Sunday, February 13, 2011

Why Blog

Why Blog?
This is a post for my JHU Technology and the  Science of Educators (Spring 2011) course. I was trying to decide how to present information about what a blog is and I decided that what better way than to do it than within a blog post! Plus I can encourage folks to respond to my blog, since they are getting graded on their class participation. (of course anyone out there in the blogosphere is welcome to comment as well) Wow, I love the power of being in education ;)

Explore some blogs (You can take a look at the blogs I have tagged on www.delicious.com )
Make some observations about some of the blogs you look at:
You might comment on any (you don't have to comment on all!) of the following:

* What do you see as common components of all/most of these blogs?
* What are some things that may be very different from one blog to another?
* What are some of the audiences for these blogs?
* What are some of the purposes for these blogs? * What are the tone of the blogs?
* Are all blogs equal? Why or why not?
* What other comments do you have about these blogs? (Remember you will be choosing a blog to follow for 2 weeks--it can be any of these or any other blog related to your educational interests)
* How are these education related blogs similar or different from any blogs you may have looked at on a more personal interest level (ie, politics, news, sports, etc)

11 comments:

Timothy Lau said...

A common component of most of the blogs I have seen is their platforms i.e., blogger, wordpress, tumblr, and posterous.

Some things that are different from one blog to another are the intended audiences, referenced sites, and embedded gadgets.

Some of the audiences for these blogs are industry insiders, media synthesizers, family content sharers, and working professionals.

The tone of some blogs range from journalistic seriousness to a cartoonistic humor.

Yes and no, all blogs are equal. Yes because they are all composed of the same markup language and are used on the same interface i.e. world wide web, and no because they are all different in content and purpose.

Tom Polk said...

In the most basic elemental way, we could say that all blogs are the same - because they are all blogs. They form out of one person's interest or a collection of people's joint interest to voice opinions, extend knowledge, and share information with an exceedingly large (and growing) population. But, given the variety of interests that exist in the world, I would say that no two blogs are alike. We will all approach topics differently and our publications will reflect our individuality, if only in minor ways. We will reach out to different audiences, and we will have different purposes for communicating to those audiences. So, I will agree with Timothy here, and say that the answer is "yes and no" - all blogs are the same, but no two blogs are alike.

Tiffany Howard said...

The common thread with all the blogs I viewed is that their focus in education. This was interesting to me because I know that you are a Speech Pathologist by training. Initially I thought that some of the blogs you chose would bridge technology, education, and related service. I think as someone who thinks of my profession first (I am an Occupational Therapist) and then as someone in the technology field right now I would look for blogs that bridge both areas. However, as I learn more about technology integration I will look at a larger array of blogs.

A similarity between some of the blogs is that they cater to other professionals. Langwitches incorporates video, and makes the information more like a “how to” guide. Dangerously Irrelevant is geared towards those with an interest in technology leadership. Gifted Exchange provides information about educating gifted students. They are each different, but each give you the ability to find out more information about the topic via videos, links to other websites, etc.

Hilliary Googash said...

All blogs seem to be the same on the outside. They provide an opportunity for the author to share his/her outlook on a topic and the opportunity for readers to participate in the conversation. Blogs differ in the content and the intended audience. There are blogs for a wide variety of audiences. I have seen blogs for educators, moms, gardeners, do it yourself decorators, gamers and many others. The topic determines the audience. I have mostly spent time reading blogs written by friends and family members. Following education related blogs seems like a great way to gather new ideas and resources.

Beth Poss said...

Tiffany,
In both my school based work and my work in higher education, I have moved more into looking at education in general in the blogs that I follow. Not that I don't follow a number of AT/SLP blogs, but I tend to be most intrigued by some others. I can give you a list of some great Special Ed focused blogs, though--one of my favorites is http://teachinglearnerswithmultipleneeds.blogspot.com/ a blog written by a very dedicated Special Ed teacher, Kate Ahern.

Yolanda Langhorne said...

After perusing several of the blogs on Delicious, I have come to realize there is so much that I am missing. Most blogs that I looked at were very different in content. One blog spoke of geographic news that would be of student's interest while another had a student posting of how her life paralleled Oedipus. By far the most interesting to me were the ones that teachers posted with heir students assignments and work. Even though I was not sure what the assignment entailed all the time, I enjoyed looking at the works of art and projects that students had. To know that a 4th grader knew how to blog and I had no clue was quite embarrassing though. I would have definitely failed that category on Are you Smarter than a Fifth Grader!

All though the blogs I saw were vastly different, there as one obvious commonality, the freedom of speech. The blogs enabled student to freely express themselves in numerous ways. One student was explaining why she didn't think it was necessary to do more with her summer vacation while another was explaining the tragedies of a student's life. There was even a blog where the students critiqued other students blogs on quality and content. Students had the opportunity to explain why the blog comment was either a good comment or needed more work. Blogging is a perfect tool for students who are afraid to speak out in class, since just like emails, its easier to type it then to speak it in person. Unfortunately, BCPSS strictly bans social networking all together. Most teachers use Blackboard the primary method of electronic communication. Personally I think that Baltimore City students could benefit from this the most since they are already adept to using the technology. It would drastically increase participation if students had the opportunity to blog their responses.

Shannan S said...

So far my classmates have noted that the sample blogs show differences in intended audiences, including educators, students, and parents. After reading Anne Davis’ blogpost on the rationale for blogs in education, I had the collaborative nature of blogs in my mind. I noticed that depending on the intended audience, the blogs seemed to work differently in terms of collaboration.
Blogposts aimed at parents seemed to be more information delivery/sharing rather than collaborating. For example, in Mrs. Perry’s class blog, the posts for parents were used to deliver class updates and student work samples rather than to start a conversation. Blogposts aimed at students often presented a question (ex. Voyager class blog and some in Mrs. Perry’s class blog), allowing the comments to form the bulk of the post. In this way each post became a conversation, with guiding comments from the teacher figure- the students had the power to provide the information and the focus was less on the teacher “delivering” content. Finally when looking a the blogs aimed at educators/professionals I found that some fall into the collaborative group (ex. Dangerously Irrelevant) and others have the goal of delivering information rather than collaborating (ex. Gifted Exchange).

Mrs. Perry’s Class Blog was impressive and such free sharing/parent communication is a great way to use blogs. Do you think it would be good for teachers to open up “collaboratively” to parents? Maybe in this case the parents aren’t educated in blogging enough to post responses to student work or questions about classroom events?

Maryana Kolinchak said...

Why Blog?

Blogs are a massive library of resources on the Internet on any subject or interest. This library is accessible at one’s fingertips and one is instantly connected to groups of people who have the same interests and are specialists on the matter. Blogs are easier to use than a library and one can quickly become a "specialist" on the subject with a clear understanding various perspectives and up-to-date discoveries.

Blogs are all alike in their purpose – they provide a space for people to communicate. The spaces’ subject, décor and tone of communication differ. There are the fast food blogs which many different people visit where comments are short and frequent. There are the coffee shop blogs where the discussions are more thought out and common. Then there are fancy specialized restaurant blogs where professionals share the latest discoveries in their field with research and sources to back up their comments. There is a space for all types of people from family friendly joint blogs to college student pizzeria blogs.

Beth Poss said...

Maryana,
One thing to be cautious of when looking for expertise from a blog--remember there is no guarantee of reliability or validity, so be sure to use more than one source when using a blog as a means of research. I do use blogs all the time for research and especially to answer how to questions about technoology--just remember your information literacy skills :)
Beth

Beth Poss said...

It is challenging for us as forward thinking educators when our school districts do not allow us to easily use tools such as blogs either with students or even as professional development tools. Often intranet based or firewall safe tools such as Blackboard do have some options for blog like communication, so my advice is to try this type of tool and show how it is of value to your students--and how an even more open tool, such as a real blog could provide an even more authentic learning experience!

As far as blogging with parents, I think, as with any communication tool used with parents, training may be the key.

Maria said...

All of the blogs that I have visited are education-related, so educators are the intended audience. I have been impressed with the information and resources that have been given on most of the blogs. I tend to gravitate toward the ones that have real student project examples and/or videos given.