Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Learning through Blogging: Use of Blogs to Enhance the Perceived Learning of Pre-Service ICT Teachers

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Learning through Blogging: Use of Blogs to Enhance the Perceived Learning of Pre-Service ICT Teachers

Article excerpt

With the rapid advancement of information and communication technology, almost all of the higher education institutions and schools have equipped themselves with new technological tools. Hence all instructors and teachers are faced with the challenge of integrating these tools into the classroom setting for effective teaching and learning. It is well known that if teachers do not have enough technological and pedagogical knowledge, they cannot fully utilize these tools for improving the teaching and learning processes. Even though the institution provides theoretical knowledge about how to use these technological tools, it is not possible to say that pre-service teachers have enough opportunities to practice this knowledge during their undergraduate education, or that instructors use these tools adequately enough because of their large work load and class size. It is important, however, to use these tools in the higher education setting so that pre-service teachers know how to use these tools in an actual classroom effectively. Recently, Web 2.0 technologies have widely been used in the educational environment, and just as a widely used Web 2.0 technology, blogs too can be used as an educational tool in a technologically rich classroom.

Blogs provide opportunities for people to publish their thoughts, opinions and feelings in an online environment (Deng & Yuen, 2011). There is no need for special technological skills to develop, update and publish entries while using blogs (Lang, 2005). Blogs generally share the following features: individual ownership, posted updates displayed in reverse chronological order and the archival of old posts (Sim & Hew, 2010). Blogs have some features that distinguish it from a web page. It allows for easy creation of a page, easy filtering of content for presentation by date or category, and it allows the blog creator to invite and add other authors to the blogs (Nedeva & Nedev, 2010). The technological and functional features of blogs allow them to be used for different purposes (reflective thinking, collaboration, interactivity, etc.) as an educational tool.

Perceived Learning through Blogging

Blogs have been widely used as one of the Web 2.0 tools in both higher education and the K-12 settings, and it can be seen as one of the major tools for sharing knowledge (Hsu & Lin, 2008). It should not be considered as a tool that is used just for providing information online, rather, it can be considered as a tool for learning in an educational context (Hall & Davison, 2007). Goktas and Demirel (2012) find that integrating blogs as a tool for learning can positively influence the learners' Information and Communication Technology (ICT) perception as well as the acquisition of ICT competencies. A study was conducted on 113 computer science students who were writing blogs for their projects. It found that blogging can help instructors and learners develop a variety of cognitive, social and self-directed learning skills. For example, the posting features of blog can increase self-directed learning by generating their own goal for the project. Also, the commenting features of a blog can help social learning by enabling learners to support their peers. However, the learners do not coach each other for higher order skills (Robertson, 2011). It is known that the most significant factor predicting the learner's perceived learning is the interaction between the learner and the instructor in an online learning environment (Jiang & Ting, 1999). Higher perceived levels of collaboration result in higher levels of perceived learning being reported by students (Halic, Lee, Paulus, & Spence, 2010). In addition, many studies have found that the interaction that takes place between teachers and learners as well as the interaction of the learner with peer learners both enhance the perceived learning of the learners (Kreijns, Kirschner, & Jochems, 2002; So & Brush, 2008). …

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