Teaching and Learning in a Net-Centric World
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  1. May 28, 2007    


    One little thought though, which helps to illustrate how these things are shaped by context and use…

    “This seems but a step backwards from the threading and other management services provided by all major LMS systems developed to support learning in groups.”

    Actually, I think that blogs not bad as group tools because of the strong sense of personal ownership they instill. People seldom really feel that they own a bulletin board, but a blog is certainly theirs.

    The retrograde step is really the restrictive requirement to post rather than the use as a group tool per se. It means that, even if students own the blogs, we own the process. This is yet another example of the large and slow moving influencing the small and fast moving more than vice versa. It is, maybe, the educational equivalent of genetic engineering and, like its biological counterpart, may have unforeseen and unpleasant consequences when compared with the natural evolution that occurs in the unconstrained blogosphere.

    I confess to occasionally assessing blogs, but also observe that (much of the time) when I do, blogging stops as soon as the course ends. At least, it stops on the spaces I use for the purpose. Students still have their own social networks and often have their own spaces in Facebook, MySpace and so on, and maybe my use of the things might be a bit of scaffolding that will encourage them to take things further elsewhere.

  2. June 17, 2007    

    Certainly in my experience, ownership is one, if not *the* critical feature of blog use for community formation among learners. I think that how a blog is assessed or what features are assessible are more important than whether or no tit is assessed. And I agree Jon, that it is the scafolding (& modelling by the instructor) of how blogs can be used in learning that then trigger their continued use by students post-course – whether it be for the same or similar purposes – or for other entirely different ones.

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