Would I use a blog in a classroom?


I love the idea of using a blog because it’s much more engaging than an online forum like Moodle or Blackboard. I’ve used Moodle in classes here at IUP and I used a system that had a Blackboard-type interface at a CC where I taught, and both situations did not seem to elicit the type of community involvement as I would have liked as a teacher/student.

However, in both of Dr. Heflin’s classes that I’ve taken (Women’s Literature and Literature as a Profession), we used a class WordPress blog, but neither time did the blog develop into something where the students felt like they had ownership over the blog or that it developed into something where students would post/comment when unguided.

These are the concerns about having a class blog. What happens when students simply rely on us, as teachers, to guide them to post? From a pedagogical perspective, how do we guide them toward posting without direct guidance/questions/etc.?

However, I think that the purpose of a blog for a class can overcome this obstacles because continuing the discussion outside of class is very important and it allows for students who do not normally speak in class to offer their own thoughts. Maybe having students create their own tags and put things in categories would help with their engagement in the blog. Maybe part of the issue with commenting/posting without guidance is that sometimes it is difficult to read through 20 blog posts everyday, but if they were organized in a way that made it easier to read, then students may be more likely to read others’ writing and comment on the blog.