I have had a number of people asking about my project over the past few weeks. My mother over the dinner table, colleagues at my part-time job, students on my course, my grandad visiting town for the day. A response that I have been confronted with after announcing my topic has been, 'what's the point?', 'where is the learning in this'. This question has been thrown at me before I have had a chance to fully explain what blogging is, and to justify my project and the exciting possibilities technologies like this offer us as teachers. But, all the same, it's a common gut reaction....and this has me thinking about why people react in this way, and what we can do to counter these reactions.
Tackling the 'why' is beyond the scope of any single project. This issue is linked to broader fears within society about technology, changing forms of literacy, a fear of losing the 'fundamentals' of education to the 'whim' of passing technologies. I could go on but I won't.
However, what I do think is valuable (well crucial really as classroom teachers using this technology) is to know the reasons why we have chosen to use blogs, and to have tangile learning outcomes and skills that we can describe to parents.
I came across the following blog which I thought was useful in terms of addressing this issue: 'Why I Blog with Kids'
This blog provides a very simple but powerful outline of the benefits of using blogs in the classroom. I found this blog particularly meaningful because it wasn't written by an academic or education specialist, but by a classroom teacher. This is one classroom teacher's response to 'why do you get the students to blog?'. I hope that you too find it useful in your teaching.