Blogging Thursday, Jan 27 2011 

Learning about the history of blogging via Stephen Downs’ article “Educational Blogging” was interesting.  I was not aware that 9/11 was the impetus for blogging taking off as a means of communication.  Many pluses were discussed in regards to blogs and education.  Movable type was mentioned as allowing teachers to create blogs only accessible by an individual student and the teacher, providing an outlet for private feedback so a student doesn’t have to be called out in the classroom and the student can ask questions without fearing the reaction of classmates. 

Educators also benefit from the use of blogs.  It allows knowledge to be shared in a more immediate manner, without searching.  As described on page six of “New Media Technologies and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning” from the January 2009 issue of The Academic Commons Magazine, “It’s like continuously working with thousands of research associates around the world.”  In addition, blogs were mentioned to place academics in a more proactive role with media versus reacting or responding to their questions.

Below are the links for Stephen Downs’ article as well as Henry Jenkins’ blog about blogging in academia. 

http://henryjenkins.org/2008/04/why_academics_should_blog.html

http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Review/EDUCAUSEReviewMagazineVolume39/EducationalBlogging/157920

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Online Education Thursday, Jan 27 2011 

After reading “Through the Open Door: Open Courses as Research, Learning and Engagement by Dave Cormier and George Siemens as well as “New Media Technologies and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning” from the January 2009 issue of The Academic Commons Magazine many thoughts came to mind.

The creation of open courses on the web and other forms of online education are bringing about many questions into the education arena.  How will this impact higher education?  Is online better than traditional courses or vice versa?  There are certainly many considerations to be made as society enters a digital era.  How does online impact educators, students, society as a whole?  For students there are ups and downs…some students might be more inclined to participate in and impersonal electronic design where others might not participate as much given the option of not reading all of the posts.  Online allows for students to pace themselves as they need versus in a classroom setting where all of the students must wait until everyone understands the subject matter.  On the other hand, students lose the interpersonal experience with online classes.  A broader question being is this the beginning of a transition to a society that only interacts with others virtually instead of face to face?  What would that mean?  It might be a plus for the environment, but what happens to psychosocial development and the economy.  With open courses many professors could become unemployed as far fewer professors would be needed for instruction.  In addition, secondary teachers could find themselves out of work if more parents chose home schooling over public or private education with the availability of instruction from the best of every area of study online.