Blogging for Learning

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At The International School of Belgrade, we do not look at technology as a substitute for traditional learning forms. Instead, we embrace its ability to enhance and transform how our students learn. Teachers integrate technology within their lessons to develop the core skills required to succeed as they move on to University and the workplace. To develop 21st-century learners, Tony Wagner (2008) proposes students establish seven core sets of skills, these include:
  • Critical thinking and problem solving;
  • Collaboration and leadership;
  • Agility and adaptability;
  • Initiative and entrepreneurialism;
  • Effective oral and written communication;
  • Accessing and analyzing information; and
  • Curiosity and imagination.
Teachers at ISB see the importance of these skills as students move through the International Baccalaureate program. Dominic Ryan, ISB's MYP Individuals and Societies teacher and Personal Project Coordinator, has adopted web blogging as a learning tool to help develop 21st-century learners, but what are the advantages of blogging in the classroom? As Mr. Ryan points out, the process of blogging engages students in reflective writing that makes past learning relevant. Students begin to apply what they have discussed to new concepts as they move forward throughout the process. Students become more empowered and thoughtful in their posts and eventually initiate prompts and engage in a two-way dialogue with both students and teachers. This is the real power of blogging, students engaging in thoughtful two-way conversations that enable them to construct new ideas and knowledge in a collaborative environment. 

With the rise of Web 2.0 (Read/write web), it is more important than ever to develop students' ability to interact in responsible ways through blogging activities. Students have grown up using the internet as a collaborative communication tool, and it is essential to use these tools in their learning. As educators, adapting to these new forms of communication is crucial. As Sheila Tucker (2014) states, "these skills are essential due to increased global competition, rising workforce capabilities, and accelerated technological change."  If students are to be successful outside the classroom, we must learn to implement relevant technology inside the classroom.
Ryan Bollhorn
Technology Integration Specialist