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Blogging: Learning Blogs - The Purpose

Blogs are a great tool for teaching and learning. This section explores the steps in creating blogs for teaching and learning including The Blogger, The Audience, and The Purpose and Learning Outcomes.

Use blogs to:

The Blogger

Begin by identifying the blogger. Will the teacher host the blog or will students direct activities? Will each student host their own blog or will they share the responsibility?

The Audience

What's the primary and secondary audience of the blog? Is it intended for use inside or outside the classroom? Are the bloggers writing for themselves or a particular audience?

The Purpose and Learning Outcomes

What's the purpose of the blog? Why is the blog format being used?

Learning Outcome. What are the specific learning outcomes? What's the objective of the lesson(s)? What standards are being addressed? When used in teaching and learning, the educational outcomes must be clear to the students.

Information. What information will be shared? Where will this information originate? Most blogs are used to share information including facts, data, statistics, links to other resources, opinions, and much more. In addition to text, the blog could contain udio, video, and visuals.

Process or Product. Is the blog mostly about process or product? Blogs are often used by teachers as a tool to document the information inquiry process.

Reflection. Blogs can be used as a metacognitive tool to help people think about their life or learning. These reflections may be intended for themselves, their classmates, or the world.

Interaction. Some blogs focus on communication between the person posting the entry and the people making comments. The responses may include additional information, expanded ideas, or critiques. Sometimes the most important aspect of the blog is questioning. With young children, the interaction is often between the child and the teacher. See Mrs. Atwood's First Grade Blog.

Assessment. Do the learning outcomes match the assessment? Sometimes blogs are used as a tool for assesssment to check student understanding. Bloggers may be asked to state facts, analyze an article, or express their understandings.

Explore the following two blogs. Can you identify the blogger, audience, and purposes/learning outcomes?

The Secret Life of Bees
- Modern American Literature students created a reader study guide based on the book The Secret Life of Bees. The students even interacted with the book's author. Also, see Sue Monk Kidd's journal.


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