Chapters 3 & 8 – Blogs, Multimedia, and the Classroom

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If a teacher plans to bring technology into their classroom, it is important for them to be the first student.  Teachers need to be sure they can use blogs, podcasts, and other technology before asking their students to use them.  However, with how quickly technology is changing, this can be a difficult task.

In chapter 3, Richardson posits that blogs are one of the best tools a teacher can use in the classroom.  I can see their potential.  It creates more avenues of collaboration, feedback, quick responses, and extending a topic beyond the classroom.  But I think it can also be detrimental in the classroom as well.  Richardson stresses that blogging can bring in and utilizing a larger, more diverse audience.  While that has its positives, it can also be dangerous or intimidating for students.

In chapter 8, Richardson introduces podcasting and video streaming as other technologies that can be useful in the classroom.  Like with blogs, it has its advantages and disadvantages.  Richardson points out that it is quick and easy to record and publish your thoughts.  However, that speed could be to the detriment of thoughtful consideration.  Do you really want to address the topic that way?  Once that thought is published, there really is no way to remove it (the internet never forgets).

With both blogs and multimedia tools (podcasting, video streaming), I think it is important to stress to students the importance of being thoughtful of what they are putting out there.  Is what you wrote/recorded what you really want to say?  Is there anything that needs to be clarified?  Students should be encouraged to put just as much thought into their postings as they would in a traditional essay or class speech.

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6 thoughts on “Chapters 3 & 8 – Blogs, Multimedia, and the Classroom

  1. Abby Lenneberg

    I thought that Richardson made some compelling arguments for blogs and podcasts. I agree that the idea of expanding the classroom walls and reaching a larger audience is a good idea in theory but can have terrible consequences. How do you think we can extended the reach of our classroom without putting ourselves in danger?

    • I think we can extend our reach without putting ourselves or our students in danger by keeping a watchful eye on who is accessing the material and what students are posting. We obviously can’t control what students post on their personal Facebook pages/personal blogs/whatever, but with class-based technology, we can create certain boundaries that protect students without dampening their creativity and self expression.

  2. Steve

    I agree that it is important for students to have a sense of context for their writing. When can they be informal? When should they be more thoughtful? Blogs & podcasts can be used more academically or informally, depending on how the teacher structures the activity.

    • I think students can have a bit of informality in their blog posts. They should be posting with complete sentences (and sentences that begin with capital letters). I think their posts should be in their voice, but without it being too full of slang. Posts like that should be reserved for personal blogs, ones that aren’t tied to class activities. And I think students should be especially thoughtful when it comes to things like reading/lecture responses. There should be a level of thought on all their posts, especially if there is anything in the post that could identify them.

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