Blogs

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Blogs, short for web logs, are websites to which several individuals contribute. Users can post links, start discussions, and comment on postings - among many other things. For a detailed explanation of what a blog entails, click here. Like in the case of PowerPoints, as blogs become more and more popular the opportunity to use them as teaching tools increases.


Economics blogs are already very popular and can be an easy way to introduce students to current issues in Economics.


Evidence

Classroom Tool

Source: http://www.burke.k12.nc.us/technology/onlinelearning/Pages/default.aspx

Educators have recognized the potential of blogs and have taken advantage of the tool. Here are a few useful lessons learned:

  • The price is right! It is free, in monetary terms, to create a blog.
  • A time investment is necessary. When using blogs as an educational tool, the educator must monitor and actively participate in their blogs.
  • Active participation allows the educator to monitor student understanding of the lessons and make clarifications where needed. Students are also more likely to take an active role in their education once they perceive an interest from their educator.
  • Students will read, comment and respond to posts. In the process, they will be exposed to differing views on a similar topic, see tangential topics/arguments and be forced to defend their views. As a result, they will learn to build extensive arguments and make connections between differing topics. It is somewhat like a peer review system that results in full comprehension of the topics from the student's part.
  • The informal, conversational style of blogs results in less pressure on students to 'sound smart.' Rather, it provides a colloquial setting that enables and encourages active participation. In a blog, the educator represents simply another participant and while authority is still held over students, they are more likely to open up under this setting. As students grow more and more comfortable 'blogging' with their educator, they are more likely to transfer this attitude to the classroom and become more active during lecture.

Here is a useful guide to using blogs in the classroom.

Click here to visit AEA's page on blogs, wikis and podcasts