to further explore their thinking and understanding.

In flipped classrooms, blogs can be written to document students initial reactions to recorded lectures, videos and other content.  They can also document questions they might have.

Social media tools such as blogs, Twitter, and Facebook are giving students more opportunities to read, spell, and write, than ever before.

The article mentioned other microblog tools, besides Twitter, that I have never heard of:  Plurk, Jaiku, and Open Source Tool Identica.  Why is Twitter so popular?  Is it because the founder advertises it commercially?  Where are the other blogs from?  Who uses them?  How do people decide which one to use? By age? Occupation? Popularity? Convenience and ease of use?  How do people find out about these tools?  By looking for them? Do they just stumble across them or read/hear about them in other sources?

I wonder if students are more interested in writing a blog than an “essay”?  Does technology excite and motivate the students to write or do they look at it as writing another boring essay?

Just the other night I was having dinner with friends and Twitter became the subject.  I asked them how Twitter worked because I honestly don’t use it.  I use Facebook, although it is getting boring.  It was explained that Twitter allows you to post to everyone in the world.  You don’t have to ask to be anyone’s friend.  You then add people to your list to follow them.  The guest said the problem is, if you add too many followers, then it is overwhelming and nearly impossible to keep up with all the postings.  I wonder if there is a way to make this more efficient?  Is it possible to keep up with the world without reading every single person’s post?  In the past, the news did this for us.  But soon they will be “old news” because the people are doing a better job posting the reality, unbiased and uncensored.

I was surprised that the PEW study found that only 1% of bloggers blog about health problems and illnesses.  It seems to me that it would be common for people to write about their symptoms and their situation.  I would think that blogging about it would even be healing, like therapy.  The study did find that the majority of bloggers are young, less than 30, so perhaps this explains it.  Young people are generally healthy.

I wonder who reads all these blogs?  Are they read?  Do people write them because they assume others will read their blog?  Do they care?  What do authors do? Do they blog?  If they blog, how do they still have material to write books?  What are bloggers intentions?  Do they have hidden agendas?  The PEW study discovered that one of the primary reasons people blog is to share their personal experiences.

Actually, an assignment for this class is to blog and the purpose is to reflect on the articles I read.  I have found a few interesting things about blogging.  First, I’m never quite sure who my audience is.  I know that blogs are generally informal, so I know that my writing will be different from an essay.  Most of the time, my writing seems to be in the form of a diary because I am sharing my personal thoughts, feelings, and reactions.  Sometimes when I write I wonder if I should write this for the professor, my classmates, or for the other people on the Internet.  I also wonder if I should keep this blog posted after the course is over.  Do I want family members and close friends to read what I have written today? twenty years from now?  Do I want my personal thoughts to be subject to criticism by others?  Do want employers and co-workers to read my blogs?  I am not sure how I feel about publicly divulging my opinion.  Some people love to share.  Some people don’t.  I’m on the fence.

I like the statement by Downes that says Web 2.0 is an attitude, not a technology.


One comment on “Week 14 Educational Blogging, Podcasting, and Coursecasting

  1. This post has lots of questions, so as someone who is has taken the jump off the fence, I will try to address some of those questions.

    1. I wonder who reads all these blogs?
    People who are bored, lonely, stalking, or just interested in the topic.

    2. Are they read?
    I would say that they are at least skimmed by many and read for detail by a few.
    3. Do people write them because they assume others will read their blog? Do they care? I assume that others will read it and I definitely care about that. I think that once I start writing for my dissertation that I will do more blogging as I would like to have that kind of feedback frequency.

    4.What do authors do? Do they blog? If they blog, how do they still have material to write books? Many authors use the blog to ‘field test’ their writing. They see what the audience interest may be and how their ideas would be received. I know of many, many authors that use their blogs as promotional tools as well.

    5. What are bloggers intentions?
    To be read. If not, then it wouldn’t be thrown out on the Internet for an infinite audience.

    6. Do they have hidden agendas?

    I think there are agendas, but I don’t think that they are a bit covert.

    7. Do I want family members and close friends to read what I have written today? twenty years from now? Good question…. it might be interesting for grand-children and great-grandchildren to have the blog as an artifact of what life was like during our times.

    8. Do I want my personal thoughts to be subject to criticism by others?
    Do want employers and co-workers to read my blogs? See below.

    I became more guarded about my blogging habits very early in the semester. In January, I was conducting interviews for my grad assistants for this semester. In one of the interviews, when it was clear that the guy was not a bit qualified and had no chance for the job, and I asked the polite requisite ‘do you have any questions for me,’ he said “Yeah, I do have some questions. I read your blog about mLearning and gaming and I’d like to know more about your research in that. ” Clever technique, but I at that moment I realized just how visible these blogs are. He had simply “googled” my name to try to dig up stuff on me before I interviewed him. (Mind you…. I was the interviewer doing the hiring even…..) That is the what turned my fence into a full-blown Berlin Wall.

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