To Blog or Not To Blog?

About this Project

Although this project, at this current point in time, is part of my course project for "Current Topics in Assessment & Technology" offered through UVM with Prof. Jon Bellum, it is really a stage in my journey of fascination with the impact of emerging technology on society, but especially education. Many technological and social changes have occurred since my first experiments with blogs in education (almost 5 years ago). These changes have both increased my enthusiasm for the potential that blogging tools bring to education, and also increased my worry about some of the safety issues related to the increase in blogging in our culture (especially amongst teens). My recent presentation on blogs in education at VermontFest 2005
brought forward many questions about the role blogs could or should have in education.

Collegial discussions and online research revealed that I wasn't the only one reflecting on these questions. Thus I designed a project that would help me clarify my own thoughts and feelings on this topic, as well as assist others through the process. Thanks ahead of time to those who are willing to be part of my 'research'; not only will your participation help myself and others get a pulse on the current thinking around blogs in education, but hopefully you will get a chance to gain a clearer understanding of the issues related to blogging in education and assess your own feelings about what roles blogs should play in our educational community.

This project includes an Inquiry Project Design that any educational community or Professional Development Instructor can follow as a guide to replicate this process in their course or educational community.

In late December, I will post a link to the Action Research Paper that describes the Questions, Methods, and Outcomes of my implementation of inquiry in my educational community.

To those who participated, thanks very much!

Step 1 - Pre Assessment

Steps 1.

If you are a student, proceed directly to Step 5.

If you are

a. Tech savvy educator (i.e. tech integration specialist, early adopters, etc)
b. Other educators
c. School administrators
d. Parents and/or School Community Members

Take a look at the 2 graphics on this page,
then complete a short -pre survey to assess your preconceptions of blogs in education.

Step 2 Face to Face Discussion About Blogging

If possible, participants will increase their knowledge about blogs and some of the issues related to blogs by participating in a face to face awareness raising session about blogs, then proceed to step 3.

If participants are doing this remotely and it is not possible to attend a face to face discussion, then participants should take some time to skim the following articles

Participants should also explore some real live examples of blogs in education (these are elementary, but there are lots of high school examples in the next section on Blogs in Education.

4th grade teacher blogs

7th grader teacher blogs

Science teacher blog

Step 3 - Examining Online Resources

Participants will browse through online collection of resources about bloggings in educaction. Skim through the resources and click on the ones that most interest you. (Do not look at any of the resources in depth. Do not spend more than 15 - 30 minutes on this section during this phase of the project. Set a timer for 20 minutes or so, and then go on to Step 4. (post survey). You will then be given another link to these resources for you to book mark when you complete the survey (this link will use Furl to provide you with advanced search features)

Step 4 - Online Post-Survey

Complete a brief online post-survey that ask you similar questions to those you answered in the pre-assessment.

AFter you have finished the post survey, feel free to explore the following collection of online resources about Blogging in Education created using Explore it by using different Filters and Search features to find what most interest you. Check out related FURLed sites. Soon you will see this collection expand to include other Communication and Collaboration technology tools.

Step 5 Getting students in the dialogue.

If you are a teacher that will be leading student paticipation, you should follow these directions.

1. Hold a focus group or discussion about blogging to raise awareness around some of the issues related to blogging. Perhaps click on some of the sites that you think might be good prompts with the discussion.
ie. the PEW survey on teens as content producers, or one of the safety articles.
Preview at least one of the articles in Blogs in Education section below.

2. You can then allow students to explore some of the other links on this page (how long will depend on the time you have available and the time you spent the discussion. You decide which is the best approach)

3. Most important - have your students take the "student survey". If you would like to see results from a group of students (i.e students from your class).. create a unique code to give the students and have them enter it in the optional field on the survey. This will allow you to look at the results as a whole, and then see only your group of students.

If you would like a copy of the results from your group of students, send me an email (lucie (at) ) and I'll send you a link to the results.

Thanks you so much for participating.

Blogging Culture

Blogging Tools, Tips, Tricks

Blogging in Education (Examples and Discussions)

Blogging Safety, Security, and Other Issues

Blogging As Professional Development (About Education)

Blogging As Curricular Content e.g.