That was a pleasant journey reading through the blogs. I was amazed at the free flow of thoughts, feelings, and facts in blogs, be it the original post or the comments posted. In a series of comments made in response to the original post, one gets a fair perspective of the concept or issue under focus and is able to visualize the emerging scenario.
Three blogs captured my attention:
1. Meyers’s “Why don’t I assign homework”
2. Vicki Davis, “Spies like us”
3. Extreme Biology, “Imagine turning on the faucet and nothing coming out”
Meyers brings out both the lighter and the other side of his experience in assigning homework to his students. The difficulties associated with monitoring and evaluating the home-work assignments are amply brought out by him. His presents an alternate methodology for executing the homework but not in the strict name of homework. The ideas, the deliberations, particularly the comments and responses are extremely useful to teachers.
In “Spies like us” Davis projects the power of cell-phones in the hands of the students. He shows how far this palm-held device can be found useful as a student’s learning tool kit, particularly for documentation and retrieval as an important electronic resource of learning materials. The chain of comments made to this post are so involving the reader that he/she is engrossed in the whole series of discussion. With respect to who would decide the Acceptable Use Policy, it is debated that the student could do that. While the positive aspects of cell-phone usage is highlighted, the demerits are also given due weightage. I enjoyed the free flow of language in the comments.
The problem of water scarcity is beautifully depicted in Extreme Biology, a captivating title by itself. Brief yet powerful, this post has kindled intellectual discussions on how to save water and solve the paradox of the legal requirement to save endangered species vis-à-vis water shortage.
Blog reading is an active reading. That is we spend little time yet focus to the maximum that we endeavor to grasp the essence of the content effectively. As a result, our eye’s scanning power increases. Also we learn how to quickly pick up the essentials. We indulge ourselves in higher-order thinking. Since linking is a natural component of blog reading, as readers, we get a wholesome picture of the concept(s) being presented.
Blogging does affect our writing skills. We learn how to write effectively: crisp, clear, direct, and brief. We learn how do write succinctly; packing the information in the most fitting words, without beating about the bush; without sacrificing on clarity. Our vocabulary increases; we learn how to subdue authorship, i.e., we place importance on what is being said rather than on who said it.
Above all, blogging improves our skills of proof-reading, editing, rewriting, and revision.
Commenting is a handy tool for acknowledging the relevance or appropriateness of the content of what is published on a blog. A step further, commenting helps improvising the content in terms both of its quality and quantity.
Commenting does enhance meaning making because it adds more clarity to the content because readers supplement and complement the presentation.
Blogging and Learning
There is a Blogging Literacy. Readers know what to look for in a blog writing. They are aware of what to do when they land in a blog writing.
Another finding from reading through these blogs is the realization that blogging improves our learning. Let me explain how it is:
Learning is in a way retrieval of information and processing the retrieved information.
Processed information is knowledge. Knowledge leads to Understanding; understanding leads to the development of Skills. Skills lead to application of the Skills. In the application of skills, we analyze, synthesize, interpret, and elaborate.
Blogging is active teaching. Therefore, it leads to active learning. In any active learning process as delineated in Bloom’s taxonomy, we strengthen the four pillars of the educative process Knowledge, Understanding, Skill, and Attitude (KUSA).
The right attitudinal development is the climax of learning process. Blogging does lead to the right attitudinal development toward the concept (cognitive), skills (psychomotor), and emotional and ethical perspectives of the knowledge/wisdom gained.