Why Blog? – An Initial Reply
Blogging is a different approach; the classroom is one space that blogging can occur for learners; the emphasis, however, needs to be to invite learners to step out of their well-worn shoes as students, and determine what they want to write, why, and for whom. If blogging is used by teachers to reinforce the rules of conduct and the power relationship that exists in classrooms, then blogging as a strategy will fail. period. Why blog for your teacher, writing what your teacher wants? Why learn these skills when the act of writing makes you vulnerable to others’ scrutiny?
Bloggers blog for their own reasons; not for grades, not to complete their assignments.
Bloggers don’t consciously say that they are going to blog to develop their academic writing skills, or cultivate their social skills. Why expect our students to be persuaded to blog to attain these goals?
Learners need to gradually move their zone of comfort to a liminal zone, a place of transition, and rely on a group of trusted others for support. Learner autonomy is developed gradually as their net efficacy grows, as does their self efficacy in general. The learning is a pendulum: a swinging back and forth between the blogger as self-reflective, and the blogger as an embedded self. Self-reflective blogging requires learners to engage in an internal dialogue made explicit through text, with one’s own voice as a vehicle for self-expression. An embedded self is more aware of the impact of others’ perspectives, is more analytical, and blogs to engage in a broader conversation with oneself and others. Such bloggers enjoy expressing ideas, and enjoy receiving a series of comments from trusted others, and then is positively challenged to engage in re-incorporating these ideas, reflecting on them, and reiterating the ideas in more complex ways.
Encouraging attitudinal shifts in learners is what will bring about the boost in confidence and motivation in learners to blog.