The purpose of this course project is to validate educational blogging (edublogging) as an effective means of distance learning.
Blogging is the act of writing or updating your blog. Stated in another way, from the instructional design point of view, blogging refers to the design and editing of a blog. Edublogging is blogging used as an educational tool and strategy. (Edublogging and Distributed Expertise in Music Teaching, 2007)
Blogs are an important element of the Internet's Web 2.0 social media and collaborative communities. Web 2.0 is a grouping of interconnected Web applications that facilitate interactiveÂ information sharing,Â interoperability,Â user-centered design, and collaborationÂ on theÂ World Wide Web. (Core Characteristics of Web 2.0 Services, 2008) Edublogging is proving to be a major advancement for networked teachers and students as they harness this tool for mutual collaborative learning.
Edublogging will be analyzed and assessed from the vantage points of the networked teacher and networked student. The three principles 1) networked learning, 2) constructivism and 3) connectivism will form the study of this course project. The conclusion and study recommendations for future research will be based upon these three principles as they are represented in the Edublogging: a quantitative study of training and development bloggers study. (Schneider, 2009)
It's never been a more interesting or perhaps challenging time to be an instructor in Internet learning circles. The role of the "Networked Teacher" as depicted by Alec Couros (open thinking, 2008) represents the myriad of Web 2.0 collaboration solutions an instructor interacts with to deliver effective distance education results.
The focus of this course project is to examine how the two-way interaction between the networked teacher and blogs enriches the learner and the resulting learning experience. A blog is an easily created, easily updateable Web site that allows an author to publish instantly to the Internet from any Internet connection. An educational blog can also be interactive, allowing teachers and students to begin conversations or add to the information published there. (Richardson, 2010, p.10).
This course project will examine edublogging, its various roles, tools, strategies and direct results in distance education. This paper will address the credibility of edublogging which is the subject of constant debate in professional educational journalistic circles. This paper will also provide concrete working examples of edublogging to evidence the effectiveness of blogging in distance educational practice.
Why Do We Blog?
There are several reasons why people blog. The primary reason to blog is to publish ideas and share information. Blogging is a form of written expression which facilitates effective communication. Blogging is well suited to the instructor-student interaction.
Our ability to easily publish content online and to connect to vast networks of passionate learners forces us to rethink the way we communicate with our constituents, the way we deliver our curriculum, and the expectations we have of our students. (2010).
We are creating what author Douglas Rushkoff calls "a society of authorship" where every teacher and every student, every person with access, will have the ability to contribute ideas and experiences to the larger body of knowledge that is the Internet. And in doing so Rushkoff says, we will be writing the human story, in real time, together, a vision that asks each of us to participate. (Rushkoff, 2004).
A very important step is for a teacher is to make a concerted effort to use blogging in their own learning practice. If we make these connections in our own practice first we can then more thoroughly understand the pedagogical implications for the classroom and its students.