why they (wont) blog iallt 2009

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  • 1. Why They (Wont) BlogDr. Marcel Rotter University of Mary Washington

2. Background UMW University of Mary Washington inFredericksburg, VA 4000 undergraduate Students,800 graduate students Largest majors in Biology, Psychology, Business, English Department of Modern Foreign Languages:- Spanish, French, German (=majors)- Italian, Arabic, Chinese (= language programs)- Language Requirement (intermediate proficiency or2 years of college-level instruction) 3. Blogging in Advanced German Class Part of the syllabus technical session with IT support staff Assignment of topics usually throughteachers or class blog Students have to blog 1-2 paragraphs &comment on at least two other blogs Teacher comments on students blogs Grade assigned to force participation 4. Problems Students unwilling to blog in the FL in German andsome Spanish classes (teacher interviews, studentsurvey) Would students blog in FL without a grade? How to make the assignment of the gradetransparent? Make it part of a comment on the blog site? (FERPA=) Email explanation? (effective) Correction by students? (against natural Privacy issues 5. Elements in the blogging process1. Technology2. Teacher3. Students4. Content6. [Administration]7. [Parents] 6. 1. Technology impact of other technology on teachingThomas Edison in 1922: I believe that the motion picture is destined torevolutionize our educational system, and that in afew years it will supplant largely, if not entirely, theuse of textbooks. The education of the future willbe conducted through the medium of the motionpicture, a visualized education, where it should bepossible to obtain one hundred percent efficiency. 7. 1. Technology Seymor Papert 1984: There wont be schools in the future.The computer will blow up the school. similar claims about the radio, TV, teachingmachines (learning laboratories) 8. 1. Technology Larry Cuban: history of these visions of technological utopia, how the samekinds of educational claims recurred with each medium, and how in eachcase those claims were largely refuted by subsequent developments large majority of teachers ignored these apparently revolutionary devises after extensive investments and a period of initial fascination technologyleft to gather dust.[2] Government: largely uncritical acceptance of nebulous rhetorics of theinformation society Example:claim that majority of employers now require workers with highlevels of technological skills but even within the technology industries, they are more interested inmuch broader personal and social qualities. (Cup stacking?) Sales pitch of Computer shops to parents and college students: Computerswill enable you to get ahead in the educational race. Technology advertising preys upon adults anxieties about their ownincompetence and their fear of failing to catch up with the youngergeneration Larry Cuban Teachers and Machines (New York Teachers College Press, 1986), and see also Carolyn Marvin When Old Technologies Were New (Oxford:[2]Oxford University Press, 1988) 9. 1. Technology 2. Teacher How should schools respond to the role ofdigital media in students lives? Teacher training in new technology Changing authority in knowledge acquisition 10. 2. Teachers: bulk of funding on new media has been spend in the paston hard ware, significantly less on software and even lesson training teachers lack of training teachers feel often not confident toinclude new technologies Many teachers remain skeptical about the educationalbenefits of computer technology[3] [3] studies: Cuban Oversold and Underused: Computers in the Classroom (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press,2001); Karen Ferneding Questioning Technology: Electronic Technologies and Educational Reform (New York: PeterLang, 2003); Joschua Angrist and Victor Lavy New Evidence on Classroom Computers and Pupil Learning EconomicJournal 112: 735-765, 2002; Ros Sutherland et al. InterActive Education: Teaching and Learning in the InformationAge, final report to ESRC [= Economic and Social Research Council; UK], 2005. 11. 3. Students young peoples media increasingly inaccessible to themajority of adults (by design?) banality of much new media use 12. 3. Students Young people permeated/defined by modernmedia contemporary consumer culture. democratization of relationships students experiences with electronic media Outside of school: the self-determined user/consumer Inside of school: the guided student New media mostly interactive (Pull-media) Older media, such as TV (Push-media) both kinds inter-connected boundaries between mass communication andinterpersonal communication breaking down 13. 3. Students Are our students really so media-savvy aswe think? Digital media = indispensable aspect ofyoung peoples leisure time experiences. Does exposure to media means masteringthem? 14. 4. Advantages and Disadvantages ofBlogging (a subjective list)AdvantagesDisadvantagesmulti-medial possibilities diacritical signs (, , , )image, music, video promptscumbersomereal audience, not only teacher language scaffolding necessary technology instruction necessary time-consuming 15. Surveys among students2. 2008: 50 FL students, 20 English majors4. 2009: 75 students from FL and other departments 16. Bloggers / Non-Bloggers 17. Length of exposure 18. Blog-Site ownership 19. Current Use 20. 3. Did you blog in the last 2 weeks?Yes NO1024538531Survey monkey910 All1616 21. 3. Do you currently have a blog site? YesYes, but unused NO102 4 2 3385 2 1Survey monkey 7 8 All 1311 3I have one that I no longerupdate. I just comment onother peoples. 22. Motivation of BloggingIIhad to blog class. I like howthan that I did it for for classes, other it savesdont do it. Blogs dont interest me everything automatically often andI because they are too internet-intensivelike using it for classes, its a good and not very personal. They rely too way to get everyones information much on internet persona and not a real in theperson. place. same 23. 4. Why do/did you blog?102 385 MonkeyPersonal expression/ 2 24diaryFor a class4 314To keep in touch with31friendsFor an audience 2 24. Feature Preferences IThe best part of blogging is the comments. Idont always use them and they arentalways welcome, but usually they are agreat tool. Commenting, even whenteachers force it, is a way to move allpeople into thinking for themselves,constructively, and forming their OWNthoughts on the matter. From a writersstandpoint, comments are excellentfeedback. 25. Feature Preferences II and its very exposing to put your innermost thoughts on the net. Some people cant take that kind of pressure but use a blog anyway and then cant take the pressure when poor comments are made. 26. 5. Which features do you (dis)like?LikeDislike 102 Comments (3) ittakes over life Privacy of certain sites No privacy Ability to add pictures 385 Themes/layout (2)Privacy Comments Technological malfunction Ease of useSurvey Comments Privacy (2)monkey 27. 6. Did you ever blog in a FL? Yes NO Yes, in French(beginner/intermediate), Spanish(intermediate), and German 10227(beginner). I comment in otherlanguages often. I have a lot offriends on LiveJournal from othercountries. 38522 Survey monkey 133All 1712 28. Yes, in FrenchFL Distribution(beginner/intermediate), Spanish(intermediate), and German(beginner). I comment in otherlanguages often. I have a lot offriends on LiveJournal from othercountries. 29. Motivation for Blogging in FLBlogging in a I have blogged in Spanish for my classes. They wereforeign languagenot effective because no one was interested in doingkinda allows one to them. The idea was for us to share our ideas witheach other and respond, but since it was forced,make the languagepeople only did it (when they did it) because theyones own.had to and it did not generate deeper thought. 30. 7. Why did you blog in a FL?102 385MonkeyFor a SpanishFor a class (3) For a class (8)Literature classTo accommodate While being abroadfriends For personal reasons 31. Obstacles to Blogging in FLI maintained a blog in Spanish for my literature course. The only thingthat would motivate me to blog (not just in a foreign language) would begrading. Lets leave the blogs to the middle school studentscomplaining about how awful their lives are. 32. Motivation for Blogging in FL Possibly. If I ever become truly fluent in a foreign language thenyes, it is a good way for classesbut I cannot I will,to communicate and farther in another thinkpractice their use of the language. and certainly languageIt is especially nice for students much work its toowho are not strong speakers. very little hope of with payoff. 33. Obstacles to Blogging I find myself unable toTheyre a waste bloggingReasons for notattend school,maintain a blog, of time. and do everything Id often include: Ive also foundlike to get done. Facebook is sites like Fictionpress.com to be better suited tonot an ideal medium for displaying fiction to a more critical audience. I have no desire to use a blogIas a common journal. I doorblogging feel one really do not No any need however read the blogs of myto hear and find havewants to blogwhat I them desire friends insightful.to talk about 34. Motivation to Blog If I find I have this burning desire to reach the world (perhapsas part of project to perhaps if I become a perhaps, for teaching hermit) interest in my generatethen I will no doubt purposes. blog in an organization, non-profit effort to reach the outside world.Honduras Students Helping 35. 8. What would motivate you to blog in a FL?102 385Monkey Toimprove language Class assignment/Fluency -2 skills teacher Assignment Confidence (fluency) - 2 Friends with same sites Lack ofWould not 3 communication skills 36. 10. Why dont you blog? I find myself for notmaintain a blog, Reasonsaunable to of time. like Theyre and do everything Id attend school, waste blogging done. Ive also Facebook often in