Monday, September 24, 2007

Proof!

It is rare that we come across empirical data that supports what we believe through our own practice, but thanks to Bach at Plethora of Technology I was made privy to a blogging study (Collaborative Blogging as a Means to Develop Elementary Expository Writing Skills ) done at the University of Florida.

The researchers looked at a group of third grade students who were given the task of researching a Native American tribe and producing a five-paragraph essay as the end result of the writing process. What they found were intended and inadvertent results that varied from

  • Collaborative blogging helped improve students’ attitudes
    toward writing
to
  • Students transferred knowledge learned during the
    collaborative blogging project to other academic and social facets of classroom.
and
  • Collaborative blogging enabled differentiated instruction while
    ensuring everyone met with at least some success.
The most impressive thing to me, were, of course, the visuals:
The list of questions asked prior to and post the blogging project tells the tale of student learning and engagement better than any other measure. As a rule, conducting a meaningful survey of your students before and after their learning experience is a portal into the actual changes that took place within the child.

Drexler, Wendy, Kara Dawson, Richard E. Ferdig. "Collaborative Blogging as a Means to ." Electronic Journal for the Integration of Technology in Education 6(2007):

2 comments:

Erica Hartman said...

After reading this, I can't wait to start the blog tomorrow for Chasing Vermeer. The students are harassing me because we already postponed from last week. Life would be so much easier if we were one to one computing.

Nadine N said...

Thanks for this post. Our district is looking at ways to improve our writing, and I'm looking for reasons to get teachers to blog with their students. The research article that you've pointed us to is really interesting.