Ever since the semester began, I have been maintaining this very EDM 310 blog. I also read Christie Love's blog to see how her experiences were both similar and different to mine. Let me begin by saying that I believe blogs can be a very valuable educational tool. Students are able to complete a variety of tasks on their own time and expose themselves to a great deal of media. Not only does a blog stimulate learning in the subject being taught, it also encourages a student's overall computer literacy.
Many of my favorite tasks on the blog were those in which we had to read an article and post our reaction. It is interesting to look at both Christie's blog and mine and see how our opinions have differed. In response to Karl Fisch's claim that there is nothing worse than being a technologically illiterate teacher, Christie wholeheartedly agrees. She writes, "I can really say that I agree 100% with Karl Fisch about teachers that are illiterate to technology." On the other hand, I thought his statement was a bit too harsh. Christie also has a much more unforgiving view regarding the use of Wikipedia. She says, "I will never use wikipedia for any of my classes or personal use," while I feel that there are some situations where Wikipedia could be helpful.
Another potential benefit of the blog is that it provides a place where multimedia can be displayed. I enjoyed the "About me" presentations done in class and they can now be viewed directly on the blog. Students can also create audio or video clips and post them in the same way. I am a huge proponent of interactive classroom projects and think this would be an interesting way to display them to the world. Many of the classroom blogs I researched for my previous post took a concept or required reading from class and encouraged the students to make a creative endeavor out of it, whether through drawings, poetry, or even photography.
The biggest drawback I see to using blogs in the classroom is access to computers. In college, it is easy to make access to a personal computer mandatory. Each department has its own computer lab and students can easily access any program they need. I am actually sitting in the student center at the moment completing this assignment. Public schools are different. There are still families who can't afford personal computers and devoting class time is often difficult as many students are vying for limited resources. I would possibly have to offer an alternative project for students who were unable to complete the blog because of limited home computer access. However, as computers become even cheaper and increase in popularity, I could totally see myself incorporating a blog into my future classroom.