Well, in terms of how to create a blog, this week added nothing to my blogging knowledge and skill, not like many who happened to be complete newbies in the blogging sphere.As for the discussion about blogging, It was an amazingly full of "food for thought", in terms of the different opinions, perspectives and experiences on how blogs can/were/could be used. It is this fruitful interaction that leads to the intellectual feeding of my brain!http://tinyurl.com/yby5zlu
The topic raised by Ruslana which made me Google about is the one about gender and blogging. Unfortunately, I didn't much up-to-date information about it. This is makes me eager to know more. Maybe it could be my first project/paper after I get my PhD:-))
I would like to quote my final comments that I posted on t Nicenet, as I find them conclude what I took out with me from this week.
I believe that we, teachers, need to know the details about blogs, as well as the big picture, before we start using them with our students. This is also applies to any usage of any tech tools before the integrating process. Using blogs for different areas of language study/learning appears agreed by all of us. However, what is important, as Pete Sharma (2009) highlights, is "the pedagogical reasons for using it". "Whenever a new technology emerges ... it is important to go beyond the 'wow' factor and think about the pedagogical reasons for using it".
It's more important that we know why we are blogging, and make that clear to our students too. They have the right from the beginning to know why they are blogging and what to blog about. Too much focus on adding images, colors, widgets on the class blog will lead to loosing the objective targeted by the teacher.
Thus, what I've learned from all of you is that, in addition to blogs and their potentials to enhance students' engagement, they also encourage them to communicate beyond the classroom walls, encourage creativity and critical thinking.
To conclude, Pete Sharma said, about using Twitter, "if you wait for a case study to justify whether or not Twitter has value, you may be waiting a long time, and the technology will have moved on by the time the research has been done".
I recommend you to read the four key principles discussed by Sharma and his co-author which can help teachers implement technology.
Using Blogs in the Foreign Language Classroom: Encouraging Learner Independence