Dr. Jeff Felix has posted a dissertation research study (the summary is here and the full report is here) that he did around the topic of blogging in the classroom, and it is a very thorough and deep look at the ways in which blogging can enhance the educational learning for students, and forge new connections between teachers and their students.
At one point, in the summary of the report, Felix writes:
This newfound excitement about the writing process may have also stimulated the student’s enthusiasm for school. The interviewees expressed strongly how the blogs motivated the students to learn, revealing how they were using the motivational power of blogging to motivate students to complete assignments, write more, think deeper thoughts, or post comments. The teachers also gave examples of how blogs promote deeper thought in assignments and in their postings.
And in the conclusion:
On one level, blogs may appear to be little more than personal diaries posted on the Internet for everyone to see. Yet, when used as a communication and instructional tool, they seem to provide a round-table for teachers to share ideas with other educators across the globe or simply talk about themselves and others in a local setting. Blogs become communication bridges with not only the child in the classroom, but also the Millennials who are entering the workplace as teachers. But it is possible that blogging is also an indicator of the teaching profession in transition– and without attempting to use or consider a tool such as blogging– the profession could have difficulty relating to the Digital Age student or teacher.
Thanks to Dr. Felix for undergoing this research and then for sharing it with the rest of us.
Peace (in the classroom),