co-authored by Marianna Vivitsou, Ahmad Aljanazrah & Montaser Al-Halabi
Blogs entered the pedagogical landscape in the late ‘90s and have changed the way we understand web-based interaction and online communication. Now the users could set up a space to post and share ideas and arguments, research, teaching material, textual, visual and multimodal with the world. Those were the days when the blogosphere was a promising public sphere for many.
For progressive teachers, considering matters of student agency and engagement in the classroom, blogging is seen as an opportunity for more collaboration-oriented pedagogies. A pedagogy based on the principle of collaboration aims for engagement and allows student ownership of the narrative that emerges out of the writing process, more opportunities to articulate own voices, to become authors themselves, and co-authors in the process of the pedagogical narrative.
But how can collaborative blogging be possible when writing collaboratively and in public has proved to be challenging in many ways? More particularly, when it comes to blogging, not only does it take loads of time to maintain a blog, to thoroughly think and outline its posts, it also takes commitment to the purposes of writing and the intended audiences.
As well, as our experiences from integrating collaborative writing into our teachings show, blogging cannot be an end in itself. Integrating blogs into our curriculum needs to be linked with the overall purposes of the course and the needs of the students.
As Ahmad writes about blogging experiences in a newly developed course, part of a master’s program in education at Birzeit University in Palestine, students’ blogs have been used as assessment tools for- and of students’ learning. The course titled “Learning and teaching in the Digital Age” consisted of 15 sessions addressing the educational foundations of using Web 2.0 technologies in diverse educational settings. The course started by providing practical training for students on developing and sharing blogs and it was set as a part of the course assessment. Each student was provided 10 to 15 min at the end of each lecture to write two short paragraphs describing what was newly learned (if any) and to reflect on that learning.
this post has been co-authored by Marianna Vivitsou, Ahmad Aljanazrah & Montaser Al-HalabiContinue reading “Becoming active in the public sphere – Blogs and collaborative writing for pedagogical purposes”