Educational Blogging, Stephen Downes
In this article, Stephen Downes lists the many merits and a few pitfalls of using a blog in a classroom, and in general. He goes into detail on five reasons that blogs are an essential part of the learning process, being careful to emphasize that blogs, first and foremost, are a reading tool, second to being a writing tool. They are more usable than a journal article or other formal communication simply because they are a flowing of ideas without having to worry about where the idea came from rather than trying to prove a point and back up where it came from.
How People Are Using Twitter during Conferences, Wolfgang Reinhardt
This article begins with an explanation of blogging, then moves forward into microblogging, or the use of less than 140 characters. It differentiates the goal behind regular blogging as sharing whole ideas and microblogging as sharing fast thoughts, ideas, and information. While a blog may be read by people the writer doesn’t know, a tweet can be focused to certain people, like a facebook account almost, and just share the ideas with those people alone. The innovation that Twitter has come along with is during massive conferences when there is little time for feedback or questions simply due to the size and scope of the setting, the audience could be sending a tweet to the presenter to allow interaction without losing control of the audience.
I enjoyed the Downes because it allows many different scenarios that a teacher could be using a blog in the classroom over many different ability levels. It begins with an example of fourth and fifth grade students and moves all the way through college level courses. It gives examples of the many different opportunities that a blogger could have on a variety of topics available, and the many different sites that it could take place on. In short, it opens the world of blogging to those unfamiliar with it and begs to be used.
Twitter during conferences sends many ideas swirling through my head. If the person watching and listening could become an active part of the presentation during rather than at the end or not at all, then the audience would become more engaged and learn a vast amount more knowledge than before. Couldn’t that work the same in a classroom? If I am giving a lecture to students, couldn’t they be sending me tweets or emails asking questions on the topic as we go, then I could choose whether or not to answer them as I move forward without wasting precious class time?
Quote of the week from Downes:
“Blogging not only allowed us access to the event; it made us part of the event.”