On request from students at a Teachers college in Norway (HIST) I asked my students the following questions:
A. Do you think there is more pressure on how you perform/write when you use blogs instead of writing a paper for the teacher only? B. Do you think the use of blogs reduces the difference between your work at school and your everyday life?
Reading through the answers, some points that surprised me the most were how positive they are to writing blogs, how they find it more meaningful than traditional teaching and learning, and how writing on the blogs at home does not feel like homework. My goal to motivate students by assigning more real life tasks seems to be a success. Many students write long texts every week and some write additional texts about topics they find interesting without me asking them to do so! Here are some of the answer I got.
B. Now that I do my schoolwork on a blog, I feel like work and everyday life are more combined because writing has become more of a hobby.. (Cathrine) A. I think there is less pressure on how students preforms when they are writing blogs instead of writing only for the teacher. This is because when you are writing blogs every week you have more chances of correcting your mistakes compared to writing four large tasks a year. Therefore each blog post has less pressure on it than a large task does.. (David)
B. Many people say that blog does not help you learning English, but I have learnt a lot and it gives me a motivation since many people read it ( not that many, but more than one person) It’s much better than boring classes like we had before. It’s a modern way of learning English which is brilliant and inspiring ! (Ewa)
A. I think it’s bit more pressure writing English on blogs than paper. I don’t know exactly why, but I think it’s because I just want to better in English, and blogging is more fun! (Haakon)
B. I think the use of blog reduces the difference between school and work. The fact that you have to write something that everyone can see is more like a work situation. I think that we are learning a lot by writing our blogs and I think that we are learning a lot without even knowing it. When we get the chance we can also write about things that interests us. (Hanne) . B. Yes. I think the use of blogs reduces the differences between my work at school and my everyday life at least a little bit. I use my computer a lot at home and when we write blog posts at school, I do not feel that it is like writing on a boring white paper. It is much more fun and interesting when you write on your own blog and you know that more than one person will read what you write. It is also inspiring to design your blog and decide want you want your blog to look like. I also think we learn a lot when we write on our blog. (Heidi) A. No, I don’t think so. Although when you write a post on your blog, everyone in the whole world can see it, but for me it would be more pressure if I had to write something only your teacher can see. And at the same time you will get more and more motivated to write posts on your blogs. It’s because you will see that so many people from other different countries read your blog and like to read about your opinion on different subjects. (Julia) B Yes I do. When I come home from school and sit down to do my English homework, I don’t think of it as homework in the same way I think of Math or German. This is mostly because of it being blogging and not writing on a piece of paper and handing it in the day after. Many people even blog about their daily life without a teacher telling them to. (Kasper) B. Yes, I think it reduces the difference a bit, because with a blog you feel more relaxed about the writing, and you feel freer to write what you want, and it does not feel so similar to what you combine with school work. I think that when we write at our blogs we get more inspired and motivated to write more than we are supposed to, and more motivated to write better answers. When I write a blog post I don´t think at it as unnecessary homework who don´t even my teacher is going to look at, but I rather think at it as something fun and useful. (Katinka)
A. When I do something that anyone is going to see, I prefer to make it as perfect as I can. If I write on paper that you hand in, I can’t go in and change what I’ve written. On my blog, I can make changes whenever I want, just to make my post better and even better. And because a blog is like a “product” that you own and create, you can look at it as a diary or an online magazine or so, it’s also more interesting to write in here because it in a way makes my “product” better and better.(Marie) B. I think the use of blogs reduce the difference between everyday life and school. Today we use internet and computers a lot at home and some even writes spare time blogs, I think blogging is a good way to learn. (Pernille)
Most of the posts i have written on the blog, I have written as a task given by our teacher in class. I think it’s working out great, and it’s a excellent idea to use blogs in class. Personally I find writing on the blog much more “relaxing” so to say. The second question I find quite interesting. Yes, I think that the difference between homework and schoolwork is being more neutralized by using blogs. However, when writing about something interesting, i might forget that the teacher will read it, and forget to check my spelling. I believe that using blogs for teaching is great for the teacher, so he/she gets to see how the students English truly is, voluntarily. For the students, it’s a (probably) new way of working, and a fun way of working. (Ulrik)
I do believe that the blog thing has changed my everyday life, before i started in college i didn’t usually have that much homework in English which basically made me lazy. I was able to barely achieve the grade 5 which is the second best you can get. Now that we have blogs it is more interesting to write because you know a lot of people all over the world can read. I have definitely started to write more English which is very positive. (Victor)