The use of blogs has shown to have a great potential in the learning-teaching enviorement. One of its main advantages is the promotion of interaction. Interaction seems to be essential in a natural classroom enviorement. Needless to mention its importance in the languages classroom.
Many times interaction in the classroom seems to be scarce. That is why it is more than ever demanded by the members of the educational community.
In this article, I would focus on a creating a blog as a way of interaction between teacher-students and students-students without playing other vias of communication down. I would also like to prove that this neccessity of further interaction and communication can be made up for through blogs and blogging in two directions; inside the classroom and even more important outside the classroom.
As we have learnt Blogs are becoming a good means for educators, students and other members of the educational community. It has been said many times that Blogging can be used as a potential tool in education. Let us see some of the main reasons why their use can be taken for granted.
- Blogs provide a space for sharing opinions and learning in order to grow communities of discourse and knowledge — a space where students and teachers can learn from each other.
- Blogs help learners to see knowledge as interconnected as opposed to a set of discrete facts.
- Blogs can give students a totally new perspective on the meaning of voice. As students explore their own learning and thinking and their distinctive voices emerge. Student voices are essential to the conversations we need to have about learning.
- Blogs foster ownership and choice. They help lead us away from students trying to find what the teacher wants in terms of an answer.
- The worldwide audience provides recognition for students that can be quite profound. Students feel more compelled to write when they believe many others may read and respond. It gives them motivation to excel.
- The archive feature of blogging records ongoing learning. It facilitates reflection and evaluation. One student told me that he could easily find his thoughts on a matter and he could see how his thinking had changed and why.
- The opportunity for collective and collaborative learning is enormous. Students have the opportunity to read their classmates´ blogs and those of others. This is not possible in a regular classroom setting.
- Blogging provides the possibility of connecting with experts on the topic students are writing.
- The interactive nature of blogging creates enthusiasm for writing and communication.
- Blogging engages students in conversation and learning.
- Blogging encourages global conversations about learning–conversations not previously possible in our classrooms.
- Blogging provides the opportunity for our students to learn to write for life-long learning.
- Blogging affords us the opportunity to teach responsible public writing. Students can learn about the power of the published word and the responsibilities involved with public writing.
Article found in: http://anne.teachesme.com/2007/01/17/rationale-for-educational-blogging/
However, the main question is: how could I use a blog in my classes?
As I explain in my Page My Blog “I am an English teacher in the so-called Culinary Arts School”. This means that I have to deal with students whose ages vary from 16 years old up to …?. Therefore, as you can imagine not only the ages but the variety of people, interests and motivations are boundless as well.
However, we should not forget that there is a clear advantage; that is, all of them have opted to study either Culinary Arts and Cooking or Management in Culinary Arts or any other of the cycle offered, which means that all the students have in common a same desire and a same willingness of making of their studies a profession for the future.
I am concious that class interaction and a more intrinsic interaction and communication with students is an essential point in our daily task. That is why, the main learning objective of my blog will be the one of students having it as a main reference for further learning.
- On the one hand, to be a reference of the target language. Therefore, I would propose general exercises of the language, concepts, and revision. It could also be established term by term as the syllabus is established.
- It can also be used as a library-site where articles, books can be uploaded or suggested or linked.
- A further function can be the one of a discussion forum where commentaries or news on a particular subject, such as food, new culinary techniques or recipes can be exposed.
- Taking into account that a typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic, we will make a good use of this advantage uploading videos for example.
- We should not forget that the ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of any blog. So that, students will be an active part of it.
The structure of the blog could be the one done of organizing thev posts by archives, into different categories and tags. So that, it will make it easier for students to find or go to the options that are offered and wish.
I know it is always a challenge to start a new project. I am conscious that unforseen circumstances will come up. Almost daily improvement and updating will also be necessary. Apart from that, creating a blog that should attract students in general is an essential step in advance.
But challenges are to be a reality and this one may be ONE in a near Future.
Will YOU join us?