Thursday, 11 June 2009

Blogging with students: How and Why

Short but useful overview of blogging by Lindsay Jordan (full post here).

Blogs are essentially online diaries and as such are very powerful tools for reflection. Lindsay points out that if you intend to use blogs for reflection then the subject needs be of 'value' in terms of offering the students discrepancies, uncertainties and dissatisfactions, i.e. the subject needs to be something that the students can explore.

Valuable advice on assessing students' reflective blogs is also given. Rather than assess the content of the blog you should focus on their level of reflective thinking in terms of critical analysis (presentation of arguements, evidence, etc.).


  1. The beauty of blogging is in the eye of the beholder. There’s a lot of noise and a lot of dribble out there. There are people who are just writing to see their words on the screen. And reading blogs can be like driving down the highway and looking at billboards—none really stand out, and the next day it’s difficult to remember what you saw.

  2. Hi Muhammed,

    Your comment - "the beauty of blogging is in the eye of the beholder" - is an interesting one! By the 'beholder', do you mean the author or the audience?

    You are right in saying that there is a lot of 'noise' in the blogosphere, but I'm curious about your metaphor of driving down a highway; do you spend a certain amount of time each day randomly flicking through blogs you find on an index? I guess I am coming from a 'crowdsourcing' perspective that if someone blogs something or sufficient value to me, I will get to hear about it - often through my Twitter network. Recalling and retracing steps should not be a problem if you utilise a bookmarking service like Diigo, which also allows you to share annotations.

    Another point that your comment reminded me of is that a blog is not a static means of 'information push' like a billboard or newspaper; blogs are fluid and are designed for interactive dialogue, as we are engaging in here :-)

  3. For my own part the value of blogging is predominantly internal to the author. In other words it's the reflective element. When I first began to blog it was purely to get feedback via comments and get some discussion going. Initially I was therefore disappointed when this didn't happen. However I as continued to blog I was realised I was engaging in something really special...I realised I was committing more 'stuff' to longer term memory. And this in turn led to more insight into the subjects I was investigating as I found I was able to recall older posts in greater detail and reinterpret them in the light of new things I had discovered - which then led to further insights. So now the act of blogging is a full part of my personel development. The blog posts are in the main for my own pleasure so to speak, (don't get me wrong, I make these posts public because I'm happy to share and talk). And may be that's one of things about blogs - could they be inherently, at the end of the day, be so author-focused as to be labeled as selfish? and is there anything wrong with that?