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December 29, 2006

Blogging in Education

Concurrent Session at EdTech 2006WHILE THUMBING through 20 A5 copybooks that contain my sum total of takeaway learning for 2006, I read Shel Israel's prediction for blogging as it relates to the field of education. Israel thinks "we will see increased numbers of teachers using social media, including blogs, to teach and communicate with students". That's happening without any formal direction in my third level realm and is reflected in my website statistics. A day out of academic session cuts a mimimum of 100 visitors, 20 of those returning visitors. In a sense, this blog has become part of the supplemental reading materials of the four college courses that I teach.

However, getting students to blog meaningfully means awarding academic credit for their posts and for their comments. That's a recurring topic at all third level Irish education conferences that we attend every May and June.

Shel Israel -- "Gartner says blogging to peak in 2007. I bet they're wrong."
Photos from Edtech events in Ireland.

x_ref153 edtechireland


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Thanks for the mention. I'm happy to see this conversation extend to Ireland. However, I do not understand what academic credit has to do with blogging as I see it used. I see blogging used as a teaching tool, the same way a book, a filmstrip or even a lecture would be used.

How do you see it?

I believe blogs are more than reading exercises. They also offer practical extensions of academic exercises in the public eye.

Several presentations during Edtech Ireland and DIT's e-elearning week last summer revealed in-class results concerning blogging. The conclusion--for blogging to yield effective discourse, the activity must be worth some form of academic credit. The best blogging by students enrolled in Irish colleges and universities occurred when those students received academic credit for both commenting on blogs and posting original work on their own blogs.

Niall Watts in DCU has some evolving research at the Masters Degree level that documents these findings.

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