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 Education, 14(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
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.