This Digital Learning Assignment Help will critically appraise the effectiveness of blogging for secondary children age 12-15 years with regards to their education. It will present a research on the digital habits of secondary children and blogging which will be supported by relevant theory and texts. Then it will look at the educational intervention, blogging which will look back at the case study about blogging. This proposal will look at why blogging is a good idea in terms of pedagogy and how it works in practice. It will also look at critically appraise pedagogy and the changes required.
Jones and Hafner (2012) state that digital literacy is when knowing how to use media and technology where it influences what people do and the social networking relationships that are produced; the abilities of understanding and using information in different ways from a range of sources. Literacy is about reading and writing but is more complicated for instance, the ability to socialise on the internet. However Hockley (2012) argued that the new technologies are changing society on how they are living and communicating, where new skills are needed because of it, which educators have to make a decision about. Students need to be taught these new skills which are information, media and technology. Literacy is a must for students to achieve in education but due to the development of digital technology, learning new skills and literacies is vital.
Ofcom’s (2013) recent report on children’s media habits children are spending increasing amounts of time using digital media for a range of activities. Ofcom (2011) report showed that 12-15 year olds are on the internet as much as they watch TV; where it’s projected that they spend 17 hours a week on each media technology. In 2011 and onwards 50% increase for 12-15 year olds with a smartphone; 62% of 12-15 year old has a smartphone compared to 41% of them having it the year before, which is greater than the percentage of adults in the UK which is 45%. Also when it comes to social networking which children use a lot; 43% of 5-15 year olds possess social networking profile which increases it to 80% for 12-15 year olds (Ofcom 2011 report).
Nucci and Narvaez (2008) suggest that parents should get involved in their child’s media habits so that they can guide their child to prosocial programming, which means that digital media can be used appropriately for education and entertainment. Parents have the best chance of assisting their children towards developing suitable media habits. However Levinson (2013) argued majority of parents use digital media around the house and find it hard to unplug it due to needing it, for instance work. Due to this parents are not being good role models for their children in guiding them in how to live digital life in an appropriate way, especially how quickly children move on to different digital spaces and learn how to use them. White (2012, p.5) stated that “learners use of technology for both their academic and personal lives can be mapped against the concepts of Visitors and Residents, where each is a mode of behaviour, not necessarily a kind of individual”. Residents spend a lot of time on online who take part to upload their pictures, videos and materials where their necessity is using mobile devices; whereas visitors only come online to address needs officially, for instance to organise a meeting by sending an e-mail.
Blogging is mostly used for sharing personal information and that blogging is where information is put up which proves identities; for example 33% to 70% blogger’s identification information is put up, like their names (Guadagno et al, 2008). According to Kent (2008, p.32-40),
“both practitioners and academics are struggling to understand the value and consequences of blogs. Blogs have several major strengths including their usefulness as research tools, and their usefulness as message framing and persuasion tools. Given the centrality of research in public relations and the great potential of blogs as information gathering and environmental scanning tools, the research aspects of blogs seem to be the best place to start”.
Davies and Merchant (2009) gave an example on how blogs being used, which the teacher considers an amount of examples in supporting learning. For instance in a project children feedback on their peers work, which is guided by the class teacher who boosts children’s confidence in using their blogs as a source of material, by setting out hyperlinks for their work. This can be supported by Lai and Chen (2011) who mentioned that for education teachers are unable to avoid using blogs to give them support with their teaching. There are many teachers who have grasped the advantages of using blogs for settings in the educational department. For example; to make the teaching styles more varied and to lead to more successful role of communication among students and teachers, support to encourage discussions to be positive and interesting for children, also that it will develop and control children’s learning. Yet when children are set a task of collaborative learning with blogging such as making and posting a video, children would most likely spend a lot of time on form and less on content (Orlich et al, 2013).
Furthermore, Chu, Chan and Tiwari (2012, p.989) suggested with “collaborative learning, two or more people learn together through communication, negotiation, and production of materials”. The attention of social and intellectual is highlighted by both through collaborative learning and concentrating on the joint accountability. The consequence of peers working together has the habit of growing, is a vital aspect for education. Also that nurturing joint understandings; learning to think critically and building your knowledge for collaborative learning are adequate to achieve (Chu, Chan and Tiwari, 2012). This relates to Vygotsky’s (1896-1934 – cited in Martin, 2012, pp.171) social constructive theory,
“According to Vygotsky, students construct knowledge through social interactions with each other. Vygotsky was a social constructivist who believed that learners can and should use the input of others as they formulate their constructions and not rely solely on themselves”.
Vygotsky came up with the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) which it is a place where action happens where learners can find one’s way nonetheless with help from their teacher, or additional support from people and sources. With the ZPD, the lower level is when the learner undertakes things by themselves and the higher level is when support is needed to finish the duty (Martin, 2012). This is applicable in that, when learners work together they will learn more from their peers and that collaborative learning is necessary for education.
Moreover, there is problem is how much time teenagers spend online and on what they go on. Wilson (2010) stated that Pew’s findings on social networking in 2009 are that there is a rise from three years ago from 55% to 73% of teenagers who use the internet quite frequently. Yet only 14% of teenagers who go on the internet said they blog, which has gone down from three years ago which was 28%. Likewise, commenting on blogs has gone down since 2006 which was 76% to 52%. However more recent research from Madden et al (2013) suggests that on social media sites, there is a rise in teenagers putting their personal information on show. This is possibly due to the process of formation of the principles for teenagers now use and the standards that are shifting towards giving (showing). The personal information between 2006 and 2012, the profile teenagers frequently use, suggests it probably has been shared between the teenagers who use social media. The findings include, 79% in 2006 to 91% in 2012 put a picture of themselves, 49% to 71% in 2012 include the school they go to, 61% to 71% in 2012 include the town or city they live, 29% to 53% in 2012 include their e-mail address and 2% to 20% in 2012 include their phone number. Nevertheless Madden et al (2013) carried on to state that teenagers age 12-17 who go on Facebook 60% say profile is private which friends can only view, 25% say some of it is private where friends of those friends can view their profile and 14% say profile is hundred percent public.
Furthermore, Henson (2012) gave percentages on how teenagers communicate online; E-mail 93%, Phone 93%, Facebook 90%, YouTube 74% and Skype 47%, which shows that teenagers are really attached to social media. But the percentage between using e-mail and Facebook is 93% to 90%, which indicates that social networking is not stopping teenagers in using e-mails. Also that 50% of teenagers check their e-mails more than twice a day and 55% for Facebook. Yet teenagers do not just interact by e-mails they do go on other channels.
Rosen (2012) implied that instead of children writing in their textbooks or worksheets, it would be better if children’s writing could be viewed by other people from different places. Where their work can be viewed and read, by listeners and viewers collectively. With blogging in a school automatically pupils and teachers, the whole school community would feel excited to do it. There could be a moderator who could supervise on what to write and do, also reassuring everyone to take part and write comments. By writing comments it is a good way to get feedback from others and where pupils learn about constructive criticism, yet for this to happen a thinking process needs to take place with planning and support. This could be supported by the Educational Technology and Mobile Learning (2012) who stated that blogging is used in educational setting because it is has the possibility of being a useful tool. Since 2006 teachers have been using blogs for their teaching. Some of the factors of using blogging for education are that children would be motivated because they like to blog. Children’s literacy and communication theories are improved also bring a good relationship between students and teachers. Downes (2004) argued that blogs are used by teachers for a number of reasons. For example teachers use it give ideas on what sources to look at, also announcements about the lessons and assignments. What makes blogs more common to use is the possibility placing activities for instance writing statements and having feedback on them (Williams and Jacobs, 2004).
However Keesee (2012) argued that the disadvantages of blogging is that the public can see what you have done so privacy setting is needed, students do not like others to see their work and that paying close attention to students activity is vital; also that it takes time to update. These are some of the worries in the education department for teachers and students.
It must be concluded that blogs are used in educational settings to support teachers with lessons. Some teenagers like using blogs so are more motivated to do the tasks given. However is important that all blogs are private and can be viewed to the people taking part. By looking at the percentages of how many teenagers blog it indicates that majority do blog in some sense and that they prefer to blog. Also that blogging does introduce collaborative learning for students. In conclusion there is potential for using blogs both from the perspective of teachers as a tool for structuring learning and from the perspective of learners whose digital habits it seems to fit. The trick will be in transferring the social use of media into a learning domain.
Palfrey and Gasser (2008) suggested that when social digital technologies for instance bulletin boards came online after the 1980s, from then on the generation of teenagers, children and so on, know more about online technologies, are called digital natives. The skills, the digital natives have are quite remarkable but could aggravate you at some point, such as they do not write an e-mail professionally. However Bennett, Maton and Kervin (2008) argued that even though ‘digital natives’ skills and abilities on using technologies online are good there are problems that occur due to it. Current educational systems are outdated and need to change for the naturally ability students have with online information technology. Current students are not pleased on how they are being taught and that there needs to be a change on what is being taught and how.
Farkas (2012) stated that technologies such as blogging are beneficial for using in education which has a possibility of creating a better engaging learning environment. Blogs will help with student’s independence by providing them with their own learning space to develop their own knowledge inside a bigger community, which will give them the chance to motivate on their own learning. Also that blogging helps students to reflect what they learn, by looking back on what they have and others learning and experiences. Dirckinck-Holmfeld, Hodgson and McConnell (2012) argued that blogging has become a useful tool for teachers to use for online work sessions. Yet teachers might have their own understandings on how to go online whereas students might go through a harder time to write online and meet the criteria; also the hidden prospects that are formed in a wider digital cultural context. Nevertheless internet is used a lot in schools for teaching and learning strategies. This can be supported by Livingstone (2009, p.97) stated that “in 1998, only 17 per cent of UK schools were connected to the internet, quickly rising to 86 per cent by 2000, with an average of 60 computers connected to the internet per secondary school”. Also digital technologies are used within all aspects of education and in classroom practice.
Blogging for practices for any part in education is useful because it is linked to supporting students with their learning. For example students using a video blog by posting comments on specific content, they are letting themselves be exposed by others, students and teachers commenting, supporting and maybe giving decisions on their work. This is different strategy of practice on using a blog video, and a way in which it would support students on their learning, where they would meet their outcomes (Olofsson, Lindberg and Stodberg, 2011). However Robertson (2011) mentioned that students do not get involved enough when blogging, so it can dismisses the thought of blogging being an effective activity for learning. For teachers blogging is a useful tool to use for helping them with their professional learning where they can reflect back on their learning and that it’s beneficial for them to use blogs with their students (Byington, 2011).
Moreover, there are potential barriers for blogging such as, when you want to delete your blogs there has to be the consideration that other members of the community might find your blog as an important piece of an information source. Also that even though you may delete your material when you leave the school it does not mean that other people have already saved your material; and the major disadvantage of blogging is that the educational leader’s time is occupied, even on an eventful day (Stock, 2009). Warlick (2007) suggested that one of the barriers of blogs is the basic part of how open they are. When teaching it includes having valuable content and if the content is used further on the digital and network, it is much more valuable. But teachers must have control in some parts on the content of what the students will go on and material they build on, for students to use their skills to involve themselves with blogs. It is also worth noting that some students may have had the same abilities or skills for technology who might find it difficult to use and that not every student is going to like online activities. Also that learning is about the content not just learners and that getting all learners to participate in the methods are vital (Prensky, 2001).
Technology integration is not just about putting a hardware in a classroom because what is the point and what is it worth if computers are just added for extra activities? Technologies should be used pedagogically. It should be used to support with learning and discovering new experiences, develop student’s communication with the subjects they do. Also that students and teachers would like to use for learning; basically progress pedagogy (Earle, 2002). There are models that relate to technology integration. The George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF) (2007) stated that Dr. Ruben Puentudura gave the idea of the SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition) model, which is about reflecting on how we can combine using technology into our classrooms. They were,
“Redefinition – tech allows for the creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable, Modification – tech allows for significant task redesign, Augmentation – tech acts as a direct tool substitute, with functional improvement and Substitution – tech acts as a direct tool substitute, with no functional change”.
Also, The TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) model, is about providing a framework for educators in pursuing knowledge so that their teaching on technology is effective. The three parts for this model are Technological Knowledge (TK), Pedagogical Knowledge (PK) and Content Knowledge (CK). With them joining up together by circles, which becomes Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK), Technological Content Knowledge (TCK) and Pedagogical Content Knowledge. With all of them overlapped in the middle of the circle it is called the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK), (The George Lucas Educational Foundation, GLEF, 2007).
Koehler and Mishra (2009) stated “web-based technologies such as blogs or podcasts are designed for purposes of entertainment, communication, and social networking”. So teachers need to forget about making practical changes, and improve their skills on looking further on more known technologies, arrange them to change the ways in pedagogical practices take place. Deed and Edwards (2011) argued that students when doing a class task by putting up posts them did not really know much about blogging as a communication media. Even though all students were taking part their posts were not as successful as the teacher intended it to be. This indicated that most often there is not a clear system in the arrangement and that not enough collaborative knowledge on building the online conversation on ideas and opinions. Even though, blogs do support on learning such as thinking actively, learning and developing knowledge. What needs to be changed is that a teachers needs to make blogging more aware to students, make blogging effective for learning so that students would be willing to participate more and give better more knowledgeable posts where other students can learn from.
Technologies are built as sites for developing critical engagement for students which is done academically in a professional roles practice. By using these technologies such as blogs students will learn how to use them and most will find it better, easier to use to learn (Goodfellow and Lea, 2007). However Liew (2010) argued that some teenagers use school blogs to criticise and humiliate their teachers publicly. It is the teacher’s responsibility to make sure issues like this do not occur and students digital literacy practices should be done appropriately especially in the classroom learning environment. Yet blogs are useful to use for students and teachers but it is better suited to use for social presence in the community more than academically (Deng and Yuen, 2011). This indicates that using blogs is better to use for social networking sites. This brings onto what Boyd (2007) suggested, that the reason for teenagers to go on social networking sites for example Facebook and Myspace is be located and contribute in the social world. By putting up posts and blogs about themselves they are taking part in giving information about themselves. Writing comments, blogs so on about how they (teenagers) are feeling and what they are experiencing is what teenagers like to do, by telling their friends on these social networking sites. But it is vital that teenagers are educated and that adults leading them to the right way on social structures even though some adults are not really aware about it.
Overall, blogs are used a lot for education in the pedagogy classroom. Teachers are putting up blogs which relate to the subject matter which most students enjoy but not all. However it is discussed above that teachers need to make blogs more effective for learning and those students must be taught of how to use online activities safely and how to make their information or details private. Also the technology sites that are built for education should be used professionally in practice which will enhance students learning.
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