The introduction of blogging as a learning aid in educational has benefits for both the individual and the class as a whole. At the individual level, blogging can be utilized to develop writing skills at a mechanical level. The ease of posting on the internet for a class (in comparison to writing a paper or handing in a written response) also develops skills through repetition. Posting is more enjoyable to the student because of the range of focus and the ability to write freely. Another advantage to blogging is that students are forced to both develop an opinion and learn to express it through writing. Students in an interactive class environment are also forced to defend the opinions they express in posts
A major advantage of blogging is that it allows for an audience. In our first class we did an exercise that showcased the importance of having an audience, knowing who the audience is, and gearing your writing towards that audience. Handing a writing assignment to a teacher for a grade generally means that one person is reading your writing. Posting a writing assignment to a class blog means that the entire class and potentially the entire Internet are part of the audience. Another advantage is that the class experience is not limited to the scheduled meeting times throughout the week. Classes can stay more connected.
The idea of staying more connected throughout the week may also be seen as a negative. In the busy lives student’s lead between athletics, extra curricular activities, Greek life, working on campus, and applying for jobs, the responsibility of staying connected outside of scheduled class can be a daunting task. On a fundamental level, students may actually regress in writing skills because of the loose mechanics often used in online posting.
I feel that blogging certainly has a place in the classroom but the effectiveness of it depends on the structure. Blogging can be used most effectively to engage students outside the classroom. It has the ability to aide in developing thoughts, beliefs, and opinions. I think that the ability to advance writing skills is possible but it is negated by the inherent laid back structure of blogging.