Following Deborah’s guide, the process of creating my blog moves smoothly. My colleagues also help me a great deal through their comments in the discussion board and through visiting their blogs. Actually, this is not the first time to blog. I created one before, but as I created it I stopped blogging. May be because there is no set goals for making use of it in my classrooms. Or because there are no clear instructions to create and use it effectively. This is what I found this time with Deborah. Sometimes, direct instruction is valuable as it builds a solid ground for doing tasks. Her scaffolding makes me on the right track.
The term Scaffolding was developed by Vygotsky. It is one of the social constructivism theory strategies. According to Peregoy & Boyle (1997: 80), scaffolds are “temporary supports, provided by capable people, that permit learners to participate in the complex process before they are able to do so unassisted. Once proficiency is achieved, the scaffold is no longer needed, and may be dropped.”
If we analyze this quotation, we will find that Deborah is our scaffolder. She gives us hand whenever we need it. As soon as we manage to do tasks individually, she leaves us to move alone.
This is related to the use of blogs in our classrooms. Through reading the course additional resources about blogs, I found three types: tutor blog, learner blog and class blog according to Campbell (2003). Available online at: http://iteslj/Techniques/Campbell-Weblogs.html.
I can create a tutor blog for my students. I can put some topics or links. I ask them to read these topics and analyze, evaluate and create their own ideas. I mean I can develop my students’ higher order thinking skills (HOTS). These skills are, according to revised Bloom’s taxonomy, analyzing, evaluating and creating (See Solomon & Schrum, 2007: 36). We focus a lot on LOTS (Lower order thinking skills – Remembering, Understanding and Applying) in our classrooms. Blogs provide students to practice the HOTS effectively.
Another area can be developed by bogs is writing. I can ask my students to work collaboratively and each group or pair creates a blog. They can write about their experiences, feelings, … etc. They can write, edit, and publish. I think it will be a great experience for them because they write for authentic audience, either their peers or other people.
Here is a video that emphasizes the need to more tools than just pencils and paper to teach writing in the 21 st century:
I’m sure that there are many areas in teaching English we can develop by blogs.
I can see that in my coursemates blogs.
Peregoy, S. & Boyle, F. (1997). Reading, Writing & Learning in ESL: A resource Book for K-12 Teachers. 2nd ed. New York: Longman.
Solomon, G. & Schrum, L. (2007). Web 2.0 new tools, new schools. Washington, DC: International Society for Technology in Education.