blogging as an online learning tool

Following up on the blogging as an online learning tool, today I’m reading Palloff & Pratt (2005) – Collaborating Online, Learning Together in Community and in Part 2 of their book, they dedicated a chapter on blogs.  

Their view on using of blogs in education is as follows:“What makes a blog different from a threaded discussion is that the entries are not in response to discussion questions, but are free-flowing ideas that emerge from the material being studied. In this way, students can collaboratively reflect on material, brainstorm, and move far outside of the confines of assigned text or resource material in their thinking. Blogging can be used as a way to capture student reflections on content throughout an online course or during a virtual team or small-group activity. “ 

musings on blogging in education

This has been incubating in my mind for quite some time now as a potential topic for my MAIDT dissertation. Just a bunch of loose thoughts and interesting findings that I have encountered and been keeping in a Word doc so far.

Blogging
Blogging as a social communication tool vs. blogging as a personal reflection tool as part of a LMS or Personal Learning Environments (PLE).

The good part of blogging is that it provides the option of leaving comments and also having a group blog.

Personally I feel that it should be used as a feature in a larger system that offers other communication tools and use the blogging purely for personal reflection and personal learning environments with the option of having people comment on each other’s posts. The blogs do not necessarily need to contain truths, and can be written in any language / lingo that the learner is comfortable with.

http://www.knownet.com/writing/weblogs/Graham_Attwell/entries/1293884923 is saying that blogging when getting no comments or not feeling part of the community is not satisfying to most bloggers. They tend to blog for social reasons. That’s why educational blog engines like elgg have been so successful

Questions to be researched:
research on “elgg” and “moodle”
I have downloaded moodle the other day, but have yet to find the time to try it out.

research on “MUWordPress” (multi-user wordpress)

are educational blogs used for social communication or personal reflection?
Pure distance or F2F education?
Adults or K-12?

Use of RSS? What is it and could it be useful?
Trackbacks?
Technorati?

What is this called?
Showing the keywords used in the post, with words that are used more frequently displayed bigger and bolder. Like a cloud of words.

Technical
Elgg and moodle integration, both open source. Elgg is educational blogging system, whereas moodle is a LMS. Learners are able to transfer files from moodle to elgg and are able to easily login to elgg from moodle.

http://edublogs.org/ edublogs provides a free (WordPress) blogging space for educators and learners and provides an ad-free wikispace too.

A wiki is a set of web pages that anyone can edit. Wikis are a revolutionary way for communities to write pages together and use the power of many hands to create great content.

http://elgg.net/csessums/weblog/11982.html

Blogging is practical (i.e., useful) for professional educators for a number of reasons. For many educators, blogging serves as both a connective space and a reflective space.

http://ideant.typepad.com/ideant/2006/01/the_blog_as_dis.html
interesting essay on blogging as dissertation.

Some pointers:
Blogging is time stamped – so it shows it’s the personal opinion of the blogger at that time which may be different from the current opinion.