Harnessing web 2.0 for learners

Great summary of ideas from George Siemens on using social networking to improve the learner experience. The first is 

 Create a class blog…have students blog   

We have got students blogging as part of our new H809 course and it’s great to see their posts and comments on each others’ blogs. I have set up a folder of RSS feed alerts with the blogs and we have a summary of the blogs in the course wiki, but it would be interesting to hear from the students how they are finding using the blogs on the course and how they are managing to keep alert (or not!) to postings.  

6 Responses to “Harnessing web 2.0 for learners”

  1. John Says:

    The blog feels to me like a halfway step to publishing…so it’s not so much of a place for collaboration as forums or a wiki. The authors of blogs basically present themselves rather than negotiating to make a shared result.
    There’s an opinion in the Moodle community that allowing commenting on blogs could mean that what should be group forum discussions get taken away into a corner on someone’s blog. I don’t think that’s happened in H809 yet.

    I hope everyone’s blog is in my bloglines H809 folder:
    So seeing what’s new is very easy.

  2. Gráinne Says:

    Hi John good observations. Yes I think a blog is primarily one voice but the commenting facility is really important to my mind. We were worried about the balance of the discussions in the forums and on the blogs precisely for the reasons you outline and I am glad to hear you feel that the blogs haven’t yet distracted from the forum discussions. They serve different purposes to my mind and that’s why we wanted folk on H809 to get a feel for both and make their own judgement on the merits of each.

  3. Eckart Says:

    I enjoy blogging in this course. Like John said it’s half way step to publishing. You write some things only for yourself. A point you would never put in a discussion forum, but it’s in your mind. And then someone comments on it. That’s nice.
    A blog can’t replace a discussion forum. The discussion on a blog is mostly short, seldom more than two comments, before it moves to another place (blog or forum). In the TGF we have much longer threads.
    Other point, and I wonder what do you think about, is possible pressure to read all or even a lot of all this stuff.

  4. Gráinne Says:

    Hi Eckart nice summary of the distinction between blogging and forums - I also think they serve different purposes. i agree with you also that there is somehow a freedom about blogging. It seems easier somehow as you say to post things in a blog that you might not be willing to put on a forum - I guess its because the blog is semi-publishing/semi-self reflection. I have actually been really surprised by how much I am enjoying blogging, its somehow functions as a new and useful form of communication for me and its great to get comments on posts and know that people are actually reading the stuff!!! I always found trying to keep up a professional web presence a bit of a drag but now with this site I find it much easier and also find its acting as a useful repository of stuff! I was even able to text one of the other H809 course team members this saturday because she didn’t have the course site URL to hand, and I realised that I’d bookmarked the site you’ve set up for H809!

  5. Eckart Says:

    Hi Grainne
    Interesting further aspect of student blogs observed!
    Look here:

    A scientist from New Zealand comments on Col’s blog.
    Very interesting feature inside a course.

  6. Gráinne Says:

    Excellent stuff!! :-)

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