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Blogging is a form of interactive communication which entails posting informative content about specific topics on the World Wide Web. This evolving technology is one of the most popular forms of social media used in the modern society. Online communication through blogging enables people to interact with each other in a simple way, thus making communication more efficient and effective.
The technology also serves as a significant tool for search engine optimization, and for that reason, it is commonly applied by search engines such as Yahoo and Google, among others. Blog contents are presented automatically on the web through data feeds. In this case, visitors are required to subscribe to the data feeds to stay updated with information which may be of interest to them.
Ever since it was introduced as the first modern form of social media way back in 1990s, blogging has emerged as an integral part of online culture. Blogs have become a common form of interaction for people in diverse settings, where they are used for various purposes. Education sector is among the vast areas that have largely benefitted from blogging over the past few years. As a matter of fact, the trend has played a significant role in helping students achieve their learning needs in school.
The use of blogging in design and technology will increase boys’ motivation, diversify their knowledge and improve their literacy. To confirm this hypothesis, a study about the use of blogging as a pedagogical approach was carried out on different institutions and some of the views expressed have been highlighted in this research paper.
The use of blogging in most learning institutions and organisations in the course of study is widely considered to be unprofessional in many regions. However, a number of institutions that have already embraced the culture as an avenue of sharing information and knowledge have a different story to tell. Through this popular form of social media, boys are able to post and access valuable information that can be useful to them in many ways.
More importantly, they can interact with students from other learning institutions for writing competition purposes and other important learning activities. Despite these benefits, most learning institutions still have doubts that the benefits associated with this modern technological culture can outweigh the pitfalls if the approach was adopted for boys’ learning purposes.
The research I intend to carry out will help to determine whether the use of blogs in design and technology classrooms will help to improve boys’ motivation and enhance their literacy. This study will also focus on the best approach to take when incorporating blogging lessons and technological gadgets in the classroom.
The use of blogging in Design and Technology will increase boys’ motivation, diversify their knowledge, and improve their literacy.
- What are the national guidelines on the use of technology in learning institutions?
- What are the opinions of different schools on blogging as a pedagogical approach and does it affect learning?
- Does using blogging and social networking sites motivate boys in school?
- What type of gadgets should be allowed for blogging?
- What negative outcomes are associated with blogging?
The use of this popular trend in schools has triggered debates to a broader audience whether the technology should really be incorporated in schools for boys’ use (Salavuo 2008). The main reason here is because the practice has its implications, and can therefore be distractive rather than beneficial if not appropriately utilised. Many institutions now appreciate the benefits of blogging to boys, and this awareness is drawing more people to the sites.
As numerous studies have shown, blogging interprets complex empirical and theoretical findings to summaries that are understandable to boys while maintaining original tests that can be probed and explored (Motschnig-Pitrik & Holzinger 2002).
Some teachers have realised that the use of blogs for pedagogical reasons is a perfect way of improving the interests of boys in school. This is because blogging opens room for new forms of communication and ideas. Regardless of these benefits, majority of learning institutions have not yet embraced the idea of extending learning to such sites for various reasons.
One of the major negative outcomes associated with this technological trend is that it distracts learners from learning goals and needs (Tekinarslan 2008). In this regard, this research has explored some of the national guidelines that have been provided on the use of technology in learning institutions. For example, necessary measures should always be taken to ensure that only suitable learning aspects and components are made available to students (Shih 2010).
Moreover, technological aspects such as the internet have made it easier for people to access any type of information from the World Wide Web. This exposes boys to a wealth of content, most of which might be unsuitable to them owing to age restrictions. In this regard, there is a need to ensure that content meant for educational purposes is tailored to fit the standards of boys in various levels of education.
These guidelines have suggested the use of blogging as an effective form of social media that can be safe for students’ use. More importantly, the guidelines have also discouraged the use of sites that are unsuitable for boys and which may bring negative effects to their learning experiences.
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Even though it is clear that social media plays a significant role in motivating learners, not all forms of social media are able to fulfill this objective (Hsu 2007). However, blogging is just among the few forms of social media that have proved to be effective in motivating boys at school.
The ability of this medium of communication to enable people to interact and communicate with each other freely has made teachers to view it as an excellent tool that can be used to communicate with students, especially in matters regarding academics (Wankel 2009). This simple form of interaction between teachers and learners helps to enhance administrative aspects within learning institutions, thus serving as a great motivation for boys (Ferdig & Trammell 2004).
Student blogs are also known for their ability to synthesize the information, thus enabling boys to have a deeper and better understanding of the learning concepts taught to them. The use of blogs also gives boys an opportunity to write and share ideas with other people across the world.
More importantly, blogs create an open archive of learning whereby boys can go back to the beginning of their blogs and get to see what they have learned. All these interactive learning settings offered by blogs help in developing literacy among boys. As Ellison and Wu (2008) observe, boys are likely to have the pressure to come up with good work when they are informed that their job will be made public, and this helps to improve their performances. This way, blogging serves as a motivation for many boys across the world.
There is a wide range of technological equipment that can make blogging easy for boys. Modern technologies have made blogs the latest trend and necessity among people. Previously, social networking sites were only accessible through the computer, but today, the sites can easily be accessed using any gadget which can connect to the internet. Some of the common gadgets here would include computers, tablets, iPads, E-Readers, and smartphones.
However, not all these gadgets can be allowed to conduct blogging in an educational setting. Computers, tablets, iPads, and E-Readers are the most preferable ones for this particular task, since they offer less distraction compared with the smartphones. More importantly, these gadgets can also be used for other learning purposes apart from blogging.
For example, they can be used to access useful information which can help boys achieve better understanding of various learning concepts. The gadgets can also serve as word processors, thus being more useful to the boys compared with smartphones, which offer limited functionality. These are just some of the reasons why these gadgets would be the most appropriate ones for blogging purposes in educational settings.
Generally, blogging brings several negative outcomes on users, especially the younger ones. For instance, the practice is very addictive since people will always want to visit their blogs either to comment or to follow posts by other people (Conole et al. 2008). This habit will make boys lose interest in key school activities and if not controlled using the necessary approaches it can lead to poor performance in academics.
As much as it can be used to change people’s lives, especially in the way they interact with one another, blogging can also bring enduring conflicts that can negatively impact students’ lives (Williams & Jacobs 2004). The technology gives boys the confidence to publish what they want on the web but the posted content can sometimes be abusive or irritating to other people, thus resulting into conflicts.
Another serious negative implication of blogging is that it reduces learning and research capabilities, since people will tend to rely more on information which is easily accessible on the sites. Boys usually spend more time in blogging, and this interferes with time for other activities in school.
In this respect, boys will find themselves sacrificing most of their sleeping hours to compensate for the time lost in blogging. If it persists, this habit can bring serious effects on the health of students. More importantly, boys are likely to get attracted to other social networking sites while blogging and this can result into time wastage and misuse of the internet as a significant learning tool, among other implications.
For the purpose of this study, I used various approaches and methodologies to make the right conclusions based on the research hypothesis. For example, I used the internet and other relevant government publications to access national guidelines on the use of social media in schools. I also carried out a primary survey on policies of at least ten different learning institutions in regard with blogging where
I was able to determine whether most of them utilised the concept or not, and the reasons behind each take. I also conducted a survey on schools that have been using blogging as a pedagogical approach and filled out questionnaires on whether the students were motivated in learning after using the blogs or not.
I also researched on the gadgets that can be useful for this practice and filled out questionnaires on the ones that are currently used by different learning institutions. Finally, I interviewed participants on the problems associated with blogging to be able to answer the question about the negative effects that blogging can bring to boys.
These observations were supplemented with findings of other researchers on the matter as they are revealed in various studies. For better outcomes on the issue, the opinions were expanded to cover the entire world of social media and not only blogging.
This way, a lot of information about the opinions of different schools and individuals in regard with the idea of incorporating blogging and other forms of social media in learning was collected. The acquired data was then organised, analysed and clearly presented in tables and charts from where it was used to draw the final conclusions of the research.
The investigation carried on schools about blogging and its effects on learning revealed mixed reactions from different institutions and individuals. While there were those who showed great support to this evolving form of communication terming it as a significant approach that can help to boost boys’ motivation in learning, others viewed it as a distractive approach unfit for pedagogical reasons.
Those in favour of the concept would point out numerous views that appeared to outweigh the disadvantages expressed. For example, it was observed that blogging enables boys to interact freely with people from other regions, thus giving them confidence to express and communicate their thoughts over the internet. According to the supporters, this can effectively improve the learning experiences of the boys.
There were also concerns that the blogs are important sites through which boys can enhance their social skills that are crucial for effective learning experiences. It was also noted that, blogging would encourage boys to learn continuously in an interactive manner, thus facilitating the development of critical thinking skills. Those opposing the concept also had their views on the matter. For instance, some of the people interviewed had expressed their concern that, all forms of social media are addictive and will tend to be distractive.
These claims were supported by the observation that boys will tend to spend a lot of time on the internet reading and responding to blogs, thus getting distracted from normal learning experiences and activities. Moreover, some schools had expressed the concern that blogging is likely to glorify negative behaviours, and this is likely to bring more harm than good to boys.
Just like any other form of social media, blogging has continued to play a crucial role in transforming the way we interact with one another. As it has been shown in this research paper, the benefits of this form of interaction far outweigh the shortfalls. The increased student opportunities of interaction offered by blogging will be crucial in helping boys understand learning concepts better.
There is concrete evidence that blogging can provide an extra touch point for boys to interact with their teachers in school, thus helping both sides to understand each other well.
It is easy for anyone to introduce blogging to people who have not used it before, and this makes blogging one of the most promising technological tools that can be used for pedagogical purposes. In this regard, schools should incorporate the use of blogging in Design and Technology as one way of improving the learning experiences of boys in different levels of education.
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