Blogging to support digital literacy in schools and universities

Helen Caldwell, Gareth Honeyford, Sarah Younie (Editor), Marilyn Leask (Editor), Kevin Burden (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to Book/Report typesChapter

Abstract

Introduction Literacy skills have always been important in schools and universities, but, increasingly, it is ‘digital literacy’ that is seen as vital to support the capability of our students to engage with, and have an impact on, our changing world. Collaborative forms of expression such as blogs and wikis, the proliferation of easy-to-use web and coding tools, and the growth of social networking are altering the way we interact with information and with each other, placing the emphasis on active dialogue and construction. If we are to help our students gain fluency in digital literacy, we need to harness these technologies and nurture the emergent learning communities they foster. This poses a challenge for educators. (Feiertag and Berge, 2008; Churchill, 2009). Blogs are a particularly powerful format in an educational context as they allow learners to define their own spaces and to populate them with words and media of their choosing. According to Freeman and Brett (2012), ‘Blogging is characterized by an individual exploration of ideas of personal interest through frequent online posts, documenting ideas as they emerge over time.’ Yet blogs can go even further than this by fostering ideas-sharing and enabling students to actively learn from their peers as well as from their teacher (Halic et al., 2010). This combination adds a hugely valuable dimension, as Steve Wheeler suggests, ‘Collaborative learning does not undermine or contradict personalised learning. It simply amplifies it.’ (2013). This chapter looks at using blogs to document learning from these two perspectives, the personal and the collaborative, drawing examples from student teachers at Northampton University and from primary pupils in Northamptonshire schools. In both settings, the role of blogs in supporting the cycle of sharing, implementing and evaluating practice is explored and discussed so that teachers can replicate and build on the emerging themes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTeaching and Learning with ICT in the Primary School
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Pages24-38
Number of pages268
ISBN (Print)9781317667605
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2014

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Cite this

Caldwell, H., Honeyford, G., Younie, S. (Ed.), Leask, M. (Ed.), & Burden, K. (Ed.) (2014). Blogging to support digital literacy in schools and universities. In Teaching and Learning with ICT in the Primary School (pp. 24-38). London: Routledge.
Caldwell, Helen ; Honeyford, Gareth ; Younie, Sarah (Editor) ; Leask, Marilyn (Editor) ; Burden, Kevin (Editor). / Blogging to support digital literacy in schools and universities. Teaching and Learning with ICT in the Primary School. London : Routledge, 2014. pp. 24-38
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Caldwell, H, Honeyford, G, Younie, S (ed.), Leask, M (ed.) & Burden, K (ed.) 2014, Blogging to support digital literacy in schools and universities. in Teaching and Learning with ICT in the Primary School. Routledge, London, pp. 24-38.

Blogging to support digital literacy in schools and universities. / Caldwell, Helen; Honeyford, Gareth; Younie, Sarah (Editor); Leask, Marilyn (Editor); Burden, Kevin (Editor).

Teaching and Learning with ICT in the Primary School. London : Routledge, 2014. p. 24-38.

Research output: Contribution to Book/Report typesChapter

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N2 - Introduction Literacy skills have always been important in schools and universities, but, increasingly, it is ‘digital literacy’ that is seen as vital to support the capability of our students to engage with, and have an impact on, our changing world. Collaborative forms of expression such as blogs and wikis, the proliferation of easy-to-use web and coding tools, and the growth of social networking are altering the way we interact with information and with each other, placing the emphasis on active dialogue and construction. If we are to help our students gain fluency in digital literacy, we need to harness these technologies and nurture the emergent learning communities they foster. This poses a challenge for educators. (Feiertag and Berge, 2008; Churchill, 2009). Blogs are a particularly powerful format in an educational context as they allow learners to define their own spaces and to populate them with words and media of their choosing. According to Freeman and Brett (2012), ‘Blogging is characterized by an individual exploration of ideas of personal interest through frequent online posts, documenting ideas as they emerge over time.’ Yet blogs can go even further than this by fostering ideas-sharing and enabling students to actively learn from their peers as well as from their teacher (Halic et al., 2010). This combination adds a hugely valuable dimension, as Steve Wheeler suggests, ‘Collaborative learning does not undermine or contradict personalised learning. It simply amplifies it.’ (2013). This chapter looks at using blogs to document learning from these two perspectives, the personal and the collaborative, drawing examples from student teachers at Northampton University and from primary pupils in Northamptonshire schools. In both settings, the role of blogs in supporting the cycle of sharing, implementing and evaluating practice is explored and discussed so that teachers can replicate and build on the emerging themes.

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Caldwell H, Honeyford G, Younie S, (ed.), Leask M, (ed.), Burden K, (ed.). Blogging to support digital literacy in schools and universities. In Teaching and Learning with ICT in the Primary School. London: Routledge. 2014. p. 24-38