Weblog Pedagogy

Weblog Pedagogy: What are some ways to use blogs in language teaching and learning? Is using blogs right for you and your students?

Ewan Macintosh is a teacher of French in Scotland. He’s a man with a mission when it comes to using blogs and podcasting and other technology for language teaching. Read what he has to say here. His blog is here.

Here is an excellent 30-minute screencast of Ewan presenting at Jordanhill College (University of Strathclyde, Scotland, UK) in January 2006, on the subject of the new technologies and why teachers should find out about them. (Ewan has a strong Scottish accent which I find charming but which others may find takes a bit of getting used to): Web 2.0 in Education, or What Happened to Web 1.0?

Coming of Age is an online book (or e-book) on the same subject, put together by British ed-tech consultant Terry Freedman and has 14 contributors (including Ewan Macintosh). You have to register in order to download the pdf (Adobe Acrobat Reader) file, but it’s free:

Coming of Age: An introduction to the new worldwide web has been a collaborative venture between 14 people from the USA, Canada, Thailand and the UK. The main objectives of the publication are first to inspire teachers to want to try some of these “new tools” for themselves and with their classes, and then to provide practical advice and guidance on how to do so.

Many educators and others who use blogs for social networking often quote Lev Vygotsky, a Soviet developmental psychologist whose work built on that of the French psychologist Jean Piaget. A consideration of Vygotsky’s theories raises some interesting questions about learning and teaching: what is learning? what is teaching? how does one come to know something? where does knowledge exist? [Click here to read more about Vygotsky and Piaget’s theories.]

Brief (1-screen), pithy summaries of James Farmer’s ideas can be read here – How NOT to use blogs in education – and here – How you SHOULD use blogs in education.

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