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.
|Title of host publication||Teaching and Learning with ICT in the Primary School|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Number of pages||268|
|Publication status||Published - 18 Sep 2014|