Why Blogging is important for Educators

Much has been written about this subject. I do suggest you go over Steve Wheeler’s Blog… it’s one of the best blogs discussing Education, I have come across. Do have a good look at it and check out what Professor Wheeler blogs about… his blog archives are one for the most extensive in Educational Technology.

So basically some of the reasons are highlighted in Steve Wheeler’s blog, but I think that the most important thing is the “glue” which blogs can provide to the outside world. Blogs give you a voice, and that voice is easily published across the really Wide Web in one click. Your voice can be heard and you can hear other people’s voice. It’s not just you and your colleagues in your immediate staffroom… when you go in to the staffroom and you share something with your colleagues, whether it’s a joke or a complaint, or a thought or something which you have done and which you are excited about… you simply share it with a maximum number of maybe 10-20 people…but when you blog about it… suddenly you share it with so many more people. Blogs are a way to help you build your network, and blogs like everything else, will not reap the fruit of your efforts overnight. You need to nurture them with your thoughts constantly. It’s like writing a diary, and once you start then it becomes a part of who you are.

Therefore Blogging for Educators, is for me, a very important form of expression because it removes that sense of isolation which is sometimes built around the perception of a teacher (you know… the teacher is alone in his/her domain in the classroom) and paints a whole new image of the teacher, with multidimension, as the teacher or Educator’s experience grows and evolves with each passing day.

If you still haven’t started off blogging, you will find many tools which can help you. My personal suggestion is to use either Blogger (which uses your google account) or else WordPress (such as this blog you are using). Both are free for you to use.


69 thoughts on “Why Blogging is important for Educators

  1. I do believe in blogging and the importance it has to our education. However I think that people are getting more loners even if they are using “social networks”. In Steve Wheeler’s Blog there is a picture depicting a young women, telling her friend that she is off to read the blog. Nothing wrong with that off course but what about social contact instead of social networking? Today we speak of the psychology of social media in the sense that we have too many virtual friends but how many Facebook friends can you actually call your friends? How is it impacting our jobs and our lives? You can read a very interesting article about social media and working relationships here:

    Balance is the crucial word in these situations (a term which has been abused nowadays) but are we free to choose to connect or not to connect?

    • I cannot help but agreeing with Duncan before me. While’social networks’ are ideal to share thoughts and ideas crossing the barriers of geography, I must say today we often find it easier to mask behind a keyboard. In this way we avoid having to express our views directly face to face and being committed to answer there and then without having time to think. We often also show an ignorance in ‘reading’ non-verbals and in discussions find ourselves blank out for the immediacy of our response.

      • Naqbel hafna ma’ Katielena u Duncan. Huwa minnu li l-blogs ghandhom il-vantaggi. Huwa minnu pero’ li xi drabi il-Facebook, blogs. ecc… mhux qed ihalluna nibnu dak il-kuntatt PERSONALI li tant huwa bzonn biex insiru bnedmin aktar shah!

  2. My teaching practice took place in a huge school with 800 students and 5 separate staff rooms. My first impression was how difficult it must be for teachers who are not physically located in the same staff room to communicate and share ideas, experiences and best practice. On the contrary, there seemed to be some rivalry among staff rooms, which is a great pity actually! In such cases, blogging would be a great way to extend one’s network of support, to learn from others and to share experiences.

    I also agree with Wheeler that blogging encourages teachers to reflect on their practice, which sometimes is the first thing that goes out the window when time is limited. If I want to remain relevant in the classroom it is crucial to evaluate my pedagogy on an ongoing basis.

    Having said that, I agree with Duncan and Katielena, that blogging should complement face-to-face discussion and not replace it.

    • I agree with the above comments that blogging should be complementary to face to face discussions and not replace it. Discussions can start face to face and then individuals continue their arguments on a blog. blogging will be vital for teachers all over the world teaching the same subject. They can share their experiences world wide and discuss with other teachers any queries they may have on the subject.

    • Definitely… although the online environment has overcome the challenge of physical location, face-to-face communication has elements which the online environment cannot offer. However in a world which has removed barriers of geography, it is imperative that we do not lose out on growing and evolving with the evolving technology. As I had mentioned, one has to look at Facebook. In the world there are 800 million Facebook users. In Malta, there are a total of 191,940 users, making some 47% of the Maltese population using the network. One tries to understand why people use Facebook… have you asked yourself, why do you use Facebook? I think that more and more people are moving towards this because Facebook gives people what face-to-face communication is not giving people.

  3. I have not created a blog myself yet. However, I do think that it is a good idea. In fact, as a member of the PGCE PSD group we have already created a Facebook group which is currently serving similar purposes. Not only do we ask questions to each other with regard times and locations of the lessons, but we also help each other when in difficulty, especially during assignments.

    However, had I created my own blog, I would put forward the idea of sharing resources, and not just opinions. It would first of all decrease the work load of all the teachers involved, or at least one can get further ideas when lesson planning. I cannot stand teachers who put their name all over their handouts just to make a point about who created them. We are forgetting the purpose behind our teaching sometimes… that of providing our students with the most useful and relevant resources, and not to compete amongst each other about who has the nicest resources around the school.

  4. Posting in blogs is interesting, easy and fun. It allows regular entries, immediate messaging, expression of feelings and regular updates. Teaching through blogs may also allow students to share information, feelings and own comments. However, we must not forget that each and every post in blog becomes public and can be easily accessed by everyone who have access to internet. So are the real feelings being shared especially in cases when the teacher uses blogs to encourage students’ participation and learning?

  5. Posting in blogs is interesting, easy and fun. It allows regular entries, immediate messaging, expression of feelings and regular updates. Teaching through blogs may also allow students to share information, feelings and own comments. However, we must not forget that each and every post in blog becomes public and can be easily accessed by everyone who have access to internet. So are the real feelings being shared especially in cases when the teacher uses blogs to encourage students’ participation and learning?

    • This depends. If you decide to allow your blog to be public for everyone to see, then this can be set as so. However blogs can be shared privately between a given group of users such as a classroom. This can also apply to Social Networks like Facebook and Edmodo. A private group can be created, and the information posted there will only be available to a limited number of users.

  6. I have to admit that I am illiterate in technology, and even though I often hear this new terminology of blogging, I never tried to use it. In fact, it gives me shivers to know that now I have to use it, and that I have to get used to it as quickly as possible. I guess this goes something like Facebook. When I first tried to use it, I went crazy. It was difficult for me to understand what was going on, and how I click on a person, and there are others who I knew on the same page. Of course, now I understand that those were the person’s friends on the web. This new timeline thing on Facebook lost me again, but I am sure that I will learn how to use it in the coming days. I hope that this will also be the case in blogging.

    Being a prospective teacher, whether I like it or not, I have to familiarize myself with this online environment. For me it is hard to shift my perception on how teaching used to be, and how teaching is promoted in today’s online environment. However, I see the importance of blogging. The fact that other people can follow your posts and give you feedback is one positive thing amongst others. “Blogs give you a voice, and that voice is easily published across the really Wide Web in one click. Your voice can be heard and you can hear other people’s voice”. At least one can have a say on the blog, if there are individuals who do not feel comfortable to talk in a face to face interaction.

    Another advantage is what Tiziana had said before me. The fact that one can share the resources, helps teachers to reduce some of their work load, while focusing more on the students learning and providing them with the appropriate resources.

    • You know, I think that only those people who have been born in the 2000’s era, are literally born technologists. Marc Prensky in 2004 had already mentioned the terms which are now being used over and over again in educational technologies: Digital natives vs. Digital Immigrants. I think that we are all digital immigrants, it takes everyone a bit of effort to get immersed in a whole new way of thinking. This is not simply about using. As in Facebook, it makes you think in a whole new perspective. And it does so in a way that you don’t really realise that you are changing your way of thinking. If you look at yourself, before you started using Facebook, you used to think about communication in a different way, even the way you look at your friends, probably changed slightly. And this change takes time to absorb. Change is gradual and has to be slow and yet everyone changes at his/her own pace. There are those who welcome change more than others, but there are others, who have started embracing this change long before the technology as we know it today has made its entry. Therefore my advice is, take it slowly but keep your mind open to change as you are doing. The easy way is to teach the way you have been taught… but if you really look back, how effective was it in reality? Is it about time, that maybe you try to make use of something else to make your teaching more effective? to make a huge difference to at least one person you will teach?

  7. Illum il-blogging huwa element importanti fis-sistema edukattiva tal-lum u għandu jingħata l-ispazju tiegħu wkoll. Sentenza li għoġbitni ħafna hi li l-blogs ituk vuċi biex tesprimi dak li tixtieq tgħid. Il-vuċi tiegħek tista’ tinstema’ u int tisma’ ta’ ħaddieħor. Naqbel perfettament ma’ Steve Wheeler li l-blogging jiftaħ udjenzi ġodda u nsiru għalliema ġewwa klassi kbira infinita. Dan għaliex il-blog huwa l-mod fejn nies oħra jistgħu jsibu l-blog tiegħek u jaraw x’jistgħu jitgħallmu ġdid. Hu l-post fejn wieħed jista’ jitgħallem, jirrifletti u jwessgħa l-perspettiva tiegħu mill-esperjenzi ta’ ħaddieħor.

    Naqbel ma’ ta’ qabli, illi l-blogging ma jibdilx id-diskussjoni wiċċ imb wiċċ imma jrid ikun kumplimentari miegħu; jimxu flimkien. Ma nistgħux naħbu l-fatt illi t-Teknoloġija Moderna qed tegħleb il-komunikazzjoni verbali minħabba l-evoluzzjoni kontinwa tagħha.

  8. The first thing which comes to mind when someone mentions the term ‘blogging’ is the timesofmalta website. I remember a time where I was literally hooked on it. Not only did I read the news articles, but I also used to make it a point that I read what the bloggers had to say. And I used to go back to the website later on during the day to see if there were other interesting blogs posted especially for popular stories. I noticed that I was getting addicted, even though I never posted a blog myself. By the end of the day it was pointless to watch the news as I knew it all. There’s nothing wrong with sharing your own views but sometimes I used to get a feeling that certain bloggers think they have become private investigators simply by publishing their thoughts. And for me this raises a serious concern as certain comments were utterly unethical. A recent case was the double homicide which took place on New Year’s Eve. Certain bloggers just forgot about others’ feelings. We must not forget that we have to be responsible citizens even in the virtual world. Masking our faces doesn’t give us the power to speak our mind without thinking about how our news items can affect other individuals out there. We have to remain human even online.

    • I agree with you Diane. People tend to post things before they actually think about the sentiments of those who are reading their post. I also followed some of the blogs on the Times of Malta about the double homicide that took place in Sliema. I realized that people often jump to conclusions without knowing the facts.

      I think that it is automatic to form an opinion about something or about someone … so did I, but then one has to be very careful what to post on the internet. Sometimes “ahjar kelma nieqsa milli kelma zejda”, than saying something without even realizing that you might be hurting others.
      In fact, one of the bloggers on the Times of Malta with the username P. Tar was upset that many of us jump into conclusion and here I quote her/him: “we talk about loss of values and hedonism and so on and so forth, but ironically we are showing a huge LACK OF RESPECT.”

      The fact that everyone can have a voice on these blogs, does not give us the right to write whatever comes to our minds. We have to respect each other.

      • I think good practice is followed by example… and you have the possibility of giving an example to all those you will influence in class. I think that only in this way we shall be doing our ‘little’ bit to contribute towards having a better place to live in, with people who are digitally literate and Educated in the use of Technology.

  9. Naħseb jien li l-blogging huwa idea ferm tajba u dan għaliex aparti li kif qal Carlston, jikkumplimenta tassew b’mod tajjeb xi diskussjoni li saret wiċċ imb wiċċ, permezz tiegħu qegħdin negħlbu d-distanza bejnietna.
    Li wieħed jrid joqgħod attent mhux f’każ ta’ blogging biss imma f’kull każ ta’ xi ħaġa simili bħal Social Networking, eċċ huwa l-bilanċ bejn dak li jintqal wiċċ imb wiċċ u dak li jintqal fuq l-internet. Dan japplika mhux biss għal xi jkun qiegħed jintqal online imma anke kemm spiss u kemm aħna dipendenti fuqha l-ħaġa.
    Jekk il-blogging jiġi wżat tajjeb u b’mod li huwa regolat mela allura fl-opinjoni tiegħi dan vantaġġi biss jista’ jġib fejn jidħlu esperjezi ta’ nies diversi minn kull oqsma differenti! Apart minn hekk, dan il-proċess huwa tassew faċli biex tużah għalhekk jista’ jilħaq ħafna nies.

  10. I am not used to blogging, however I am now quite convinced that blogging is truly a very useful tool for teachers since it helps them share ideas and learning resources. From these blogs here I am already learning about different tools and resources which I can use as an educator. There’s a lot of information and resources which I can search on the web on my own, but sometimes it takes a lot of time to search the required informtion and resources. The advantage of blogging with persons having similar interests (in this case education) is that more resources are available to be shared, and bloggers share their advice and their experience with using those tools and resources.

  11. Blogging may be a very important tool in education. Teachers can post their notes and material so that students can easily access and read it. There is no need for the teacher to remind or to pass the material at school. Students must read these blogs so that they can enhance their learning. Students can read different articles online about recurrent situations and they can read the news or the newspaper online. They can read, argue and post their opinions. People can communicate and respond (by comments) to each other’s’ comments too by the use of blogging. There is no need to know the other person. Here the most important thing is to propose and express your opinion above what is written. Other students can respond and propose other ideas regarding the same situation. On the other hand the blogger must be aware as to avoid the use of vulgar words or that people use his blog to insult others. The blog must be used for good purposes which are that of proposing opinions, educating the reader and helping him to formulate opinions.

  12. I perfectly agree with Tiziana and Christabelle regarding the importance of sharing resources amongst teachers as it would definitely decrease the workload. Teachers are overwhelmed because apart from preparing lessons, resources and so on, there is also a great deal of paper work that needs to be done. However, this mentality of keeping everything for oneself is pervasive and this is becoming more evident as people are becoming more individualistic.

  13. I perfectly agree with Tiziana and Christabelle regarding the importance of sharing resources amongst teachers as it would definitely decrease the workload. Teachers are overwhelmed because apart from preparing lessons, resources and so on, there is also a great deal of paper work that needs to be done. However, this mentality of keeping everything for oneself is pervasive and this is becoming more evident as people are becoming more individualistic.

  14. I agree with some of the comments written above. I think that blogging should not replace face to face discussion but rather be complimentary to it. It is very useful for communication at longer distances over the world, where different people learn from each other sharing similar ideas. I also agree that blogs help to give the individual a voice and that it can be heard very easily around the web. Surely the advantage of sharing resources and knowledge can help teachers to focus more on their students rather than spending more time on the preparation of the lesson.

  15. School blogs help educators who find it hard to express themselves in public. Staff members may find it uneasy to give their own opinion during subject meetings or staff development sessions. This can be an opportunity where all staff members can have the time to be reactive to one another and reflective.

    Similarly, a class blog opens the opportunity for students to discuss topics outside the classroom. With a blog, every student (especially those who otherwise might not become participants in classrooms) has an equal opportunity to share his/her thoughts and opinions.

    Blogging can also provide an easy way for teachers to give parents insight into what’s going on in the classroom.

  16. I discovered blogging just a year ago and I never thought its potential and how useful it is. It is a way of expressing your opinions and ideas. The others can reply by also sharing their opinions and maybe suggest other ideas or help out where necessary. During the PGCE course the issue of interactive learning and learning from each other through group work because students learn from each other. This is also applied to blogging, because people share their knowledge with others promoting both socialisation and effective learning.

  17. I have used blogging several times. one can get a lot of information from blogs. the good thing about blogs is that you are always connected to people and you can express your opinions and comment on other people’s opinions. People can learn from one another. This can be very useful for teachers especially if today a student centered approach is encouraged. In this way students can learn from their peers thanks to blogs.

  18. I agree with most of the comments put here. I think blogs are very useful for sharing information, especially where education is involved. If we believe in our students, and we think that we can make a difference in their learning, we have to share what we teach. During my teaching practice, I got a lot of ideas from other teachers’ resources around the world with the help of blogs and sites. If we can continue sharing these resources, we can provide a lot of ideas and activities in our teaching!

    • Can you reshare those ideas for resources that you got…even here? can you help other teachers, possibly teaching your same subject or even different subjects get some insights into what you learned from other teachers in concrete examples?

      • This is one of the main sites I used: http://www.tes.co.uk/

        Maybe it’s familiar with most of us, but it’s a great source of information and resources, especially for us language teachers! You simply sign up for an account and search for resources. You can find worksheets, activities, power points, and more.

        Sorry but I lost all of my bookmarks and I can’t remember the other sites/blogs. But this is the one I used the most.

      • Yes, I would consider using it 🙂 I’m still learning about different online networks, other than facebook, and it would be great to find other ways to help you store your information! Thanks for introducing these to us!

      • To add with the one that Dorianne shared with us, there is also this one http://www.senteacher.org/… It is really wonderful. I know that it says that it is for Primary Teaching, but I think we can still use some material.

        I got to know about it recently, I mean after the first teaching practice, so I had no opportunity to make use of it. However, I will definitely use it in the coming teaching practice.

        In this section there are these great reward certificates http://www.senteacher.org/Print/Other/ … This will surely motivate the students, especially the younger ones 🙂

        Apart from this, look it these science teachers: http://www.senteacher.org/Worksheet/60/SkeletonBones.xhtml maybe you make use of it 🙂

  19. Why is blogging so important for teaching, learning and education?
    Over the past decade or so the aims of developing a different approach to classroom activities has created a paradigm shift that steers away from instruction towards the development of new learning priorities, directly engaging learners in their own learning, elicit and explicitly build on learners’individual understandings skills and creative expressions, actively engaging participants in an authentic learning process.

    As another form vector in the plethora of new media literacies (NML), blogs offer a radically different facet to learning. Blogging invites a new form of participation that our students are already accustomed to in their every day life on Facebook, twitter and other social media. On Facebook our students are free to express themselves, choose what to say and how to say it. So why don’t we as educators ‘mimic’ this behaviour and acquire it as one of our teaching resources or strategies?

    Blogging can potentially lead to a very different form of learning engagement for all those involved. It is different from traditional learning environments because all participants can be producers as well as consumers of knowledge. Saying it differently, blogging provides the means by which students and teachers can create a dialogue based on opinions and diverse points of views. It is a transformative form of practice that should be tapped into.

    Incidentally I have posted a link on twitter and on the blog some time ago explaining diverse ways that blogs can be used in class.

    • Like everything else, blogging have pros and cons:

      1) Health issues. Excessive blogging, usage of Facebook, twitter and other social media can lead to lack of exercises, eating disorders, less communication and finally depression.
      2) Lack of ‘real world’ socialisation.
      3) Misleading information which can be given in blogs intentionally.
      4) Postings of unnecessary data or much worse, personal data.

      1) Everybody can voice his opinion and ideas.
      2) Can be used to get help in problem solving.
      3) Good to get help in self-learning.

      Considering all the above, we as future teachers must be careful when creating blogs or Facebook groups for educational purposes. I believe that these should be optional to the students and not compulsory (which can lead to waste of time). Blogs/groups should allow the students to go the extra mile themselves by guiding them through valid links/information or discussions. Thus blogs can be very useful if correctly moderated.

      However, I’m afraid that through these blogs we will increase the time a student spends online alone in his/her room. This will lead to lack of ‘live’ communication skills because instead of going out playing or socialising, a child remains inside sitting on a chair. Personally, I learn more through my friends and experience and I think our children must be allowed to talk and learn from each other. I used blogs only as a last resort to solving problems encountered during my work.

      My question is, are the children (10-15 year old) ready to blogging? Do they know what to find in a blogg and know that it is correct? Is it safe? Is it motivational? Is it straight to the point? In my opinion these are some of the questions to keep in mind when we create our educational blogg/group to bring out the best.

      • Yes I agree with what you are trying to say here… that is why I just posted this blog post. Our learners need to be exposed to safe writing before actually diving into the online world. And I think that by abstaining from that environment or blocking its access from school, rather than helping out we would very possibly cause more harm.

  20. This is my first time to post in a blog. Although at the moment it could be very time consuming to read past blogs and reply, I must say that it is interesting to read others’ ideas. In fact, I truly agree with Tiziana and Joanne where they said that blogs would be good to share resources. Besides sharing resources, I feel that sharing ideas will eventually bring about more ideas.

    • The really nice thing about the online environment is that you choose what to read when you want, and nobody will tell you what to read and in which order. You are free to find posts with titles which interest you and then proceed to learn, share and collaborate with the others.

      • Besides sharing resources, blogging can be an excellent educational tool to help our students learn how to develop their critical thinking skills. Our students have to learn how to use the knowledge they acquire, and this implies that they should excel in their ability of using information. One way how we can help students in this regards is by publishing an debatable article online relevant to a topic which is being covered in class. Before we know it students might start posting their own blogs and this would encourage students not only to think critically, but this would help them practice both reading and writing skills. Students will also feel supported in sharing their own views about a subject. The fact that blogging is not an obligatory task just like homework, the response which we get could be surprising. So I guess, we should try it out one day!

  21. Yes, I agree that you can choose what to read when you want, but maybe due to being my first time reading blogs, I felt that I had to read all the posts before I could post a reply myself 🙂 This time round it was easier as I simply had to reply to your comment 🙂

  22. Immaġinaw jekk kull għalliem ikollu l-blog tiegħu personali. B’din l-għodda tassew utli jista’ jżomm kuntatt ta’ 24/7 mal-istudenti u kif ukoll mal-ġenituri. Nemmen li permezz tal-blog l-għalliem se jiffranka ħafna aktar il-ħin tiegħu u kif ukoll tal-istudenti. Permezz tiegħu jkun jista’ jagħmel in-noti u l-eżerċizzji kollox onlajn. Dan hu proċess utli ħafna għall-istudenti. Ngħidu aħna jekk student ifalli xi ġurnata u l-għalliem iqassam xi nota l-istudent kull m’għandu jagħmel hu li jidħol fuq il-blog u jsib dik in-nota partikolari li ma jkunx ħa meta falla. Dan hu biss eżempju wieħed tal-blog.

    Barra minn hekk il-blog jista’ jieħu forma ta’ klassi virtwali. Fih jistgħu jiġu mistoqsija d-diffiukltajiet tal-istudenti. Is-sabiħ tal-blog hu li mhux biss l-għalliem għandu l-opportunità li jgħin lill-istudent imma li l-istudenti stess jistgħu jkunu ta’ għajnuna u kontribut għal xulxin. B’hekk il-blog joħloq inklużjoni virtwali l-għaliex kull student ikun jista’ jesprimi l-ħsibijiet tiegħu b’mod liberu.

    Jista’ jinħoloq blog bejn l-għalliema u dan żgur li jservi tajjeb għad-diskussjonijiet li jistgħu jinqalgħu. Barra minn hekk dan joffri ċ-ċans biex l-għalliema jaqsmu l-esperjenzi tagħhom jew inkella xi riżorsi li jkunu ħadmu sewwa mal-istudenti.

    M’hemmx limitu ta’ x’jista’ jagħmel edukatur permezz tal-blog tiegħu. Żgur li l-blog huwa mezz effettiv għad-dinja tal-lum biex ikompli jgħin u jilħaq lill-istudent fid-diffikultajiet tiegħu. Apparti mill-istudent il-blog hu għodda siewja għall-għalliem stess l-għaliex permezz tiegħu jista’ jingħaqad ma’ edukaturi oħrajn u jaqsam magħhom l-ideat u l-ħsibijiet tiegħu

    • Yes this is the foundation of the concept for the e-Learning platform being proposed for government schools. The platform uses a safe environment where both students and Educators can share thoughts, experiences and knowledge. The facilities which will be allowed for this platform are similar to a blog, as easy to use as well. In addition there are facilities to add quizzes, polls, wikis, upload different media like videos or documents. Thus this platform, if used well, can be great for everyone involved.

  23. Fil-fehma tiegħi huwa importanti li l-għalliema jagħmlu użu mis-sistema tal-Blogs għaliex din fiha vantaġġ reċiproku. Dan għaliex meta taqsam xi ħaġa inti se tgħallem lil ħaddieħor iżda mir-rispons li tirċievi se titgħallem inti wkoll. Naqbel ħafna ma’ Steeve Wheeler meta jgħid li blog ittik ċans ukoll tirrifletti iktar fuq l-attivitajiet li tkun ħejjejt u li wettaqt waqt il-lezzjoni fil-klassi. Għaldaqstant inħoss li kull għalliema għandha toħloq blog speċjalment dawk li jgħallmu lingwa, għaliex huwa veru li meta studenti jiktbu xi ħaġa għal udjenza, awtomatikament ikunu iktar konxji tal-ortografija, grammatika u s-sintassi . B’hekk l-iżbalji jkunu inqas u t-tagħlim ikun aħjar.

    Din hija link tajba li titkellem dwar dan:

  24. Blogging to some students would be a new concept due to the still growing popularity of social networks such as Facebook, twitter and so on. Like I had expressed in a post that I posted on a different bog, I personally don’t feel too strongly about using these techniques linked to education, not because I don’t believe in using them as I think they would be very helpful to share ideas, help with homework, sharing of information, allowing students to work as a group while not in school and so many more things. But it’s the children of todays generation that gets me thinking, if these kids are asked to use a social network or even a blog to do education work such as what I mention above (group work ect) they will MOST definitely get lost in other things; such as browsing the web, girls would most probably browse some ecommerce shop, checking their Facebook, playing games – there is so much to do on the web that I highly doubt a 11-14 year old will be able to focus on the blog and not chat on Facebook or browse photos. I say this as at my age I also find it somewhat difficult and get distracted easily. Apart from all this, who is to say all students have access to the Internet to be able to view the blog and be included in the blogging session, wouldn’t he or she be left out and miss out on the learning experience that the others got? What would one do in such a situation? It wouldn’t be ethical to just leave that particular student out. I am still Abit shaky on this idea of using social networks and blogging with students, I might need to be convinced but I will be sure to try it out as I guess I can’t say till I experience it, I will be sure to try blogging out in my coming teaching practice 🙂

  25. Jiena naqbel ħafna mal-idea tal-blogging għaliex dan għandu bosta vantaġġi bħal ngħidu aħna l-istudenti jitgħallmu jaqsmu l-ideat tagħhom flimkien, jaħdmu u jgħinu lil xulxin u jsiru jafu lil xulxin iżjed. Barra minn hekk, l-għalliema permezz ta’ blogg tista’ żżomm kuntatt regolari mal-istudenti, speċjalment ma’ xi student marid u li mhux jattendi l-lezzjonijiet. L-għalliema tista’ wkoll iżomm il-kuntatt mal-istudenti anka fil-perjodu tal-vaganzi speċjalment jekk l-istudenti jkollhom xi diffikultajiet dwar xi xogħol assenjat lilhom.

    Ilkoll niftakru dawk il-ġranet li għamilna sigħat sħaħ nikkupjaw in-noti tal-lezzjonijiet u dan bl-iskop skop? Illum nirrealizza li qabel ma’ kienx hawn it-teknoloġija li għandna illum u għalhekk jiena determinata li nuża din l-għodda prestiġjuża. Permezz ta’ blogg l-għalliema tista’ tagħmel bosta affarijiet bħal pereżempju ttella’ l-materjal u n-noti tal-lezzjonijiet online, tikkomunika mal-istudenti, tagħti ċans lill-istudenti sabiex jesprimu l-fehma tagħhom u għaliex le jekk ikun hemm bżonn l-istudenti jikkritikaw ukoll lill-għalliema. Għalkemm għandu xi ftit żvantaġġi bħal pereżempju l-element tar-riskju u l-konsum tal-ħin, jiena naħseb li għandu iżjed vantaġġi milli żvantaġġi.

    Hemm diversi tipi ta’ blogg li wieħed jista’ joħloq pereżempju blogg bejn l-istudenti u l-għalliema, blogg bejn l-għalliema stess, blogg bejn klikka ħbieb jew blogg bejn għalliema, ġenituri u studenti. Jeħtieġ li sseħħ bidla fil-mod ta’ kif l-għalliema tgħallem lill-istudenti billi tiġi introdotta iżjed it-teknoloġija fl-iskejjel tagħna. F’din is-site tistgħu taraw ftit mill-vantaġġi li għandu blogg: http://www.geeks4share.com/2011/03/7-advantages-of-blogging/

    • One of the biggest advantages of blogging is that it keeps everyone connected for ‘free’. Educators may argue that the vast curriculum does not allow them to allocate time for critical thinking. I believe that through blogging learning can take place beyond the walls of the classroom and therefore the time factor is no longer an excuse. This is because a teacher may post an interesting video-clip online and then students will be invited to post their own comments 24/7. This effective tool helps learners develop higher-order cognitive thinking skills such as evaluation and critique. View this video clip to see how an educator used blogging in his teaching profession. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65Lq4acC6ik&feature=related.

  26. I have always been a secret blog reader and not had the confidence to write anything down. Thus, I am not used to blogging; however I’m quite convinced that it is actually a very useful tool for teachers, especially in cases where there is no strong sense of group belonging, or there is a lack of communication skills.

    First and foremost, blogs provide a platform for individual expression. It allows individuals who are shy to express their views in a face-to-face interaction, to voice their opinions and insight using a different approach. And this shouldn’t necessary replace ‘social contact’ – partly disagreeing with Duncan. Also, blogs can be important tools for sharing useful information and tips among colleagues, providing valuable feedback, dispersing information to students, or keeping in contact with parents.I strongly agree with Tiziana i.e. sharing of resources can actually help teachers to reduce some of their workload – everyone knows how busy we were during our last TP, what we have gone through in our first TP is just only the beginning I guess. In this way one can focus more on the students’ learning and providing them with the appropriate resources.

    Teachers need to become reflective professionals. Unfortunately, I commonly hear teachers saying that they don’t get it or it’s just not their thing. I also heard a couple of teachers saying that they worked hard for resources and thus others shouldn’t find things readily done but should work hard for them themselves. My question is: are teachers really considering blogging as a useful tool to education or are they convinced that it’s unfair or maybe ‘threatening’?

    As a prospective teacher, I think it’s important for educators to understand the importance of reflection and how blogging can help achieve that on a professional level. It’s important for teachers and students to become reflective learners.

  27. I fully agree with you Philippa Sullivan that if we use blogs for education purposes, students could be easily carried away through browsing other sites. However, I feel that at least we would be providing them with something which helps them develop their intellectual abilities as we have to keep in mind that these kids spend hours and hours online and I doubt whether their favourite sites are of an educational nature. Parents continuously complain about the fact that their children waste precious time on the internet. If teachers provide interesting articles or video clips online and encourage their students to post blogs then this wasted time would be transformed into precious time where one truly develops holistically. Through this module, we have been introduced to another form of assessment which we can easily use with our students. Blogging is truly a great tool for formative assessment as a teacher can provide both qualitative and quantitative feedback to the student. By doing so, we will be moving away from the conventional modes of assessment through tests and exams which are merely a snapshot of the learner’s abilities. This is one way of how we can engage our tech-savvy students by using their preferred medium for socialization.

  28. Before starting this course I had never even thought that blogging could be used as an educational tool. But now I can see its merits. It is definitely something that I would like to explore in the future.

    As English student-teacher, not only would a blog allow me to provide my students with material that might interest them, perhaps an interesting article related to a topic that is going to be discussed in class or related to a particular piece of literature that is in their syllabus, but it would also encourage students to read and to write for pleasure, which I think is not given enough importance in the current education system.

    I especially like Steve Wheeler’s second reason for why teachers should blog:

    ‘Blogging can crystalise your thinking. In the act of writing, said Daniel Chandler, we are written. As we write, we invest a part of ourselves into the medium. The provisionality of the medium makes blogging conducive to drafting and redrafting. The act of composing and recomposing ideas can enable abstract thoughts to become more concrete. Your ideas are now on the screen in front of you; they can be stored, retrieved and reconstructed as your ideas become clearer. You don’t have to publish if you want to keep those thoughts private. Save them and come back to them later. The blog can act as a kind of mirror to show you what you are thinking. Sometimes we don’t really know what we are thinking until we actually write it down in a physical format.’

    I think this is valid for both teachers and students. By setting up a class blog and encouraging students to post their opinions and create a dialogue between them, we would also be encouraging them to think, form opinions and at the same time practice expressing themselves in writing, something which will help them in their studies and perhaps even later on in their lives.

  29. Blogging has various advantages for educators. The use of blog invites persons around the world to collaborate and share their ideas while encouraging them to continuously try things out and thus learn new material. Blog makes the learning process independent of time and place, and it helps learners improve their writing as they get better at reflecting and expressing themselves by time. Blogging is ideal for those learners who are self driven, have a strong desire to learn and set their own goals. A disadvantage of blogging is that some learners prefer to be instructed on what they must do rather than working on their own initiative. As stated by others above, I strongly believe that this should complement face to face discussions and learning, not replace it.

  30. http://www.savetubevideo.com/?v=cmjrbmazq_k&feature=related

    Like shown on this video blogging can be very beneficial in students’ lives. With blogging students can communicate with each other and also with the teacher after school hours. Students can continue learning from home. Nowadays, collaboration and inclusion are very important. With blogging students can share ideas and information from their home without the need to plan a meeting place. This relationship can be established not only between students with other students and students with teachers but also among teachers and between teachers and parents.

  31. Personally, I prefer using a Blog, than Twitter or Facebook with secondary students. I think (like Phillipa) that students will get lost especially on Facebook: chatting with their friends, uploading photos, checking profiles etc. Imagine the reaction of parents if they find out that their children are wasting time because “the teacher asked them so”.

    However with a blog, or a social learning network like Edmodo there is less tendency for students to get lost. I think blogging is a very innovative approach; it’s a great way to create ongoing discussions, share resources and ideas with students and among teachers. Since blogging allows students the freedom to say what they feel, teachers MUST always be familiar with what is being posted and carefully monitor posts and discussions.

  32. Blogging is a valuable online tool which can be used by anyone for free to voice his or her opinions and views about anything that one could imagine. Basically, Blogs are narratives that you can post on the web. You can buy a blog program and incorporate it into your site or you can use one of the free services provided by companies such as Google. From an internet marketing perspective, blogs are useful for getting your site indexed and keeping people updated on business developments.

    The advantages and disadvantages of Internet blogging are numerous, but ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether or not blogging is something you would enjoy or profit from. However, Blogs are a great way to communicate and experience the Web, if used correctly.

    As a side note, it is interesting to note that an edublog is a blog written by someone in education. Examples might include blogs written by or for teachers, blogs maintained for the purpose of classroom instruction, or blogs written about educational policy. Similarly, educators who blog are sometimes called edubloggers.

    The use of blogs has become popular in educational institutions including public schools and colleges. Blogs can be important tools for sharing useful information and tips among students, or keeping in contact with parents. Teachers can create, monitor and edit blogs to ensure that the postings are appropriate and pertain to the classroom.

    There are many teacher related blogs on the internet where teachers can share information with one another. This can include specific content that they are working on in their classroom or exemplary lessons that they wish to share with other teachers. It is a tool for educators to share ideas with one another on what has worked with students and what has not, and what classroom management techniques and policies should be adopted with particular classes. In this way the blog often acts as a support system for teachers.

    Teachers also use blogs as a way to communicate and enhance classroom instruction among their students. Educational Blogs allow for study to take place outside the classroom environment. Blogs increase exposure to other students from around the country or world while improving writing and communication skills. Teachers are using blogs as a way to post important information such as homework, important dates, missed lessons, projects, discussion boards, and other useful classroom information that is accessible by all students from a computer.

    Students can use blogs to communicate with other students for group projects as well and to ask each other questions regarding a missed assignment or a lesson. It also gives students an opportunity to collaborate on various writing assignments, or readings. This would generate conversation amongst the students and develop their critical and analytical thinking skills. It also allows students who are shy and reserved in class to voice their opinions and insights using a different approach. With the use of blogs in the classroom students learn from one another and individually, express themselves as well.

    Learning through blogs allows students to take control of their own learning and steer it to their own needs. Moreover, the use of blogs in the classroom embeds technological literacy in children that will help them in adulthood.

    Teachers can also use blogs to inform and involve parents. Information can be posted for parents on special events occurring in the classroom and outside the classroom such as: field trips, outings, activities and presentations. Blogging is also a central tool for parents to find out daily assignments so that they can check upon their children and classroom expectations. Having this clear and open communication between parents and students can ensure students’ success. Assisting parents on what is developmentally appropriate for their children on a blog could help to transfer parenting skills as well.

  33. I tend to agree, regarding blogs and Facebook. I somehow think that students can easily be distracted on Facebook. On a blog, I believe there is less chance of getting distracted. I also think it is easier to monitor what is being done on a blog than on Facebook. This is just my opinion. Also, not everyone is on Facebook. Something which I find very true about using blogs over Facebook is as follows:

    ” 2. You can reach a very targeted group

    People who sign up to receive your blog updates tend to be most interested in the content you provide. It is more likely that this group will convert to loyal followers. You can have all the fans you want on Facebook, but if those people are not taking interest in what you share on your blog, all you have is a big remote fan base on someone else’s site ”

    (Taken from: http://www.problogger.net/archives/2011/04/22/why-your-self-hosted-blog-is-more-valuable-than-your-facebook-page/)

    Also, anything we post on Facebook is owned by Facebook, believe it or not! You can look this up on the link above, where there is an extract from Facebook.

    On the other hand, when we consider that most of our students’ online communication is probably through Facebook, so we can’t really ignore it either!

  34. Blogs are an important tool that can help 21st century teachers to communicate with their students.

    Blogs can be highly beneficial for students because:

    1) they motivate students, especially those who do not participante in the classroom.
    2) they provide opportunities for students to read and write.
    3) they provide eeffective forums for collaboration and discussion.
    4) they are powerful tools that help teachers practice Vigotsky’s theory of scaffolded learning.

    Blogs provide a space where teachers and students can work to further develop writing and various other skills. Teachers can offer instructions that can help students improve their abilities. Moreover, the latter can benefit from peers’ comments. Blogs make online mentoring possible. Students can also participate in collaborative learning activities that require them to research findings, ideas, or suggestions.

    Blogs give an opportunity to all students to discuss topics outside the classroom. With a blog, every person has an opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions.

    Blogs are easy to create and can be updated regularly. They can be used to inform students of class requirements, post handouts, notices and homeworks, or act as a question and answer board.

  35. We are living in a society which is continuously promoting a collectivist culture, however, competition among individuals, especially when it comes to the professional world, encourages an individualistic approach in which everyone works on his own. When it comes to education, a collectivist classroom enhances collaboration and teamwork and this involves a dynamic way in the learning process. I believe that even in examinations (even if it is individual based) studying in groups facilitates learning effectiveness.

    We are continuously listening to the importance of collaboration the advantages that collaborative learning can bring along. So yes, I think that it is also important for teachers especially those teaching same subjects, to collaborate together, share resources and cooperate for the best interest for the students. Here is a short videoclip which shows collaboration among teachers in school. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpitq8I3YhA&feature=related

    Unfortunately enough, due to several circumstances, some people may find it difficult to conduct face to face meetings, especially when teachers are not working in the same school. This shows how much blogging can help to facilitate encounters among teachers by developing an online blog in which professional practitioners related to the field (teachers in our case) may have the opportunity to communicate with each other, share ideas and resources and provide feedback.

    • This is my first time that i am posting my own comments in a blog. It is fun and interesting and is a potential and useful tool where one can express his own ideas and other people can comment on your own ideas; “Blogs give you a voice, and that voice is easily published across the really Wide Web in one click. Your voice can be heard and you can hear other people’s voice”.
      Definetly blogging is a useful tool in education, where teachers can share ideas, experiences and learning resources with each other. Students shoul be encouraged to use blogs, where they can read articles and posts their opinions. This should encourage student learning and participation.

  36. This is my first time that i am posting my own comments in a blog. It is fun and interesting and is a potential and useful tool where one can express his own ideas and other people can comment on your own ideas; “Blogs give you a voice, and that voice is easily published across the really Wide Web in one click. Your voice can be heard and you can hear other people’s voice”.

    Definetly blogging is a useful tool in education, where teachers can share ideas, experiences and learning resources with each other. Students shoul be encouraged to use blogs, where they can read articles and posts their opinions. This should encourage student learning and participation.

  37. I think the idea of introducing blogging as part of our educational system is such an awesome idea for the sharing of ideas and materials among teachers and students and teachers themselves. Just like Graziella said, I prefer communicating with students via blogger rather than facebook or any other site, because educational posts keep them focused on the material you want them to learn. Another benefit of blogging is the important tool of leaving comments and thus, communicating with one another. Everyone can leave feedback on the written post and suggest opinions and ideas. I haven’t done a blog yet, however I really like the idea of owning one. That way, learning and communication can go beyond the classroom environment.

  38. This morning a photo was shared on facebook and I found it hilarious. It had the background of a frustrated face and the caption read “Oh my God! You’re fighting with me on facebook! What are you gonna do? ‘CAPSLOCK’ me to death?”
    The intended message was that over the internet certain social situations take a different style to the ones they take in everyday interaction.

    – Shyness
    Shy people are more likely to feel comfortable expressing themselves behind the protective cover of the internet. There is less inhibition that goes on when people use the internet.

    – No Power
    While people feel less shy, students who are normally heavily influential in the classroom processes and dynamics seem to be taken off their high horse and there is room for everyone to voice what they think without being over powered. This brings me to my last point.

    – Voices are equally ‘loud’
    Connected to the point of power that I just mentioned, it is not simply a matter of certain students losing power, it is more a case of the power situation being balanced. It is harder to be overpowered in a situation where people are openly discussing in a context that even shy people feel able to participate in.

  39. Blogging has become very popular in education, especially in foreign countries.

    – Blogs can serve as a portal to foster a community of learners. I intend to use blogs in my TP to post worksheets, add homework assignments, answer students questions, and send notices.

    – Blogs can enhance cooperative learning; students can use it to share ideas, and findings.

    – Blogs can also help students interact with others by sharing their opinions and thoughts. Pupils can discuss topics outside of the class and react to one another within certain limits. I think that the teacher must always be in control of every activity on the blog and ensure that it is ‘safe’.

  40. Nowadays blogging has entered the lives of the students. Through social networking students can interact together, exchange ideas, help each other in homework exercises. The role of teachers should be that of building a community for the students. Students can voice their opinions and share their ideas. They can also pose questions and be answered for their difficulties risen.

    I have a personal experience of my own. When I was in sixth form I studied French A level besides Maltese. Our teacher had opened a blog for us students who had French and the French culture at heart. We used to write a diversity of blogs and we used to respond each other aswell. The teacher used to give us feedback on our blogs. This really helped us to enhance our vocabulary, sentence structures, our writing and so on. We used to post pictures and videos, greeting to each other. Above all our community served us to have a different idea about learning. Learning is also a means of acquiring new skills and knowledge, prior knowledge.

    I believe that blogging would be tool that can be used in a positive way. It’ll enhance the interaction between students and teachers. Blogging should also be amongst teachers where they can share lesson plans, discuss topics, new ideas for teaching and organising activities within the schools.

  41. il famuz blogging nahseb li huwa kemm xi haga pozittiva, kif ukoll kapaci jkun ta’ detriment ghal individwu. Naqbel perfettament ma dak li nkiteb dwar kemm johloq ferm iktar sen holistiku fi-diskussjoni. Il-globalizzazjoni ta’ l-ideat hija dik li fl-ahhar mill-ahhar trid tidentifika l-affarijiet li huma ta’ siwi u l-affarijiet li huma inqas b’sahhitom fl-istess idea. Il-mument li bniedem jiddeciedi li jpoggi l-ideat “under test” jkun dak il-punt li lest jiftah lilu innifsu ghal affarijiet godda u ghaldaqstant zvilupp.
    Il-haga negattiva li nara fejn jidhol dan l-ambjent ta’ blogging hu li l-firxa wiesa ta’ ideat tista fl-ahhar mill-ahhar tibda tinghalaq f’dinja konformista. Li rrid nghid hu li l-ideat jistghu tant jinfirxu u jiksbu sahha warajhom li bil-mod il-mod jibdew joholqu identitajiet ohra ezistenti u ghaldaqstant tonqos id-diversivita. Li jkollok idea wahda komuni bejn hafna nies tista’ isservi ta’ gid fejn jirrigwardja efficjenza, izda ta’ nuqqas fundamentali fejn tidhol kreattivita. Nemmen li ambjent gust huwa dak fejn wiehed jista jaqsam dak kollu li jhoss li ghandu jkun ta’ nteress pubbliku, izda fl-istess waqt ma jhossx il-presjoni tas-“socjeta” li qed tikkundizjonah x’jikteb. Biex jinkiseb dan irid mhux biss ikollok it-teknologija sabiex jigu mhadmin ideat komunitattivi bhal din, izda wkoll grupp li jkun gharef bizejjed li jkun jiddiskuti. Il-facilita tkun biss “the way forward” jekk ngharfu naplikawha b’mod gust u bid-doza effettiva li thalli l-effet mixtieq.


  42. It appears we here on this blog, have discussed on pros and cons of blogging. As in blogging for Educational purposes. We have mentioned internet safety and ergonomics as psychosomatic health issues.

    However, I believe we are facing a paradigm shift in learning and consequently also in teaching. We have to be sensitive to our learners needs. We have to be listeners too, in order to be effective communicators of learning. Thus if our students are motivated with blogging, we have give them the opportunity to participate in their learning through blogs.

    Again as mentioned above, regarding undesired public exposure, if we keep this in mind, we may regulate our blogs. We have seen blogs can be private blogs, so the trouble is no trouble in the end.

    If we are concerned on lack of physical mobility, if we wish our students to physically “move”. We should think that student interaction is about “activity”.. “Activity and interaction” can be simultaneously educationally promoted both virtually and kinesthetically. Both domains are important for human development and may be shown to satisfy seperate areas of the human person, yet the human person has different needs, which spring from the same and only source.

  43. I came across this video clip which I found interesting as it expresses the benefits of blogging in education trough practical experience.

  44. Naqbel ħafna mas-seba’ raġunijiet li jagħti Steve Wheeler fil-blog. Permezz tal-użu tal-blog l-għalliema jkunu jistgħu jevalwaw dak li jkunu għallmu għaliex il-blog huwa meqjus bħala rekord ta’ xogħolhom. Nara wkoll relevanti r-raġuni ta’ Wheeler meta jgħid li l-blog huwa mmedjat u hu opportunità fejn jingħata rispons. Dan ir-rispons jista’ jkun jew kontra l-idea tal-edukatur jew inkella favur. Meta r-rispons ikun favur dan jsaħħaħ l-ideat tal-għalliem fil-professjoni tiegħu. Bħal kull ħaġa oħra naraw li għalkemm il-blog fih ħafna vantaġġi nsibu wkoll numru ta’ żvantaġġi. Għalkemm il-blog huwa meqjus importanti minħabba l-fatt li jiffaċilita l-komunikazzjoni hemm l-iżvantaġġ li qed jiġi użat ħafna aktar in-network milli l-individwi jitkellmu wiċċ imb’ wiċċ.

  45. Il-bloggs hija xi invenzjoni riċenti li forsi dawk li mhumiex midħla tat-teknoloġija ma tantx jafu xi tfisser jew inkella jħaddmu. Madanakollu għandhom vantaġġi kemm għal ħajja ta’ kuljum u wisq aktar jekk irridu nużawhom fil-mod ta’ kif ngħallmu. Għandhom il-vantaġġ li aħna bħala għalliema naqsmu xi materjal fuqu mal-istudenti u nistgħu wkoll naqbdu diskussjonijiet interessanti mal-istudenti. Dan jikkonfermaw, per eżempju, Steve Wheeler meta jgħid li l-blogg jagħtik iċ-ċans tirrifletti aktar fuq l-attivitajiet li tkun ħejjejt u li wettaqt waqt il-lezzjoni tal-klassi. B’hekk ir-relazzjoni mal-istudenti tissaħħaħ u ma tiddeppendix biss minn dawk it-tliet kwarti li jarawk matul il-ġurnata iżda tista’ tkompli tibniha fil-ħin ta’ wara l-iskola. L-istudenti tal-lum għalkemm huma midħla tal-bloggs, nemmen ukoll li għandna nħarrġuhom f’dawn l-affarijiet, għax ngħid għalija, ċerti affarijiet ma jkunux ovvji biex tħaddimhom. Madakollu ġala darba tkun tafhom, titgħallimhom darba għal dejjem.

    Minħabba l-vantaġġi li għandhom dawn il-bloggs, għalhekk nemmen li l-għalliema għandhom joħolqu blogg biex jiffaċilitaw it-tagħlim tal-istudenti u jagħmluh aktar interattiv u jħarsu lejh minn punt di vista pożittiv.

  46. I agree that blogging encourages the teachers to reflect on their practice. By making use of blogs, teachers can get comments from other teachers, discuss with them new practices, and maybe also discover new aspects in ways of teaching. Although blogging is very helpful as a communication tool, I agree with others who have said it already, that face-to-face interaction is very important, and blogging shouldn’t replace it.

  47. I also agree with Ms Galea because it allows you to brand yourself as an expert. It also allows you to put a human face to your brand and thus making your views even more personal. The most important advantage of blogging is that allows constructive criticism and by the sharing of different opinions from different people. Consequently resulting in a better output product.

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