As researchers Nicole B. Ellison and Yuehua Wu (2008) state, “Many educators are excited by the potential for new Internet technologies, such as blogs . . . to reinvigorate student engagement and learning” (p. 100). In this technologically driven era, how do new tools like online blogs actually aid students and teachers in the classroom setting? And more specifically, does blogging help to facilitate better student writing?
In their study, Blogging in the classroom: A preliminary exploration of student attitudes and impact on comprehension, Ellison and Wu claim that “millennial-learners”, students aged 8-18, are so involved in, and engaged with, media and technology that they may “respond more positively to teaching practices that incorporate these tools” (p. 100). One of these tools is the blog, or personal web log. Different from a normal journal or diary, which is typically written in private, one of the most unique features of the blog is public audience. While privacy settings can be customized, the majority of blogs are viewable by anyone with access to the Internet. Further, those reading a blog are also permitted, and often encouraged, to comment on the content. Due not only to the personal nature of blogging, but also the opportunity that students have to give and receive feedback on each other’s work, blogs offer educators a unique and practical tool for the teaching process, particularly in the area of writing.
This article first appeared in the Summer 2013 issue of TILT Magazine ~ Therapeutic Innovations in Light of Technology.
Click here to read the entire PDF version of The Benefits of Blogging for Better Student Writing: a Review article.
Jessica L. Scott-Reid has bachelor’s degree in communications and is a recent master’s graduate in the fields of integrated and cultural studies. She works as a freelance writer, including a weekly national column for Notable.ca, and blog for the expat site The German Way and More.
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