I’m not the only one thinking about this!

Over at Open Education there is a post about using blogs with students.  This post, like mine did, refers to Avoiding the 5 Most Common Mistakes in Using Blogs with Students.  The comment on Open Education that makes me think most is this:

Also, teachers need to be clear that a blog is an individualized tool for one learner. Yes, students can leave comments on a colleague’s blog that represent a reflection of the material presented. But if a teacher is seeking reactions from a collective group the tool to use would be a wiki or a discussion forum. In essence, teachers must select the proper tool for the task.

I think this is another part of the question that bothers me.  Even when I have blogged as part of a TESOL Electronic Village Online session, the blog has been mine.  I have written as an individual about things that were of interest to me.  I may have had tasks that I was supposed to complete and blog about, but the actual post and even whether or not I posted were up to me. And it wasn’t graded.

I am already planning to use a wiki for the courses next semester, and I am real comfortable with that.  I have used wikis with my students pretty successfully before — much more successfully than I have used blogs.  I wanted to branch out, to give students more technology.  But I am not sure if there is a real reason to do so.

If I can do what I want to do with the wiki, should I find a way to use blogs, too?  If I have students post their final drafts for grading to WebCT rather than to a blog, is it “bad”?  If I don’t have them post them anywhere, is it OK?

I think I am worrying too much about this right now.  But it is interesting to me how I keep running into the topic and, as a result, rethinking my stand.  It is good, part of the reflective process that blogging is for me.


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