Blogs are not only great tools for personal reflection and sharing opinions but they can also be used effectively in the delivery of formal curricula and can boost student communication skills.
At ICS, we are seeing good initial practice emerging, where teachers are guiding students on how they can effectively utilise blogging for their learning.
But how do we see this benefiting learning in the long term?
• The information in a blog is accessible 24/7 and could be used for revision and reflection and as evidence for learning and assessment
• Students can use blogs to develop their e-portfolios
• Reading the blogs will allow the teacher to get feedback of what the students have understood or misunderstood and also what has motivated them. This will allow the teacher to structure the lessons to assist more personalised learning; students can also learn from their peers and take control of their own learning
• Quiet or shy students and those who have English as a second language can blog at their own pace
• Blogging could be used as a catalyst for sharing opinions by all students and could encourage students to explore their comments in face-to-face discussions
• Finally, we expect students to enjoy and have fun whilst blogging which can enhance their overall performance and achievements
The pilot blogging case studies have been very encouraging. Initially, teachers created blogs for publishing students’ work and comments. The published examples of students’ work and students’ comments have been used for reflection and provided evidence for student learning. For example, the MYP 2 English group have been using their netbooks to work on a Glogster multimedia poster for their English lessons this term.
An excellent example for using blogging for project development and reflection is the E-safety Project Blog created by the Director of ICT and teams.
Given the success of these initial schemes, we will be looking to incorporate blogging more widely across the school and will certainly be keeping track of its impact on our students' learning.
Dr Katya Toneva: Director of ICT and Maryam Thawfeega: English Teacher, International Community School