Friday, April 07, 2006

A Proposal for Research in Blogging

I am about to start a new blogging project with my English Teaching Methodologies III class. But I am not sure as to whether or not to have one class blogs that all students contribute to like M-Hetherington does or to have students create their own blogs like I did last year. I am also depating whether or not to use blogger or switch to James Farmer's Learner Blogs . Each option, group blogs or individual blogs, blogger or Learner Blogs, has is pluses and minuses (See Aaron Campbell's Comparative Review of Common Blogging Applications.
I am curios as to what other educators are doing. I think a survey of a number of teachers who use blogs in their class would be helpful to help practitioners like myself learn how other teachers employ blogging in their classes and also how other teachers have employed their blogging applications. Does such a survey exist? If not, would anyone be interested in doing one?

2 comments:

Graham said...

Hi Jamie

I've previously used lots of Blogger blogs with students, but after playing with Edublogs, I think I'd definitley recommend you go that way - in fact, James has set up another site specifically for eslblogs

As well as supporting the edublogging community, I think you'll find that Wordpress is a far better and more powerful tool for student blogging, and you'll also get less spam.

The next student blogging project I run will be in this way.

JH said...

Graham,
Thanks for the feedback. I too played around with Edublogs the other day and agree with you that it is much more powerful than blogger. I will switch over some day. I chose blogger for my new student blogging project, and the main reason why was because it is easier for me to walk students through blogger than edublogs and we do not have enough time to play around with edublogs and also cover what we want to in class. My only complaint about edublogs was that it was very difficult to erase my blog roll. I accidentally uploaded the wrong OPML file and had about 50 links on my blogroll I did not need. There was no way (that I could tell) of erasing all the links at once and I could not directly edit the template. It took me a LONG time to delete all the links one by one.
Also, sometimes edublogs seem to be temporarily down and I worried that if it happened to be down what I planned to use the blogs in class we would be in big trouble. Nevertheless, Blogger's weak points are much bigger: no tags for posts and no way to track the comments of a post. That means that once I get more comfortable with edublogs I will probably switch.
Lastly, I really appreciate James Farmer's public service in creating this blogging platform for educators to use for free.