Old Blog, New Clicks

Updated: 19 hours ago

Blogs have come a long way since Justin Hall created the first one in 1994 on Links.net. There are now well over four hundred million blogs on SquareSpace, WordPress, and Tumblr alone (Notre Dame of Maryland University, 2018). These blogs range from personal journals, to sharing life experiences with the public, to citizen reporting on a variety of topics. But how can blogs be used in the learning environment to expand the knowledge and skills of our learners?


While blogs can be a great place to share your favorite chocolate chip recipe, they're also an ideal medium for instructors to introduce learners to new topics, share information and materials, post announcements, and link to useful resources. More importantly, blogs are also a useful tool for learners to enhance essential skills such as critical thinking, reflecting, and curating content in the forms of e-portfolios, digital media, and open journals (American College of Education, 2022). In addition to content-specific learning, blogs also provide an opportunity for learners to improve their writing ability in a collaborative learning space (Sahin-Tolapcengiz & Yildrim, 2020, p 562).

"All learning is social and emotional" - Nancy Frey

Perhaps the most important benefit of blogs is that it supports learning in the social environment. Having learners blog reflections and share out information and resources that supported their learning supports the social constructivist approach to learning and development (Abdul & Tasir, 2020, p. 188). Nancy Frey tells us that "All learning is social and emotional" (Frey et all, 2019). Including opportunities for learners to interact with each other, whether we are working with adults or children, makes the learning process more meaningful and engaging for all.


So, find that old blog of yours that you've neglected for years, it's time to get it some new clicks.


And for what it's worth, I recommend those new clicks will go down best when accompanied by some warm cookies and a glass of milk.

References

Abdul Kadir, N. I., & Tasir, Z. (2020). Students’ perceptions and information-sharing patterns in learning authoring system course through blogging. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning, 15(19), 187–199. https://doi.org/10.3991/ijet.v15i19.10950 American College of Education. (2022). DL5763 Trends in instructional design: Module 1 [Designing a blog presentation]. Canvas. https://ace.instructure.com/courses/1843213/external_tools/118428 Frey, N., Fisher, D., & Smith, D. (2019). All Learning Is Social and Emotional: Helping Students Develop Essential Skills for the Classroom and Beyond. ASCD. Notre Dame of Maryland University. History of blogging: A blog timeline. (2018, March 22). NDMU Online. https://online.ndm.edu/news/communication/history-of-blogging/ Sahin-Topalcengiz, E., & Yildirim, B. (2020). Teachers’ opinions about distance Web 2.0 tools training and teachers’ in-class Web 2.0 practices. Journal of Turkish Science Education, 17(4), 561–577.


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