In her article ‘Happily Blogging’ (2008), Kim Pericles clearly outlines how blogs can be used as engaging teaching and learning tools in the classroom. Three key utilities of blogs that I feel Kim particularly highlights in her article are:
1. Blogs fit easily in to most KLAs e.g. students could write about a science experiment that they have conducted and reported on or create a video showing their exploration of dramatic elements. Due to this, blogging can be used in the classroom for students to research topics that are of interest to them which, in turn, leads to a more engaged classroom. This helps to develop authentic student direction in their learning.
2. Blogs provide a forum for teachers and students to develop their new literacies, providing authentic contexts for the using many internet applications and multimodal sources (e.g. videos, animations, photographs). Through this work, teachers can model and teach students how to navigate informational sources on the net ethically and for credibility. Together the class can create explicit quality criteria and high expectations for their blogging, such as through the development of such things as ‘blogging rules, topic guide-lines, editing requisites, good commenting guides, positive responses, open ended question guides, and reflective openers’ (pg. 5).
3. Blogging enables communication with classrooms across the world. Kim gets her students to post drafts and receive feedback from their global classroom friends. Together, this encourages the development of connectivity and global perspectives that are so essential for a successful 21st century life. Gives meaning and purpose to their learning experiences as they have a real audience and authentic purpose. She notes how exciting this experience is for her pupils. As Kim notes, blogs are interactive most and ‘the powerful part of blogging is the opportunity to comment on what you have read on a blog’ (pg. 5).
Pericles, K. (2008). Happily blogging @ Belmore South. SCAN, 27(2), 4-6.