Blogging, which I did not know stands for “web logging” is a relatively new phenomenon which since 2003 has been making its way into education. “Weblogs at Harvard Law” was one of the first places where blogging as part of higher education learning was experimented with. At the Brisbane Graduate School of Business an “MBA Blog” was trialled and survey responses were collected in a paper by Jeremy Williams and Joanne Jacobs. They asked students questions about how effective the blogs were at increasing learning, interactions with other students and personal reflections. Overall the study found that most of the students thought that blogging was beneficial and that it could be useful in other courses.

I think the use of blogging with education is one of the next progressions we will see in the coming years. By using technology and blogs, learning can be done not only in classrooms, but from virtually anywhere at any time. This allows students to be more connected to each other and their professor than ever before. Blogging also allows students to become more adept with technology and continue learning from a wider range of sources found on the internet. These sources can then be shared with their classmates through blogging allowing concepts learned in class to be revisited and revised.

Blogging on the other hand could also have negative consequences. I have heard many adults say that our generation is becoming more and more socially deficient. Meaning that we communicate so much through other mediums like email, texting, Facebook, Twitter, etc, that we no longer know how to social interact face to face with people. It is sometimes much easier to tell someone how you truly feel through technology than having an in person conversation. Could blogging be taking away from the social and personal interactions we gain from talking face to face or having discussions in class? The time lag with blogs could also be an issue. In class you can have instant feedback and debate about topics and theories, teaching students to think quickly on their feet. However with blogs people have time to research an answer and carefully craft a response. Overall the use of technology to improve teaching is a wonderful thing that can help enhance learning, but it must be done carefully so that students retain the important skills that only in-class learning can provide.

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6 responses »

  1. […] isn’t a complete argument unless the negative consequences are also discussed. As Sarah stated in her entry, blogging can ultimately have an effect on a student’s ability to interact, discuss, and argue […]

  2. scoutberger says:

    ……Meaning that we communicate so much through other mediums like email, texting, Facebook, Twitter, etc, that we no longer know how to social interact face to face with people. It is sometimes much easier to tell someone how you truly feel through technology than having an in person conversation. Could blogging be taking away from the social and personal interactions we gain from talking face to face or having discussions in class?……..

    While I realize that this isn’t your personal opinion, I have to disagree with this statement. I believe that there is a drastic difference between social media and blogging. There are moments where they intertwine. However, I believe that there is a very distinct difference between social blogging and blogging in an academic setting. Yes, blogging can be a form of social media but socially blogging is usually very different in education. I have many friends that blog–about their travels in Europe, about food, and puppies etc. but blogging in an educational form is entirely different. When you are blogging to become a better writing, are getting critiqued by your peers, and enhance your academic performance, I think that communications are enhanced. Blogging in an academic setting makes you more careful with your research and writing.

    However, the one thing that is a little hypocritical and ironic is that in class we have been discussing trying to please the audience you are reaching out to–this is the most important part of writing. However, in the back of our head all of us in our BGS class are also aware that we are getting graded on our blogs. This may somewhat alter our writing.

    • smz006 says:

      I totally agree that social blogging and educational blogging are two completely different things and have different purposes. However I still think that the statement about our generation lacking communication and social skills holds true. Although social and educational blogging have different purposes, styles of writing and audiences they still take away from our personal interactions. For example my discussion with people that comment on my post is completely different than the one I would have in person. There are of course positives and negatives for both scenarios, but communicating through a blog is a lot more impersonal. In writing my response right now I can rearrange my sentences, think about my argument and therefore craft a solid response. In person on the other hand, I have to think quickly and articulate my thoughts in a clear and concise manner without the luxury of being able to “delete” what I say to someone.

  3. Alex Lin says:

    I think Scout makes a great point about social media being different than blogging in education. Adults are complaining of social media that replaces the face to face interactions people would otherwise have. However(at least in this class), blogging is more of a supplement to the conversations held in class.

    I also think that the time delay is beneficial towards blogging in education. Many times a in classroom setting, a student’s opinion will change based on the reaction of the other students and/or professor. The fact that you have nothing but your own opinions to write about while blogging allows for much more of a candid response.

  4. Jim says:

    I feel like I’ve been hearing the argument more and more that our generation is missing out on properly developing social skills because of social media. While I agree to some degree this might be the case, I have to wonder if it is necessarily a bad thing. Our generation excels in some other skills which I think could be equally important when one considers the growing prevalence of social media and other forms of communication. For instance, I would argue that our generation is quick to learn and adopt new technologies and forms of communication. The argument has always seemed to me to be of the form:
    1. Our generation is not properly learning social skills due to the prevalence of social media and new (more removed) forms of communication.
    2. Our generation will therefore underperform in our careers and lives because of this lack of social education.
    I think the underlying premise here is that “the environment into which we will enter will remain the same” and I strongly disagree with this. As our generation enters into the workforce, we will see a societal shift in which more of our personal and professional lives take place online and in which more and more business is conducted through social media. For this reason, I would concede that it might be true that our social skills are changing, perhaps even deteriorating, but I believe this chance is large enough that it will not leave us at some great disadvantage.

  5. Jordi says:

    I didn’t know it started with lawyers! Neat.

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