When people write in blogs, they expect responses or feed back from others. Blogging in education is not about merely completing an assignment, but more about the interactions and dialog that take place around the assignment. It connects people to one another, and not just student to teacher. Blogs are also used by many outside of education as a means to connect with others with similar interests. It allows people to be globally connected, even if they have never met face to face.
Blog reading is different from other types of reading in that it is done on a computer and, not only do you read what the blog page owner wrote, but you can read responses to what he or she blogged. It can also contain links to other sites and pages that help support the blogger's opinion. Once you find a blog page you like, you can follow it and read whenever the blogger posts. While working on this assignment, one of the blogs that I read was Is this SSR 2.0? by Mark Ahlness. Mark is a 3rd grade teacher and he was reflecting on the type of reading he did during SSR, which was check e-mail and read through the blogs he followed. So he tried something different, he let his students read blogs. They could not respond during SSR time, only read. He continued to offer blog reading as a choice during SSR and all the kids chose this format. When he asked them about it, they had insightful answers which he then loaded as a podcast to his blog. Here is that link too. SSR 2.0 - a podcast . I wonder how many of those students would go back to blogs they had read during SSR either during writing or when at home so they could respond to a post?I think this would be a wonderful option to offer to students. Reading of blogs can also be considered similar to other types of reading due in part to the array of subject choices. One can find blogs on cooking, reading, fishing, gaming, math, history and so on. The choices are virtually endless.
The words Will Richardson used in Blogs, Wikis, and Podcasts and Other powerful Web Tools for Classrooms (2010) sums up how blog writing and other types of writing are different and yet similar.
The differences between blogging in this manner and writing as we traditionally think of it are clear: Writing stops; blogging continues. Writing is inside; blogging is outside. Writing is monologue; blogging is conversation. Writing is thesis; blogging is synthesis... none of which minimizes the importance of writing. But writing becomes an ongoing process, one that is not just done for the contrived purposes of the classroom (p30-31).When someone chooses to comment on a blog, you know that something in the original post made them stop and think. Occasionally you might see the "I like your page" comment, but most comments tie to what was read. I hope that this would be the beginning of some deeper learning as you, as the reader and commenter, decide and possibly challenge what is being said. This could lead to discourse and in doing so is allowing people to build meaning from the conversation.
While thinking about blogging literacy and how it affects the way we read and write, I decided to do a Google search for "blogging literacy". I found a blog that seems to really address this issue. Langwitches - Web Literacy and Differentiated Teacher Blogs and there was a picture that really showed the ladder of blogging for education.
Now this ladder shows the different steps that we as teachers will take with blog use and I would think that a student ladder would look much the same way. As students start with blogs, show them some and let them read. Next they can post a response to a blog. Then they may start their own blog and look forward to the responses they get and then they will start linking blogs to theirs and hopefully collaborating with people from across the globe. This will affect the way we read and write because it is no longer a "single person" doing the reading and writing, but a collective.
Blogging is another tool that we need to keep in our belts to help facilitate learning. Collaboration becomes ingrained in the process and blogging can cross all areas of the curriculum. connections can be established with other classes and even experts in fields of study. It seems blogging might be one of the simplest ways to begin with Web 2.0. I certainly am enjoying my journey and feel that I have learned a great deal from reading, posting and creating blogs