Jason Ward has an article in the TEFL Web Journal entitled 'Blog Assisted Language Learning: Push button publishing for the pupils.
Jason talks about the benefits that blogging can have in the reading and writing classes. The article speaks mainly of the advantages of using blogs.
Under shortcomings, Jason mentions that students could be exposed to some 'questionable readings' and that it could also have 'a detrimental effect on reading, writing and confidence.'
The danger, it seems is that reading by scrolling a computer screen can lead to a 'superficial and often inaccurate, understanding of the content, and that sloppy writing can result from blogging. Jason also mentions that the commenting feature of weblogs can lead to confidence being undermined if students receive criticism from others.
All the more important, therefore, to ensure that blogging with students is controlled? Perhaps by restricting the commenting feature of student weblogs to those enrolled in the class? All of this is mentioned briefly in Jason's article and deserves to be expanded upon by someone. Any takers?
The second part of Jason's article outlines his own blogging experience with students, and the results.
These results showed that his students overwhelmingly preferred the blog to the regular journal, and seemed to have told others about the weblog. A large majority also believed that using a weblog would improve their English, although many were unsure at the time of the survey whther they would continue with the blog.