Friday, July 28, 2006

The use of blogs

It is quite innovative to use blogs as a medium to learn. I want to express some opinions on that.

There are some advantages of using blogs (I think).
  1. It increases my sense of ownership of the work. I can choose my template design (or even edit html to change the default design) and display our work freely on our own blog. Just like me, I have picked up the template with blue colour because I love blue madly. Of course, creativity can also be employed to design my own blog.
  2. It allows the display of work in different formats such as movie, graphics and I can view them immediately once I view the blog. In contrast, I often save our image or movie as attachments in ILN and I have to click before they are shown to me.
  3. It encourages me to take a more active role in learning. In blog, I can post messages and trigger off discussions freely. Others may also take the initiative by commenting on my work. As a result, we may have more insightful discussions. In ILN, I seldom start my own discussions and often just wait for my instructors to give me questions. Then I will respond to them.

Here are two disadvantages I have discovered so far.

  1. I have to click on URL addresses one by one to view all my classmates' blogs. The discussions are scattered in individual blogs. We may discuss the same topic in different blogs where others may not know. It is difficult to gather ideas. In contrast, ILN serves as a centralized room for our sharing since all of us know that this is the place for us to discuss.
  2. I need to republish the blog again once I have edited my messages. It is more time-consuming than posting messages in ILN. However, it allows me to edit my messages from time to time. It is impossible in ILN.

Besides, someone who is not studying in this course can also view the blogs. The URL address of the blog may be sent to others and they can view the blog. In ILN, user names and passwords may forbid them from doing so. Some owners of blogs may not like this idea because of privacy but links may lead unwanted visitors to the blogs.

Anyway, 'blog' is not a new idea to me since I have got one myself but it is the first time for me to use it for learning.

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