Using blog as a tool for teaching

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Using blog as a tool for teaching

The blog can be used for a  variety of teaching activities. S Srinivas describes a few of them.

Blogging is a digital interactive medium for expressing oneself through text, audio and visual format.

We have numerous websites like http://wordpress.com/, http://www.blogger.com/, http://blog.com/, http://www.weebly.com/, http://www.livejournal.com/, etc.; where we can sign up to start our own blog for free.

These days people from all walks of life especially professionals use blogs as a medium to write on the topic of their expertise.

For a teacher, blogs are an excellent medium for getting information on a particular topic/subject, connecting with people of similar interests, preparing and imparting notes and for having constant connectivity with his/her students.

For getting information

In the search engine if you type the blog of the desired subject a massive list will pop up.

You can go through these blogs, mark as favorite the ones which you like and by subscribing them you get regular updates of that blog. As blogs are dynamic in character, through comments you could even get clarification and clear any doubts you have on the topic written by the blogger. Many blogs also contain links to sites and resources useful for you to prepare your lessons.

For preparing notes

In a class room a lot of time is consumed in dictating notes and students also feel tired and bored by writing notes. Hence a teacher could use a blog for preparing notes.

There are several advantages in this. First of all the time spent on dictating notes could be utilized for discussions, debates, clearing of doubts and for activity based learning.

Secondly in case you want to incorporate new information or remove obsolete facts in your notes, you could do so easily in a blog.

No need to rewrite everything which will be the case if you prepare notes in a book/paper. Thirdly you could also add photos, diagrams, figures and videos related to the topic of your notes. Also there will be no need for you to physically carry note books to the class room. You just give your blog ID to the students and they copy it.

Some may object to the way notes are copied from a blog as it deprives students from taking notes through writing. But as compensation fortnightly tests could be held where both writing and reading habits of students are encouraged.

For giving assignments

Through the blog you can post a topic pertaining to a lesson for discussion and ask the students to make comments on it. Giving assignments and providing web links for getting information on a particular topic/subject could be done through blogs. It can also be a medium for keeping in touch with your students in case you go on leave or during holidays. Students who are absent to your class will also be benefitted by logging into your blog to look for latest updates.

As a teacher you can also encourage your students to start their own blogs.
(http://edublogs.org/ has blogs specially designed for students).Let them pour their thoughts in it, be it personal experiences, jokes, poems, stories or on any issue of their likes. Blogs are an excellent medium for students to develop writing skills. They will also become aware of new words, its meaning and usage in a sentence.

Corrections and feedback could be made by you in the form of writing comments on their articles posted.

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