Blogs


1. How to use blogs in educational scenarios


We can think of the use of Blogs in two perspectives:

  • As repositories of pedagogical content: blogs maintained bt teachers that use them to put educational resources to share with the class
  • As a Pedagogical strategy: by using them as a space of debate, of interchange of ideas, place doubts or even as a encourage the use of blogs for a digital porfolio of each student's own learning


2. How to use blogs according to some Learning Theories


One of the most popular learning theory today, constructivism, builds on the works of Jean Piaget and puts a great enphasys in the student as a "constructor" of meaning. The student "sees" the world and aims to "interpret it" and "find it a meaning", in a process we call learning. This is mostly seen, by Piaget, as an individual activity and process.

One other popular learning theory today, social construtivism, is very same alike Piaget's constructivism, with the difference that the enphasys of "seeing the world" and "interpret it" should begin in a social level, rather an individual one. We discuss with the others and together we "interpret" the world. This social constructivist learning theory is based on the work of Lev Vygotsky.

Some authors suggest that blogs can be approached in education according to construtvistic theories, as they have a personal side (a blog is the property of one person) and socio-construtivistic theories, as they have a community side (a blog has features that allows the blog's visitor to communicate with the author, concerning the content that he/she has put on the blog).

Under this assumptions, some authors suggest the following techniques to use blogs under these learning theories:

  • Concerning the individual dimension, an author can use his/her blog as a way of self-expression and a way of self-reflection:
    • Self-expression involves using the blog to "collect" facts, expressing thoughts and emotions and recording other's expreriences
    • Self-reflection involves not merely "collect" facts and emotions, but evolve towards a cognitive level of extracting meaning from them
  • Concerning the social (or community) dimension, the author is concerned to use his/her blog with the social prcesses of exchanging ideas, care and support. This can be done by social interaction and reflective dialogue:
    • Social interaction involves using the blog to socially-emotionally communicate in order to enhance social presence and gives a greater sense of a "community". This is of fundamental aspect if we wish that social-constructivism learning can be possible.
    • Reflective dialogue stresses the cognitive presence within a learning community